150 Years of Telecommunications in India
A commemorative postage stamp on the 150 Years of the Indian Telecommunications :
Issued by India
Issued on Nov 1, 2003
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall Size : 2.9 x 3.4 cms.
Printing Size : 2.9 x 3.4 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported unwatermarked stamp paper
Print Quantity : 0.8 million
Number of Stamps per sheet : 50
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Eagle Press Private Ltd.
- Starting as an experiment with an electric telegraph line between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour in 1850, Telecom Services were formally launched in November 1853 connecting Calcutta and Peshawar, Bombay and Madras and Ootacamund and Bangalore. The pioneer of this project was Dr. William O’Shaughnessy who went on to become the first Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs in India and later and the first Director General.
- August 1875 saw India’s first private line in Bombay. The London based Oriental Telephone and Electric Company Limited was licensed in 1881 to set up telephone exchange at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The Indo-European Telegraph Department, later Overseas Communications was merged with the Indian Telegraph Department in 1888. In 1914 the Indian Post and Telegraph Department emerged as a single entity. The same year saw the commissioning of the first automatic exchange at Shimla.
- Further expansion came with Radio Telegraph (1927), Radio Telephone (1933) and the use of Trunk lines for broadcasting programmes (1937). 1950 saw the absorption of isolated exchanges and those belonging to princely states. A decade later the Subscriber Trunk Dialling System was introduced between Kanpur and Lucknow.
- Posts and Telecommunications became independent Departments in January 1985, with the Telecom Commission exercising administrative control on the Department of Telecom since 1989. With reorganisation of field units, new entities called the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited for two metros and the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited for overseas services emerged.
- In 1995 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was formed and the operation wing was corporatized in October 2000 under the name Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Cellular Services started in 1995. Today the little wire has stretched to 54.6 million lines and about 43 million connections. We are marking the long innings of telecommunications in India with a commemorative postage stamp.