Thursday, April 25, 2013

Letter Box or Dustbin ??




Letter Box used as dustbin in Nainital. Photo taken by Atul Agarwal, a philatelist from Aligarh who recently visited Nainital. While walking on the Mall Road, near the Library He found the letter box which has been used as dustbin, instead of a letter box. Shame on India Post

Is this the future of Postal Department in India ?




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Discussion - Definitive stamps of India



Some more comments received from the members…


BIBHU MISHRA, Bhubaneshwar

“The current issue under discussion is very much relevant…………... It is not only definitive but the commemorative stamps printed are of poor quality………. Comparing with other countries, the stamps produced in India are of lower quality & less attractive. While finalising proposal of stamp issue, no body consults the essential aspects that enrich the beauty of the stamps. Stereotype ideas are generated which reduce the interest of ( the people and ) collectors. As we know, Stamps are ambassador of a country’s progress; it is duty of stamp collectors to raise voice with constructive ideas for better and attractive postage stamps on different unexplored areas.”


MANSOOR B., Mangalore

“I had written about the deteriorating quality of Indian definitive stamps comparing to other countries…………….our stamps are identified as definitives, just by their (poor) quality. There may be reasons behind this such as, these are meant for the common man and common man does not notice the quality. But they represent the country at large before the world.  Is it (not) affordable to the Dept of Posts to use better quality paper and printing for definitives………………What is the costing to print a Rs.2/- definitive stamp?”



"Definitive Stamps are the most neglected by all the concerned, be the designer, printer or the issuer, that is Postal department. No thought is given at the design stage. Just as Royal Mail has the Silhouette of Queen as the basis and has evolved their definitives around it, we could also adopt the Silhouette of Gandhiji as basic design and develop the definitive stamps around it. Gandhi is a loved topic for Philatelists all over the world, and would be welcomed.
The (present) Paper and the Adhesive used are of poor quality, I would not say they are sub-standard, but the standards set are abnormally low. There is need to revise the basic specifications for definitive stamps of India including paper and adhesives”


Prof. SAHADEV SAHOO , Bhubaneshwar

“Last minute decisions to issue stamps under pressure leads to bad quality and ill-designed stamps. The quality has to suffer if we do not give weightage to right choice of themes and (do not) provide adequate time for designing and printing.”



“ If Multicolour printing of stamp on fine paper involves high cost, Single colour printing can also be made attractive by improving quality of printing and quality of paper.”



“In every Philatelic exhibition whether District, State or National, the Department of Posts officials generally add in their speech that the Postage stamps are tiny ambassadors of our nation. Have they ever thought what kind of ambassadors are travelling on our letters and parcels to other countries and what kind of image they are portraying about our nation ?

The poor quality of our definitive stamp issues not only put the question mark on the attitude of officials of Department of Posts but also shows the poor functioning of Philatelic Advisory Committee (PAC) …………..The members of PAC need to be creative, responsible and courageous enough to oppose anything (that is) not up to the mark and to bring new ideas or concepts. Particularly, members representing philatelic fraternity have much bigger responsibility as they understand the esthetic as well as philatelic value of stamps and other philatelic products, better.

The difference in the cost of production will not be much as per my experience of handling the production of stamps too. It is simply a matter of Policy of Department of Posts as if it wants to portray Indian image in a better way or not.”



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Discussion - Definitive stamps of India



Dear Friends,

Recently we have received a mail from our member Pradeep Kumar Mallik from Patna, along with some shocking attachments regarding Indian Definitive stamps, taken from and published in Market Tipster Column of the Glen Stephens Monthly "Stamp News”, March 2013 issue. The comments made for the current Indian definitive stamps are read as follow :

Indian modern definitive stamps are often just woeful, for a country that is very keen to (be) taken seriously as a leading and emerging nation.”

Current India high value definitives look like they were produced by a half blind forger, using a 1980s laser printer near out of ink, and a blunt

nail to perforate them. Washed out colours, very crudely printed and screened, coarsely perforated, and on horrible cheap paper.”

“.............heavy overseas parcels seem to be wallpapered with Indian definitive stamps! High value current stamps used on overseas parcels

Showcase nation to the world, and the message these stamps send about India is VERY negative.”

“ I suspect anyone with access to a photocopier can forge better looking copies of these than the PO sells, so why some effort is not made

to print them professionally, is a mystery.”

