Communication Systems in India

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India Communication systems

The origin of modern postal system – in India can be traced back to 1837 when postal service was opened to the public. The first postage stamp was issued in Karachi in 1852,  ( Oct. 1 ) though it was valid only in Sind. When a separate postal department was set up in 1854, seven hundred post offices were already functioning in the country.

The money order system was introduced in 1880; The Post Office Savings Bank started in 1882, the Postal Life Insurance in 1884, the Railway Mail Service in 1907, the Airmail Service in 1911, the Posts and Department of Telecommunications on 31st December 1984, VPP and Parcel service in 1877, postcard in 1879, and Indian postal order was introduced in 1935. The system of Postal Index Number ( PIN ) was introduced throughout the country in 1972. In 1985 the postal and telecoms department were separated. In 2004 the e – post system was introduced.

The Indian Postal network is the largest postal network in the world. The country has 1,55,333 post Offices. Out of these, 15,862 are in urban and 1,39,173 in rural areas. On an average each post office serves 7,174 persons and covers an area of 21.12 sq. km. In terms of the mail volume handled, India ranks just after UK, Germany, Japan, France and Russia. Around 9.93 crore pieces were handled in 2003 – 04, in which Money orders valued ₹ 8,650 crore.

Quick Mail Service ( QMS )

  1. It was introduced in 1975. This service now covers all state capitals, headquarters of all Union Territories and important commercial towns.
  2. For efficient handling of the growing volume of mail, a numerical postal address code known as Postal Index Number ( PIN ) was introduced in 1972. The code has six digits which help identify and locate every departmental delivery post office excluding branch post offices.
  3. The first digit indicates the region, the second the sub – region and the third the sorting district whereas the last three digits indicate a particular delivery post office in the areas served by the sorting district. In order to have a dedicated mail transmission system, following 6 channels have been introduced :General Studies Question Bank CD
    • Rajdhani Channel
    • Metro Channel
    • Green Channel
    • Business Channel
    • Periodical ( Patrika ) Channel
    • Bulk Mail Channel
  4. Automatic Mail Processing Centers have been set up.

Speed Post Service

Introduced in 1986, it offers guaranteed time bound delivery. It now connects 290 National and 1000 State Speed Post Centres and also 97 foreign countries on the network in addition to point to point centres. In International level, commercial documents, computer data like disks, magnetic tapes can be sent.

Post office Computerization

  1. As of 2011, 24015 ( 94% ) departmental post offices have been computerized.
  2. International Money Transfer Services in Post Office : The departmental of past has entered into an international co – operation agreement with Money Gram Payment Systems, USA to offer to the general public the Money Gram I.M.T. through selected post office on September 21, 2011.

I. Telecommunications

  1. Telecommunication services were introduced between Kolkata and Diamond Harbour in 1851. By March 1854, telegraphic message could be sent between Agra and Kolkata. Indian Railways used telegraphic and telephone services in 1900.
  2. Telephone services were first introduced in Kolkata in 1881 – 82, six years after telephone was invented. The first automatic exchange was commissioned in 1913 – 14 at Simla with 700 lines.
  3. Till 1994, the telecommunications remained the monopoly of the Government. When the demand for telephone connections became ever increasing, the need for more service providers became necessary. Thus, came the National Telecommunications Policy in 1994, which liberalized the telecoms operational system in India.
  4. The country was divided into 20 circles for basic telephones and 18 circles for mobile services, and opened up the telecoms sector for private participation, with two private service providers for each circle for a 15 year license period, besides the government owned operations like DOT.
  5. In order to have effective control over tariffs and policy making, the government created TRA1 – Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India in 1997. This helped in identifying new service providers, grant of licenses, maintaining healthy competition amongst service providers and so on.
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  7. Simultaneously the Government started disinvestment in telecoms sector, leading to the takeover of VSNL by Tatas in 2002 / 2003. Over the years, with the launch of various communication satellites, the spectrum availability increased enabling more scope for inducting more service providers. Thus, came all the latest service providers in the field operating in one circle without any limitations.
  8. The commercial mobile services started in August 1995. The New Telecoms Policy of 1999, heralded several pro consumer initiatives triggering a huge increase of the telecoms subscribers base. As of August 2011, toted telephone subscribers stood at 899.78 million – Land Lines 36.96 million and mobile connections 865 million, and around 11.2 million broad band connections.
  9. The demand for mobile connections are increasing by 20 million per month. According to the present trend, our country is poised to achieve a Tele – density of 1 billion i.e. covering 84% of the population by 2012. Latest technologies heralded the launch of 2G spectrum communications. It fetched a revenue of nearly 7000 crores to the Government ( 2G meaning “Second Generation” wireless telephone; digital technology ). Recently, the Government of India, understanding and analyzing the potential financial gain from the available “Spectrum” capability, auctioned the 3G ( third generation telecommunication which includes wide area wireless voice telephone, video calls and wireless data, all in a mobile environment ) to private bidders for different circles, which fetched the government more than 67000 crores in revenue.
  10. The 3G services, though introduced by BSNL as early as February 2008, in 11 cities, has not attained the estimated growth, due to lack of aggressive marketing.
  11. The private telecoms service providers are : Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, Reliance, Idea, Aircel etc. recently, Videcon, MTS and a few more have also entered into this sector. Of these, Bharti Airtel is the largest service provider.

