Sunday, November 26, 2017

Canada-United States Joint Issue: History of Hockey (2017)

I've finally got to writing about the surprise joint stamp issue between United States and Canada to celebrate 100 years of National Hockey League. Coincidentally, it was exactly a century ago on this day, 26th November, when NHL was launched in Montreal, Canada.

The joint issue was launched at a ceremony on 20th October 2017 in Detroit, Michigan, where officials from both USPS and Canada Post were present for the dedication. An announcement for this stamp was first made by USPS on 28th September in a press release. No prior information was available from either postal organizations. The stamp was issued in two designs, both countries using the same design. It is understood that the stamp set was designed by Subplot design, Inc (Roy White and team) with images supplied by K. C. Armstrong. Both countries deployed their art directors to guide preparation of the stamps viz. William J. Gicker (United States) and Susan Gilson (Canada). Canadian stamps were printed by Lowe Martin and the American stamps were produced at Ashton Potter. First day cancellations were provided in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.

The two stamps were designed in a tete-beche format, where both the stamps are vertically connected. Each stamp shows a hockey player in action, one in modern hockey gear and its reflection on the other stamp in historical clothing that players must have worn in older days. This design concept was shown in full on the souvenir sheets issued by both countries. In addition to the players on a frozen ice pond, a man and young girl are also shown playing hockey. Hockey has been a favorite sport for a vast majority of North Americans and this stamp design seeks to convey that message.

Canada Post issued the two stamps in a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps (5 of each design) and the souvenir sheet containing both the stamps in water-activated format. On the other hand, USPS issued the stamps in a pane of 20 stamps (10 of each design) and a souvenir sheet with both the designs. United States Postal Service only prints self-adhesive stamps. All Canadian stamps were sold as 'Permanent' rate stamps (currently C$ 0.85) and all States stamps as 'Forever' stamps (current rate $ 0.49). Quantities for stamps and other products are listed below. Stamps can be purchased from USPS and Canada Post.
Canada-United States Joint Stamp Issue: History of Hockey (2017)
Background on Hockey (or 'ice' hockey): Hockey was likely developed as a sport in the 1800s in Canada as an alternate to field hockey. Two teams (six players each) attempt to score goals in their opposing ends using curved flat wooden hockey sticks and a flat rubber puck. Professional hockey leagues were organized in early 20th century, culminating in formation of the National Hockey League in 1917. Hockey is now played all across North America with local pick up leagues as well as NHL teams spread all over the continent. NHL currently has 31 teams on its rosters, divided in Eastern and Western Conferences, each with two divisions.

While writing about this stamp issue its worth mentioning that Canada and United States have issued several other joint issues, beginning in 1959. Sometimes there are different interpretations of the joint character of stamps between two countries, so leave a message below if there is some other information to share.
Original post (29 Oct 2017): Canada and United States recently issued joint stamps on the History of Hockey. Stay tuned for an update on the stamps and other products. I will add details as soon as I receive the stamps.

Can Philatelists help India Post plan for 2015-2022? (Archived)

Update (21 Jan 2018): This post has outlived its utility and I'm planning to move to a new version soon. I'll archive this one and create a similar post with the remainder of the proposed stamp subjects and add whatever I learn from 2018 onward. Happy collecting.

Click here for the new version of this post.

Update on 26 Nov 2017
Update on 29 Oct 2017
Update on 10 Sep 2017
Updates on 01 Jul 2017
Updates on 28 May 2017
Updates on 01 April 2017
Updates on 23 Dec 2016
Updates on 03 Dec 2016
Updates on 26 Nov 2016
Updates on 17 Nov 2016
Updates on 10 Sep 2016
Updates on 20 Aug 2016 (Pink font)
Updates on 06 Aug 2016 (Red font)
Updates on 16 Jul 2016 (Purple font)
Updates on 15 May 2016 (Green font)
Updates on 16 Mar 2016 (Orange font)
Updates on 14 Feb 2016 (Blue font) 


Update (10 Sep 2016): A sub-section has been added toward the end of this post to list all the stamps that eventually get released from the proposals listed below. A few minor updates to some stamp subjects have been added as well. Appreciate the feedback and comments from all the readers. Keep'em coming.