“ Surely there are printers in India who can if they wish, replicate almost anything the West can produce”

All these comments with eye-opening illustrations can be seen using the following link:

This is shocking and indeed very shameful situation for us first as Indians and then as philatelists. Why did not we ourselves realise this?

Now, the point for our discussion regarding this important issue is as follows :

Is not it important and necessary for India Post to produce the definitive stamps on fine quality paper with latest

printing technologies and attractive designs ? Is the Department of Post doing right in projecting a dismal picture

of the country by producing poor quality stamps, which showcase India’s capabilities before the world ? ”

Here are some views / comments received from the members….


Madan Middha

Editor : Discussions

Philatelic Journalists Forum.



Naresh Agarwal - Bilaspur

“I felt very bad……… But then I cooled and controlled my emotions, looking in to the genuineness of the facts narrated. Undoubtedly, the quality of the Indian definitives is very poor, may it be paper, ink, printing, perforation or else.……..We must not forget that stamps are ambassador of the country. It is not only the subject matter which counts but stamp, as a piece in totality, represent a country. It is a mirror... but mirror needs to be clean and clear. There is urgent need to look in to this matter and INDIA POST should take immediate steps to improve this.”


Vijay Seth – New Delhi 

“We are not happy with the stamp designs, paper and, the list is quite long, let us all make our efforts on a common cause, I am sure we can bring a change…………….Persistence pays in the long run if you are working with a selfless motive……….…..I am willing to start a signature campaign on, (to) improve the designs and be firm on date of issue, stop personality worship, it has now become a  cult in India Post…………..we have over a crore Devis and Devtas, let us worship them in private…………….we as a nation on many occasions have ended up being a laughing stock in front of ,many nations. Let us bring an end to this…………”      


Rajesh Paharia - Jaipur

“It is indeed a good point of discussion since Postage stamps are considered as ambassadors of nation…………poorly produced stamps definitely portray bad image of the country.

But before going into it, does anybody have data and knowledge about cost of production and difference between the costs for good and poorly printed stamps. In order to discard the ( possible ) unacceptable reason of higher cost of production , we need to have this backup.”


Dr Avinash B. Jagtap - Switzerland

“There is nothing "surprising" or "shocking" what Mr. Glen Stephens of  "Stamp News" has to say about Indian Definitives.……………Also it is not clear, why India Post does not ask the opinion of the stamp collectors in India on the issue of the theme, which will  appeal to the stamp collectors at home and also abroad? In fact in Europe the respective philatelic bureaux do carry out an opinion pool to fix their strategy as regards the theme for their definitives. etc…………..Apart from it one should logically think that a definitive stamp of  Rs. 10 or 20, should appear large sized, with superb printing and the paper on which it is printed must be of a better grade than a commemorative stamp ………..”

“It is but very natural that when a person from outside criticizes the quality of India definitive stamps, we in India feel ourselves insulted. The question is: What the members, who decorate the chairs of the committee, which decides the fate of definitives do…………….. At present the decision making committee of India Post, which is responsible for the definitive stamps, is like a Step-Mother and the definitive stamps are her shabby and neglected children. What else one could say? I only wish and hope that your appeal will be heard at the upper level.”


Ajay Kumar Mittal – New  Delhi

“It is really a serious and important matter………….and should be discussed and get the view points from other concerned. I fully agree with the opinion that India Post should look into the matter and give a serious thought to this. Stamps are the paper ambassador of a country……………….. Countries like Japan, Australia, China and many others are producing very attractive definitive stamps. In present situations when use of stamps on letters is already reduced drastically……………. at least what we are producing should be attractive and of better quality. The quality of stamps which we are getting now is nowhere near our expectations. Quality checks at security printers are also not taken care of; you can find errors such as colour missing, perforation missing, paper folds, half printing, perforation shift or mis-perfs…………………….at philatelic exhibitions these varieties are exhibited by collectors. Now it is high time to give a serious thought and as true Indian we should approach appropriate authorities in India Post and Security printers to do the needful.”


Ilyas Patel -  Ahmadabad

“It is neither an acceptable nor a palatable point for India Post. First; whether India Post is ready to listen to such issues? Second; is there any responsible person in DOP to listen to this and attend seriously? Third; who is responsible for this?...................... Whatever points raised to India Post, they don't care to even reply. Then what is the meaning for all these discussions?..................I personally feel that it is a futile exercise. Prior to this, several issues have been raised in various philatelic journals and columns but in vain…………..Anyways, it is good for philatelists, to learn more with such debate.”