The public sector telecoms giants are :

  1. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited ( MTNL ) : It was formed in April 1986 to serve Mumbai and Delhi telephone districts. Reasons for formation of MTNL is to mobilize resources by public borrowings and serve better. Started with a share capital of ₹ 800 crore. The government the paid capital is ₹ 630 crore has already dis invested 56.25% of its shares.
  2. Bharat Sanchar Nigam’Limited ( BSNL ) : It was formed on October 1, 2000 by corporatisation of the erstwhile Department of Telecoms Services. It is a 100 per cent Government of India – owned PSU with an authorized capital of f 17,500 crore, a paid – up capital of ₹ 12,500 crore, a net worth of 780,099 crore, a skilled work force of approximately 3.39 lakh and an annual revenue of approximately if 26,897 crore, making it the largest PSU in the country.

Unified Messaging Service

UMS is a system by which voice mails, fax and e – mails can be received from one mail box using telephone, fax machine, mobile phones, internet browsers etc. Tele – medicine, Tele – education, Tele – banking, call centre are covered under other service providers.

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II. Mass Communications

  1. Radio Broadcasting started in India in 1927 with two privately owned transmitters at Mumbai and Calcutta. The Government took over them in 1930 and started operating them under the name of Indian Broadcasting Service.
  2. It was changed to All India Radio ( AIR ) in 1936 and since 1957, AIR is known as Akashvani. All India Radio’s network consisted of six radio stations in 1947. With a network of 208 radio stations, AIR covers 99.13%. of the population.
  3. Stereo FM service is available at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Panaji and Cuttack. FM RDS paying service is being introduced from 91 centers in the country. Sky radio service with 327 channels has been launched. Some of the music events held in our country are covered by AIR. Two major festival excerpts which are broadcast on the national as well as zonal hook – up level are the Thyagaraja and Tansen festivals.
  4. About 40% of the total broadcast time of AIR now caters to music programs. Popular entertainment program, known as Vividh Bharathi, is broadcast from 39 centers, including three short wave transmitters at Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Film music, humorous skits, short plays and features are presented in these programs.
  5. Commercial broadcasting on the radio introduced on November 1, 1967 from Mumbai – Nagpur – Pune, on an experimental basis, is at present carried by 39 centers. Advertisements are accepted in any language as tape – recorded slots.
  6. Sponsored programs were introduced in a limited experimental scale on the Primary Channel with advertisements being allowed for a minute. The commercial service on the Primary Channel ( Phase 2 ) has also been introduced from 26th January 1986. At present, commercials are broadcast from 60 stations. The revenue earned by radio during 1998 – 99 was ₹ 92.96 crore. Sports / sponsorships are being accepted in rural programs, women’s programs, film / light music ( Indian and Western ) including listeners’ choice, plays and other popular programs. AIR is also now hooked to ‘Internet for on – line information service. Six super power short wave transmitters of 500 KW each have been commissioned at Bangalore to strengthen the external services of All India Radio for covering Latin American and European countries. This has made Bangalore one of the biggest transmitting complexes in the world.
  7. Doordarshan : Television was started in India on an experimental service on 15th September, 1959. Regular service began in 1965 but only in 1976 it was delinked from AIR and Doordarshan has emerged as an extensive national network, expanding its reach and area of activities in the sphere of information, education and entertainment after 1982. The Parliament in 1990 passed the Prasar Bharathi ( Broadcasting Corporation of India ) bill to give autonomy to Doordarshan and Akashvani.
  8. General Studies Question Bank CDThe Corporation came into existence on 23 November 1997. A Board consisting of a Chairman, an executive member and a number of part – time, full – time, ex – officio and elected members manages the affairs of Prasar Bharathi. INSAT multiple service project has been made use by Doordarshan for direct telecast of the programs and for national networking of the existing terrestrial transmitters through the use of microwave system.