Update (06 Aug 2016): Just re-organized this post while keeping all the information unchanged. Dates and colors indicated below will allow easy navigation.  Black font was the original post and additions or updates are in different colors and each color represents a specific date. Post a comment if there's a question. Enjoy.

There are numerous stamp issues that were put out by India Post for release in a particular year, but have not yet been released. Since the subjects were shared with the public, I am assuming these issues were approved for release. Many of these morphed into different stamp subjects. There could be various views about the list below, but one can be objective about it to help increase accountability and transparency in the process of selecting and issuing stamps.

I will try provide perspective to some of the stamp subjects hoping that these stamp releases languishing in Dak Bhawan (India Post HQ) will see the light of day. The stamp for Mumbai Stock Exchange was to commemorate 125 years of the stock exchange. Was this pulled out because it could be seen as an anti-poor move? Other issues for 2001 should be brought back, redesigned and released. Especially, the Jataka Tales and Hitopadesha stamps. The Panchatantra Stories stamps released in 2001 were quite popular and I remember hearing from our philatelic bureau those stamps being the highest seller for 2001. The Jataka Tales and Hitopadesha stamps can be released in two sets and complete a Folktales of India series (comprising of all these three folktales).

Joint issues were planned with Oman (2005) and Peru (2013), but were never released. I believe the issue with the Peru joint issue was that Peru released their stamp in March and India Post was not ready with its version. Although planned to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations, the joint issue with Oman was also not released as planned.

SAARC could have had two stamp issues - one for 20 years celebration in 2005 and the other one for South Asian Postal Union. SAARC has had a troubled history with little progress made on the ground. It would not be surprising if the Charter Day issue was abandoned due to political reasons. The SAPU stamp was overcast with the Wild Flowers of India issue during the APPU Congress in New Delhi (2013). In the past some SAARC stamps had good themes and designs - Year of Youth (1995), Year of Shelter (1991), 10 year celebrations (1996). Planning to release the pending issues will add to the new vigor with neighborly relations.

Pramathesh Barua was part of the Legendary Filmmakers series planned for release in 2006. Neither was this series started, not was a stamp released on Barua. Instead, stamps on  most other filmmakers were released individually (A. V. Meiyappan, Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, Ritwik Ghatak, L. V. Prasad).

On the other hand, the Himalayan Lakes, Landmark Bridges and Horses of India series were put in place, but some of the originally included subjects were not released. It would be ideal if these series can be continued with newer additions along with the ones that were intended for release but not included in the first issuance. A similar issue existed with stamps issues under the Festivals of India and Textiles of India stamp series. Honest opinion for Textiles stamps - Tat and Chanderi textiles were dropped to include Kalamkari (Andhra; Panbaka Lakshmi was MoS Textiles in 2009) and Apa Tani textiles (Arunachal; attempt to include North-East India).

A large set of stamp subjects (Calendar Stamps) were publicized in 2009 in the short lived Phila Post magazine. None, make note, none of these stamps have been released so far. Like the India Post-PCI collaboration on the magazine, PAC's idea of Calendar Stamps did not take off. The stamp subjects were terrific and would have done yeomen service to spread Indian culture across the world, but sadly nothing was achieved.

This post is getting quite long. I will rest my case here. This list should be used for furthering discussions with India Post and Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad (MoCIT) about stamp issues and recommendations for future releases. These stamp subjects alone should provide enough material for the next few years, leading up to the 75th Year of India's Independence (Amrut Mahotsav in 2022).

