Gap Analysis Reveals Contradictions in Indian Stamps Listing

Sunday Feature Post By Dinu

This is an attempt to analyze statistical data related to the stamps issued by India Post since 2008.  The analysis helps understand the overall scenario of the Indian Philately for a period of more than three years.

The data-analysis is sure based on certain specific assumptions. There exist wide gaps in the fact published by the India Post website and UPU stamp catalogue database. The gap analysis has successfully revealed the contradictions prevailing therein.[ India Post website (hereinafter referred as IP – and UPU stamp catalogue database (hereinafter referred as WNS – ) ]

  • Year wise issue from 2008 to 24.02.2012\"\"
  • “Non violence day” stamp issued in 02. 10.2011 though not classified in IP as an issue it is listed under WNS as Issue IN 062.09) – this stamp is counted as October 2009 issue for this write up.
  • Similarly the Khadi stamp MS of Gandhi issued in INDIPEX 2011 is not listed as an issued stamp in IP website. No entry found for year 2011 at WNS with respect to this or any other stamp of 2011 (as of 24th February 2012). Since, this MS is a stamp it is included.
  • Collector pack of 2009 shows number of stamps as 104 – actually it is 106/107 as “greetings” stamps are counted as 2 instead of 4 (refer Sr. Nr. 91 – 92 in collectors pack). In collector pack from Cochin and Coimbatore bureau “non violence day” stamp is included and in collectors pack of Chandigarh and Delhi bureau this stamp is excluded.\"\"
  • Theme wise listing is mainly done depending on theme shown in WNS. However, there, too, few errors in entries (concerned have been informed with related issue no.) were found. So, I have classified any stamp with image of a person as “personality” as main theme (e.g. Non violence day issue is considered as personality).\"\"



  • 27 stamps of 2009 were classified as “other category” though those have certain other primary themes in WNS, as mainly interest was to calculate percentage of personality stamps used and their subclass. Example (11 stamps of Geet Govinda, 4 stamps of greetings, 2 stamps of save the Glaciers etc. are classified under “other category).\"\"
  • \"\"Size wise class were mentioned when certain size has > 1 issue in that year. Sizes where issue is just 1 are clubbed in “other size class”. For determining the size listing in WNS was used. (Excluding two issues where size mentioned in WNS is Zero x Zero mm and 380.0 mm x X mm).



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16 Responses to Gap Analysis Reveals Contradictions in Indian Stamps Listing

  1. Ujwala says:

    Appreciable analysis. Try to publish in journal with ISSN no. preferable of international standard.
    My Stamps issued in 2011 for INDEPEX 2011 held in February of the year are ‘Same design stamps issued again’ [ ] According to WNS numbering system each of these have different denomination, thus are eligible to be registered in WNS Database (Indian contribution is waiting for Registration for 2011 Stamp issues) with Different WNS numbers, However India Post website do not include them in the list of stamps issued in 2011.

  2. Anil Nawlakhe says:

    The very first stamp was also out of the ‘Statistical Analysis’ done by
    Ronald Hill purposely for the postal reforms.


    Thanks for the graphs & pie-charts. Philametering?
    These are used in so many fields to possibly predict future.
    Like stock prices.
    How to gainfully use such statstics when the ‘Janampatri’, issued
    by India Post itself is so full of Red Crosses.
    If I am correct in reading the graphs then the last 4/5 weeks of the
    calender year are very similar to the last 5-over powerplay of a 50:50
    cricket match. Maximum activity-maximum issues.

    • Dinu says:

      Dear Gargji,
      Thanks for the last line – you must be aware that graphs without conclusion is of no meaning. Here no conclusion from my side from the analysis is there. Why?

      You have spotted one conclusion (in last line of your post) – I could find seven as objective while writing; leaving it as brain teaser for esteemed readers to find out and add more and more and more ………from the facts represented

      One point is clear to me – I have no intention to predict the philately like a stock market. The piece is like a post mortem, which cannot prevent the past incedent but merely predicts the reason. I love the hobby and that’s all. I did not even know that articles on philately could be published in journal – no joke, no pun, no taunt meant to anyone by this statement. It is my sincere acceptance of my ignorance. Please do accept it in this way only.

      I appreciate and sincerely acknowledge everyone’s feedback given here.

      Best regards

    • Dinu says:

      Please see how many information brochure were not having date

      And another one

      Your own comment Sir.
      This two link given above to put the entire perspective together – My question was mute related to issue dates — I mean no issue dates on brochure

      Laughter is the best medicine when we deal with ….
      :-), 😉
      How many of those handling the philately division do know somthing about it? Is there any way to find it out by an RTI for all India basis.
      🙂 , :-O

  4. Dinu says:

    My apology for an oversight in this abridged version.

    Correction – Para 4 – line 1 -“Not” should be ommitted.
    It should read as
    “Similarly …..MS of Gandhi issued in INDIPEX 2011 is listed……”

    My apology

  5. Sandeep says:

    Dear Dinu Ji,
    I congratulate you on this marvellous analysis of stamps issue trend. Your efforts in bringing out these interesting pictures is highly appreciable. Usually we feel the trends subconsciously, but never are able to see it in black and white (or colors 🙂 ).
    The monthwise issue exhibits, building-up of a sense of urgency to issue, towards the end of the year, almost every year.
    I eagerly await the remaining part of themewise break-up for years 2010 and 11 as that would be useful for ascertaining my thematic collection.