  9. Telecasts of higher education programs which commenced on August 16, 1984, via INSAT – IB continue successfully. At present Doordarshan is operating 31 TV channels, Doordarshan network had 1,416 transmitters. TV covers 92 per cent of population. The number of TV program producing centers is being increased to 49. The country’s highest TV Tower ( 235 meters ) three times taller than the Qut – ub – Minar was commissioned at Peetambara, New Delhi on 7th November 1988. A Centered Production Center was opened in ASIAD Village, New Delhi on 6th February 1989.
  10. The country’s second television center came up in Mumbai in 1972. It was followed by Srinagar, Amritsar, Kolkata, Chennai and Lucknow. Following one year’s rich experience of SITE in 1975 – 76, India has introduced its own multipurpose satellite – INSAT which is being used for the telecommunication, meteorology and radio besides television.
  11. From 15th August 1982, Doordarshan started its national program ( relayed simultaneously from all centers ). From the same day, it also introduced a regular INSAT service in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The entire service is telecast via satellite and at the receiving end a combination of Direct Receiver Sets ( DRS ) and Very High Frequency ( VHF ) sets have been installed in these states. Conversion of black and white to Color TV Transmission commenced from that day. Doordarshan introduced its first School Television ( ETV ) in October 1961. At present, educational programs, both of enrichment type and syllabus oriented, are put out by several Doordarshan Kendras as well as CIET and SIET centers. Teletext Service Known as INTEXT was introduced at Delhi Doordarshan Kendra in November 1985.
  12. With the approval of General Committee of both Houses of Parliament, Doordarshan commenced the experimental telecasts of proceedings of Sabha and Rajya Sabha, telecast of address by the President, and presentation of Union and Railway Budgets with effect from 3rd December 1991. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai have second channel. Now Doordarshan has started its third channel ( Doordarshan – India ) reaching about 50 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.
  13. The third channel can be seen by the Metropolitan citizens whereas the cable connection provides the same facility to the rural areas. The fifth channel telecasts entertainments and movies mostly. In order to face the challenges of Satellite TV’s, Doordarshan has started telecasting its regional services from 11 states via INSAT I – D and INSAT II – A can now be received throughout the country with the help of dish antenna systems. Doordarshan has begun Digital Terrestrial Transmission ( DTT ) on experimental basis. Under DTTV one digital transmitter can carry 4 to 6 channels. DTH : Direct to Home broadcasting is a mod6 of delivery of satellite channels, which will help the cable operators to deliver directly to the end user as on 16th Dec. 2004.

Radio – Frequency Identification Technology

  1. Radio – frequency identification ( RFIO ) uses radio waves to identify an object ( typically referred to as an RFID tag ) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.
  2. Radio – frequency identification involves interrogators (also known as readers), and tags ( also known as labels ). Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio – frequency ( RF ) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. There are generally three types of RPID tags : passive RFID tags, which have no battery and require an external source to provoke signal transmission, active RFID tags, which contain a battery and can transmit signals once an external source ( ‘Interrogator’ ) has been successfully identified, and battery assisted passive ( BAP ) RFID tags, which require an external source to wake up but have significant higher forward link capability providing greater range. There are a variety of groups defining standards and regulating the use of RFID, including : International Organization for Standardization ( ISO ), International Electrotechnical Commission ( IEC ), ASTM International, DASH7 Alliance, EPC global. ( Refer to Regulation and standardization below. )
  3. RFID can be used in a variety of applications, such as :
    • Access management
    • Tracking of goods and RFID in retail
    • Tracking of persons and animals
    • Toll collection and contact less payment
    • Machine readable travel documents
    • Smart dust ( for massively distributed sensor networks )
    • Location – based services
    • Tracking sports memorabilia to verify authenticity
    • Airport baggage tracking logistics.

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