Stamp Issues Approved, but Not Released
2001
Set of 4 stamps on Greetings
Set of 4 stamps on Dances of India
Set of 4 stamps on Hitopadesha and Jataka Tales (Approved for release in 2017)

2005
India-Oman Joint Issue
SAARC Charter Day

2006
Himalayan Lakes – Loktak, Suraj Tal, Naini Tal
Landmark Bridges – Coronation Bridge, Kandrour Bridge, Laxman Jhula, Godavari Bridge
Pramathesh Barua

2007
Battaqh Ali Ansari

2008
Festivals of India – Kulu Dussehra
Infantry Soldier – Year of Infantry
Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment
Maulana Atikur Rehman Alvi
Mahanamrata Brahmachari
Textiles of India – Tat, Chanderi, Ikat, Paithani, Maheshwari, Jamdani, Kota, Sambalpuri, Angami Weaves

2009
Architectural Splendor – Ujjayanta Palace, Patwon ki Haveli, Mattancherry Palace
Buddha Jayanti
Caves (Tracing Civilizations) – Bhimbetka, Barabar, Udaigiri, Nagarjuna
Children’s Fables – Vikram & Betal, Mogli, Tenali Rama, Birbal
Hill Stations (Colonial Heritage) – Gulmarg, Darjeeling, Ooty, Shimla
Endangered Species – Ganges River Dolphin, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Himalayan Musk Deer
Greetings – Christmas, New Year
Horses of India – Spiti and Kati
House Boats – Kerala, Kashmir
National Gallery of Modern Art
Seasons of India
Shakti Temples – Kalighat, Meenakshi, Vaishno Devi, Kamakhya (Approved for release in 2017)
Unique Villages of India – Toda, Kutch
UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities

2012
Asiatic Black Bear and other wild animals (Set of 4 stamps)
Boats of India (Set of 4 stamps)
Flowers of India (Set of 2 stamps)
Government College, Ajmer
Railway Bridges of India (Set of 4 stamps)
Traditional Embroideries of India - Chikankari, Kutchi, Kashmiri, Phulkari, Kantha (Approved for release in 2017)
Tribal Dwellings (Set of 4 stamps)

2013
Dr. Nilratan Sircar
India-Peru Joint Issue
South Asian Postal Union

2014
Jyoti Basu (Uncertain for issuance)
Machali, The Tigress

2015
Bhupesh Gupta (Likely to be released in 2016) (Uncertain for issuance)
D. Devaraj Urs (Likely to be released in 2016) (Uncertain for issuance)

The following subjects should be/are being considered for release in the next few years as well:
2016
Balasaheb Deoras
Banda Singh Bahadur
Bishop Cotton School, Bengaluru
Delhi High Court - Golden Jubilee
Eknath Ranade
Gaurishankar Govardhan Joshi 'Dhumketu' (Approved for release in 2017)
International Year of Pulses
St. Mary's School, Pune
St. Mary’s Convent Inter College, Allahabad

2017
70 Years of Independence
100 Years of Kheda Movement
100 Years of Sabarmati Ashram
200 Years of Paika Rebellion
Amritlal Nagar
Auroville (Golden Jubilee)
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai
FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017
Hindu School, Kolkata
India-Armenia: Joint Issue (Approved for release in 2017)
India-UN Joint Issue: International Day of Yoga
Laxmanrao Inamdar
Lions International Centenary
Presidency University, Kolkata
Queen Heo Hwang-ok (Korean queen from Ayodhya)
Swami Abhedananda
Patna University
Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Dayalbagh

2018
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Rajkumar School, Rajkot
Ravenshaw University, Cuttack (150 Years) - MyStamp
Osmania University, Hyderabard (100 Years) - MyStamp
Sikander Bakht
Nelson Mandela
Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha
Srimant Sankardev
Vinda Karandikar
50 Years of Commercial Nuclear Power - Tarapur
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi
Bose Institute
Ramamand Sagar
Chandrakant Patel
B. Nagi Reddi
Oliver Reginald Tambo
Maniram Dewan
The Yoga Institute, Mumbai (100 Years)
Jyotirlinga Temples
The Maihar Band (100 Years)
Bhagvadgita
ISRO - Golden Jubilee

2019
150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
CISF - Central Industrial Security Force
High Court of Punjab & Haryana Centenary
Sherwood College, Nainital
St. Aloysius Senior Secondary School, Jabalpur
Amrita Pritam
Maharani Gayatri Devi
Guru Nanak Dev - 550th Parkash Utsav
International Film Festival of India (Golden Jubilee)

2020
Modern School, New Delhi
ASSOCHAM
36th International Geological Congress
Pandurang Shastri Athavle
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