  6. Anil Nawlakhe says:

    Please provide your email. A list of journal articles on philately will be sent to you.

  7. R.K.MISHRA says:

    A very good analytically and statistical philatelic observations work done
    which needs a lot of knowledge,time and will to do work for others,

  8. N.A. Mirza says:

    Dr. Mr. Dinu
    Its indeed a painstaking effort you have put in to give meticulous details with the help of charts and graphs. And please remember that while writing, an is error is positive and constructive. Only careful readers can detect it as Sunil Garg Saheb’s brought to our notice. Such errors cannot be deliberate and may be due to oversight for which you as the writer need not apologise.
    N.A. Mirza

    • Dinu says:

      Dear Mirzasaab,

      My apology was for the fact that I did not know this type of effort can be published in any journal, which Ujwalaji pointed out. I was just in mood to share it with like minded people.

      Shall like to give below (between Quote – Unquote) the conclusions I had drawn while writing the full feature – the post above is abridged.
      1. In general maximum issues per month was found to be normally in last quarter of the year. Exception July 2009 (when Geet Govinda having 2008 printed on stamp was issued) and February 2011 (for INDIPEX 2011?)
      2. In 2008 smallest size was 28.5 mm x 28.5 mm (Merry Christmas and Easter). The biggest landscape wise was Aga Khan foundation (Rs. 15). Portrait wise biggest stamp is Shri Saibaba 40 mm x 60 mm.
      3. In 2009 smallest size is 29 mm x 29 mm (R. Shankar, Dr. M. Sircer, V. Bhawathar) and the biggest one are 10 in Number (58 mm x 32 mm – Life line express, IOL, etc.).
      4. Maximum stamps are in approx size 29 mm x 39 mm (landscape or portrait format).
      5. Personality as a whole was approx 37% in 2008; out of this 38% (i.e 38% of 37% or 11 stamps out of total 79) is on persons related to Politics and Government (as per WNS site) .
      6. Personality as a whole was approx 30% in 2009; out of this 22% (i.e 22% of 30% or 8 stamps out of total 107) was on persons related to Politics and Government (as per WNS site)
      (collage means where more than one person is featured in one stamp

      From this following hypothesises can be made

      1. Issued stamp list as shown in website is not error free. It appears concerned Indian authority does not check WNS site for correctness of listing. (I have sent request for correction in almost 11 entries listed in 2008 and 2009 pages of WNS. Until now year 2011 is not listed in WNS and hence unable to make any comment.)
      2. Collector’s pack listing and content has to be checked before paying for it and there is no standard operating procedure. (Example: 2009 year pack)
      3. Personality, with heavy bias towards politicians, will remain as primary theme and recommendation for inclusion does not obey any laid rules. It is not the well known saying that “exception proves the rule” – In this case “exception is the rule”.
      4. List can be corrected as many times as the authority wishes during the year blatantly flouting laid rules; even displayed earlier list is also not constant and have correct information – try seeing list of 2011 as shown today (24.02.2012).
      5. It seems as per WNS guideline upto 999 stamps (3 digit numbering) can be issued in a year and in normal course IP is issuing >52 per year leading to an average of 1 issue per week. Practically it is seen that end quarter of the year has maximum issue leading to > 2 issue per week. Workload surely is heavy and with so many units ,without internal communication, working independently leads to many mistakes (Pre release of S. C. Shukla, before 10th death anniversary in Jaipur, Pre release of Ramanujan and Sekarnar, non availability of stamp on issue date – example of last one is Chandigarh GPO – I am informed that even on 25.02.2012 – ESIC stamp is not available in bureau).
      6. There is no deadline for release of issue list in website – example 2012. Philatelist are not supposed to demand it!!!!
      7. Issues can be released on holiday or Sunday thereby making it unavailable to common philatelic across the counter on the day of issue. (Question – Can normal philatelist have to take the DOI as correct for these issues – What is the international norms? – as I have no idea)

      If anyone of you is interested to make it a joint publication in any journal with your inputs you are welcome.
      Just give me your email id here and I shall contact you.

      I appreciate everyone’s feedback . Thank you, Namaskar, aadab, sadar pranam to all seniors.

    • Dinu says:

      Now I understand – thanks Mirza sahab – your comment was for my statement of 12.03.2012/ 09:54.

      I am delighted to have such fantastic blessing and encouragement from you.

  9. Anil Nawlakhe says:

    Hope the sample given with this comment will encourage you to get recognition by publication of your hard work[Why Is Elvis on Burkina Faso Postage Stamps? Cross‐Country Evidence on the Commercialization of State Sovereignty[PDF] from umich.eduJ Slemrod – Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2008 – Wiley Online Library]accessible through[]

    • Dinu says:

      Respected Nawlakheji,
      Thanks for the sample given.
      I shall surely go thru’ it and contact you after that.
      Ujjwalaji has given nice guidance in an another post so thanks to both of you. I shall do one by one as next couple of week I am on road for earning my salary 🙂

  10. Anil Nawlakhe says:

    Selection of proper journal is vital to take its benefit your career. Think for your back ground field, job area, future plans and philatelic interest; interlink these through your writting before going for publication in suitable Journal. Best Luck.

    I again appeal for initiative action to make available a standard platform for Indian Philately as commented earlier.

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