2021
India-Bangladesh: Joint Issue (50 & 75 Years of Independence)
75 Years of India's Independence


BetterPhilately Wish List
B. D. Jatti
Balasaheb Thackarey
Balasheb Deoras
Chinmayananda Saraswati (1916-1993)
Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy
Eknath Ranade
Gopal Swarup Pathak
I. K. Gujral
J. Jayalalithaa
K. R. Narayanan
Khushabhau Thakre (1922-2003)
Mohammad Hidayatullah
N. Sanjeeva Reddy
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Shivmangal Singh Suman
Siyaram Sharan Gupt
V. P. Singh

Stamps Released, Eventually
2001 - Mumbai Stock Exchange (To be released in July 2016; released on 09 Jul 2016)
2012 - Indian Metal Crafts (Set of 2 stamps) (To be released in Aug 2016 as a set of 6 stamps, released on 26 Aug 2016)
2015 - Fire Services in India (Released on 14 Apr 2016)
2016 - Singers of India (To be release in 2016 as Legendary Singers of India) -  Issued 31 Dec 2016
2016 - Acharya Vimal Sagar (Approved for release in 2016) - Issued on 14 Dec 2016
2016 - Samrat Vikramaditya - Issued on 22 Dec 2016
2013 - Headgears of India - Issued on 10 Feb 2017
2013 - Means of Transport through the Ages - Issued on 25 Mar 2017
2017 - Montfort Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Yercaud - MyStamp issued on 11 Feb 2017
2017 - 100 Years of Champaran Movement - Issued on 13 May 2017
2017 - Srimad Ramanujacharya (Approved for release in 2017) - Issued on 01 May 2017
2017 - Banaras Hindu University (Approved for release in 2017) Issued on 28 Jun 2017
2017 - Srimad Rajchandra (Approved for release in 2017) Issued on 29 Jun 2017
2017 - Survey of India (250 Years) Issued on 22 Jun 2017
2017 - Bhisham Sahni (Approved for release in 2017) Issued on 31 May 2017
2015 - Ramayana - Issued on 22 Sep 2017
2017 - Mathura Refinery - MyStamp on sale in Sep 2017
2017 - India-Russia: Joint Issue (Approved for release in 2017) - Issued on 26 Oct 2017
2016 - Nanaji Deshmukh - Issued on 11 Oct 2017
2008 - Maulana Mehmood Hassan (Released as Silk Letter Movement) - Issued in Jan 2013
2015 - Mahabharata (Approved for release in 2017) - Issued on 27 Nov 2017
2018 - Shirdi Sai Baba - Samadhi Centenary - Issued on 15 Dec 2017
2013 - Traditional Indian Handfans (Approved for release in 2017) - Issued on 30 Dec 2017
2012 - Step Wells of India – Maharaja Agrasen Baoli and others (Approved for release in 2017) - Issued on 29 Dec 2017
2009 - Rani ki Var (Issued on 29 Dec 2017 in Stepwells issue)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

India Post Stamps on Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport 2017

Update on 05 Nov 2017: Here's what I thought about the stamp issue on the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. The key issue was with the stamp design. These stamps were intended to celebrate 75 years of operation of the airport and not to showcase the new airport terminal. The stamp designer, obviously under pressure from the airport operator used images from Terminal 2, which was only completed in 2014. Even if only Terminal 2 images were planned to be used, and given that it's an operational airport teeming with passengers and airport staff, the stamps could have depicted the terminal and gates with people using the facilities. The souvenir sheet also shows the terminal schematic on the bottom right. I understand that it was only a graphical representation, but the south pier of the airport looks different than what's shown here. The logo used on the miniature sheet was also modified to remove the Hindi text from original. Lastly, why was the English title above the Hindi text? This is among the rare stamp issues where the English title is so prominent, when compared with the vernacular description. See the images below that show these oddities.

My first recommendation for the stamp design would have been to expand this set to have at least 4 of the oldest operational airports shown on stamps. I'd have incorporated a transition from the oldest to the new terminal in a graphical manner (Civil aviation set from 2012 was a good design). In case of Mumbai airport, a glimpse of the Jaya He Museum could have been used more emphatically. Anyways, I was expecting more from the stamp designer, Brahm Prakash. Some of his designs (Metal Crafts stamps in 2016) were acceptable, but majority of them have been hit or miss. This was a missed opportunity, which could have led to creation of a simple set of 4 stamps with four different airports.
CSIA images likely supplied by the airport operator to India Post. Note the stamp denomination and bold text in Hindi title
Update on 29 Oct 2017: India Post had issued stamps in two designs on the Mumbai International Airport on 15th October. I will provide some details on the stamp designs and other information in the next few days.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Russia-India Joint Issue: Folk Dance

Update on 29 Oct 2017: The India-Russia joint issue was issued as planned on 26th October on the Russian dance Bererzka (or Beroyzka) and the Indian dance form Bhavai. The Russian 'Marka' released two stamps as a sheetlet with 4 stamps of each design and a label in the center of the sheet. Russia also prepared a presentation pack with stamps from both countries included. India Post issued the two stamps in a slightly different design in two sheets of 45 stamps each and a souvenir sheet of 2 designs. Both sides also put cacheted first day covers for sale.

The Indian souvenir sheet shows historical monuments from both the countries in addition to the two dance forms. India's Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and Moscow's Saint Basil's Cathedral are depicted as the background for the dancers. Hawa Mahal is located in the city of Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan, which is the state of origin of Bhavai dance as well. The Indian stamp and souvenir sheet were designed by Kamleshwar Singh and the Russian stamps were designed by V. Beltyukov. The souvenir sheet from India was particularly well designed. Kamleshwar Singh has designed some of the best stamps for India Post over the last two decades. The art work was well planned and the souvenir sheet had continuity of design beyond the stamps.

Unlike the Canada-India joint issue, no big celebrations were organized for stamp dedication. Officials from the Indian Embassy visited the headquarters of the 'Marka' and were presented with a framed version of the Russian stamps. No other ceremonies have been reported so far. A total of 25 sheetlets have been printed by Russia whereas the 0.5 million stamps of each design and 0.1 million souvenir sheets have been printed for the Indian products.

Below is some detail for the two dance forms:
Copied from Utsavpedia: Bhavai is a folk dance with swaying and twirling movements that is performed by women from certain tribes from the state of Rajasthan. This folk dance is one of the state’s most exciting dance performances as it involves tricky balancing acts, right from balancing seven to nine brass pots on the head to balancing oneself (along with the pots) on narrow and unstable objects like a glass bottle, brass plate or the edge of a sword. The brass pots can, and are often, substituted by an even greater number of earthen pots. Bhavai is also one of the most colorful performances of the state as the women wear bright colored ghaghra cholis and dupattas. The men from these communities offer the music to this dance, using string and percussion instruments. Bhavai dance is often misinterpreted from ‘Bhavai’ which is a folk theatre form of Gujarat.

From Indian stamp brochure: Beryozka round dance is one of the famous Russian folk dances. This is an ancient round social Slavonic ritual folk dance. Dancers hold hands and the disctinctive element of the dance are simple steps in a circle simultaneous squatting of all dancers on a certain beat of the music. A stage version is based on the folk dance. In this case, women perform it wearing psuedo-Russian stage outfits, styles on the Nizhny Novogorod girls (a jacket, a sarafan, a kokoshnik or a headscarf) their hair is braided. The dancers move in a circle, after each other, in single file, in two lines, rotating around each other or in pairs around common centers in the groups. The steps are short and frequent, creating the impression of slipping (like a swan swimming). The dancers hold handkerchiefs or branches of birch in their hands which symbolizes farewell to the spring. The general mood of the dance is melancholic.

India-Russia: Joint Issue (2017)
Russia-India: Joint Issue (2017)
Update on 10 Oct 2017: A new joint stamp between Russia and India will be issued in 2017. The stamps will depict folk dances from both the countries. I will add more details once images for the stamp issues are available. Russia Post has announced 26th October as the date of issuance.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Canada-India Joint Issue: Diwali

India Post and Canada Post had been planning on issuing their first ever joint stamps at least since November 2016. India Post's stamp program for 2017 actually listed joint issue with Canada in two themes, but I'm not sure what was the plan for the second theme. Top officials from India Post and Canada Post met in Toronto in February 2017 to put an agreement in place to design and release stamps in September 2017 to celebrate the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. These stamps were subsequently designed and issued on 21st September. Canada Post had remained silent on the issuance date and designs for these stamps until the day of issue, but the Indian Government had announced the release in the last week of August. The federal government's Cabinet was informed of the joint issue with Canada on 30th August 2017.

Two stamp designs were used by both postal administrations to depict the Diwali festival. Gerald Querubin of Entro Communications designed the Canadian version and Alka Sharma created the art work for the Indian side. Both countries used the same stamp designs and the issuance date for the joint issue. Canada post issued the two stamps as 'Permanent' rate in a booklet of 10 stamps whereas India Post issued one stamps in Rupees 5 and the other one in Rupees 25 denomination. India Post also issued a souvenir sheet that has both the Rupees 5 and 25 stamps. Canada Post issued a Siamese twin souvenir sheet, which contains the Canadian stamp in C$2.50 and the Indian stamp in Rupees 25 denomination. Lowe Martin printed the Canadian stamp booklet and the joint souvenir sheet whereas Security Printing Press, Hyderabad printed the Indian stamps and souvenir sheet.

The stamps were issued on 21st September, in two ceremonies at the home of the High Commissioner of Canada to India in New Delhi and at the City Hall in Toronto.

Diwali festival is celebrated in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. The festival celebrates the triumph of goodness over evil. Goodness is symbolized by light and evil by darkness. Many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists take part in these annual festivities. A few weeks before Diwali all places of worship, work or living are cleaned and decorated. Many communities follow cultural traditions by lighting small oil lamps (called diya), cooking sweets and festival feast and by creating art patters (called rangoli) using paint or flowers. Families and friends also take part in fireworks displays and visit elders to get their blessings. Many businesses prepare new account books and pray for god fortune. Diwali is celebrated based on many historical/mythological events, which vary in different communities. One of the beliefs is that Lord Ram returned home on the day of Diwali, after fourteen years of exile.

One can buy the Indian stamps from ePostOffice and the Candian ones from Canada Post.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Postage Stamps on Indian Hand Fans (2017)

India Post will likely issue a set of stamps on traditional Indian Hand Fans in the last quarter of 2017. The stamp issue was first proposed for issuance in 2012-13. These stamps have been designed in conjunction with the well renowned artist, Jatin Das' collection of Indian Hand Fans, known as Pankha (the word for fan in Hindi). This will be the second set of stamps in 2017, after the Transport stamp issue that uses a private collection as the source of stamp objects.

Indian Hand Fans on Postage Stamps (2017).
So far, its become clear that this set of stamps will contain of a miniature sheet with 16 designs and possibly 16 other miniature sheets with individual stamps. Each of the stamps will be of Rupees 15 denomination.

A list of hand fans that are depicted on the stamps is below. These 16 stamp designs are on one large miniature sheet and then each of these same type of hand fans are also depicted on miniature sheets with single stamps. This issue is like an amalgamation of the Splendor of India and Transport stamps issues of 2017.  I say that because the individual and one large miniature sheet format was used for the Splendor of India issue and the similar to the Transport stamp issue, there will likely be 4 sheetlets with a set of 4 hand fan designs per sheetlet. The striking feature about this stamp issue so far is that the individual miniature sheets may or may not have the same stamp design/formats are the large miniature sheet and this could create way more than 16 stamp designs in the stamp series. I've posted a few images for reference below as well. 

The stamp designs are quite simplistic and could evoke different opinions among the collectors. I personally liked the individual miniature sheets more than the large miniature sheet, which is quite plain with just the fans placed on a white background. The stamp set will likely be printed at India Security Press, Nashik.
Indian Hand Fans Postage Stamps Miniature Sheet (2017).
 
Indian Hand Fans Postage Stamps - Individual Miniature Sheets (2017).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

India Post Stamp Subjects for 2017 (Jan-Jun 2017) - Archived

ARCHIVED POST

Check out the new post here.

Update (30 June 2017): I will archive this post from Jan to June 2017, after this last update for the first six months. Along with the planned stamp issue on Shrimad Rajchandra Ji, India Post issued the se-tenant stamp on Banaras Hindu University on 28th June. The date for issuance was not announced prior to the day of issue. The Prime Minister of India participated in an event to celebrate the centenary of Sabarmati Ashram and the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandra on 29th June in Ahmedabad. A special cover was released on the Sabarmati Ashram and a postage stamp on Shrimad Rajchandra. The Sabarmati Ashram was Mahatma Gandhi's home in Ahmedabad and Shrimad Rajchandra was Gandhi's spiritual guru. That's some good event planning.

The stamps on Banaras Hindu University was issued by MoS Communications on 28th June. The minister is an alumni of the Institute of Technology and it made sense to have him participate in the dedication ceremony. Even though the stamp designs showed a few buildings on campus, it would have been nice to put Madan Mohan Malaviya's image as well. He was instrumental in developing the idea of this university and was its founder. Surprisingly, made an impromptu announcement that a new MyStamp will be issued on the university and its founder. No stamp issue dates have been announced for new stamp issues. 

That's it for the blockbuster six months of 2017. Over 100 stamps haven been issued this year so far and India Post is well on its way to create a record of sorts. This post is getting excessively long and I'm archiving it. A new post will be started for the remainder of the year. 

Recently Issued Stamps
18 June - Jhala Manna
22 June - Survey of India (2 designs)
23 June - The Passports Act, 1967 (50 Years)
28 June - Banaras Hindu University (Se-tenant of 2 designs)
29 June - Shrimad Rajchandraji

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
MyStamp - Indian Journal of Ophthalmology
MyStamp - Banaras Hindu University / Madan Mohan Malaviya
Ramayana (11 designs)

Update (24 June 2017): In addition to the two scheduled stamp issues on Jhala Manna and Survey of India, another stamp on the 50 years of Passports Act, 1967 was issued on 23rd June. Here's a quick update on the three issues so far and some on forthcoming stamp designs. 

The stamp on Jhala Manna was dedicated by the local MP, C. P. Joshi on 18th June in Barisadri (Chittorgath district). Next, a set of two stamps along with a miniature sheet was issued to celebrate 250 Years of Survey of India in New Delhi on 22nd June. The event was attended by Minister of Science and Technology and MoS Communications. These stamp designs included the logo of Survey of India, an old theodolite and an old image of the organization's museum in Dehradun. Even though the design was minimalist and clean, given the rich history of Survey of India, it could have been far more detailed. The stamps could have included some maps and a reference to the 250 years as well. Wish these stamps were designed by Kamleshwar Singh or Sankha Samanta. 

Another stamp, previously unannounced or approved, was issued to commemorate 50 Years of the Passports Act, 1967. The Rs 25 stamp was issued by MoS Communications and Minister of External Affairs on 23rd June during a conference of passport officers. The act that enabled provisions of issuing passports to Indian citizens was enacted on 24 June 1967. The Minister of External Affairs said during the event that the original plan was to issue a special cover, but then she asked MoS Communications to consider a postage stamp instead. So a stamp design was prepared, approved and printed within three days before the stamps release! 

Stamp designs for two new issues, Ramayana and Banaras Hindu University were found on the internet as well. Images for these and other new stamps have been on several social media platforms. No issue dates have been announced barring the one on 29th June (Shrimad Rajchandraji).
Recently Issued Stamps
18 June - Jhala Manna
22 June - Survey of India (2 designs)
23 June - The Passports Act, 1967 (50 Years)

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
29 June - Shrimad Rajchandraji
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
MyStamp - Indian Journal of Opthalmology
Ramayana (11 designs)
Banaras Hindu University (Se-tenant)

Update (17 June 2017): As has been the norm for past several years, India Post has not shared information on any new dates of stamp issuance. Several collectors and news reports have found details for potential stamp issues planned for June. A stamp on Man Singh Jhala, colloquially Jhala Manna, will be issued in Chittorgarh district on 18th June. It's likely the MoS Communications will travel to Barisadri for the dedication ceremony. A set of two stamps could be issued on 250 Years of Survey of India on 22nd June. I had predicted this issue on 01st April in another blog post, even though it was not approved by the Philatelic Advisory Committee late last year. The Prime Minister of India will be in Gujarat on 28-29th June and it is possible that during a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, a stamp on the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandra Ji could be dedicated. Images of this stamp have been out in public for a few months now. There has been some momentum on a series of 11 stamps on Ramayana, an epic of Hindu religion. This highly anticipated set of stamps could be issued sometime in June, but again, no firm dates yet. PNG Post is likely to complete printing of the Papua - India joint stamp issue by end of June and then the stamps could be issued anytime after that. The Indian version of this stamp, which has an identical design, is also under print.

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
18 June - Jhala Manna
22 June - Survey of India (2 designs)
29 June - Shrimad Rajchandraji
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
MyStamp - Indian Journal of Opthalmology
Ramayana (11 designs)

Update (04 June 2017): It's been a few weeks since new updates were added to this post. I was traveling and India Post information was received somewhat late as well. Several stamps, most previously known, were issued in late-April and all through May. 

First up on 22nd April was a stamp and a miniature sheet on a telecommunications training institute in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. This organization is celebrating its 75th year and the MoS Communications dedicated the stamp at a ceremony in Jabalpur. There are two problems with this particular stamp issue that need to be addressed. Why was a second stamp and even a miniature sheet necessary on the institute, the first one having been issued in 1992? Why was the miniature sheet designed as if it was commemorating an art institute? India Post seriously needs to re-consider giving projects to artists that cannot even comprehend the stamp subject, telecom in this case.

The coffee-scented stamp was dedicated by MoS Communications and MoS Commerce & Industry in Bengaluru at a ceremony organized in the GPO on 23rd April. Kudos to India Post for a well thought idea, but again I have two problems to highlight: the stamp design and the coffee fragrance itself. Just showing coffee beans and coffee powder on a sheet of gummed paper makes no sense. Coffee Board of India has done many print media campaigns and could have easily assisted in developing a better design. Many collectors have also complained that the coffee fragrance was not strong enough and some even suggesting that India Post should recall this product.

The stamp issue with three designs on Telugu poets and authors was well designed and issued in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh on 26th April. The only suggestion for improving these type of issues is to consider categorizing them under the Personality Series, like it was done late last year on the Personalities of Bihar.

Prime Minister of India dedicated a 25 Rupees stamp on the famous Bhakti Movement saint, Ramanujacharya on 1st May to commemorate his 1000th birth anniversary year. The stamp design by Subir Das was simplistic and unlikely using images from Sriperumbudur (the saint's birthplace). The Prime Minister also mentioned about this stamp before it was issued on his monthly radio program, Mann Ki Baat in late April.

Telecom Regulatory Authority or TRAI is celebrating its 20th year of formation and a stamp well designed by Kamleshwar Singh was dedicated at a seminar organized in New Delhi on 5th May by MoS Communications. Had the logo of TRAI been included on the stamp itself, this would have become a complete stamp issue with all relevant design elements. Oh, well.

The next stamp issue was along the expected lines. It was to celebrate 100 years of Champaran Satyagraha and was dedicated in Bettiah, Bihar on 13th May by MoS Communications. This set of 3 stamps was designed by Sankha Samanta and was almost executed to perfection. The stamps were printed in indigo color to represent the indigo farmers of Bihar that initiated the revolt against the British rule in 1917. But, like most stamp issues this year, this one had a glitch as well. The 10 Rupees stamp showing Kasturba Gandhi does not have the inscription in Hindi, whereas the 25 Rupees stamp showing Mahatma Gandhi and indigo farmers has two inscriptions in Hindi instead. This error was recognized by the stamp designer as well. We'd recommend to buy the 10 Rupees stamp sheet for collection.

A stamp on Hanagal Kumaraswami Ji of Karnataka was dedicated on 19th May in Hubballi by MoS Communications. This stamp celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the ascetic was not approved late last year, but was recently proposed by Pralhad Joshi, Member of Parliament. 

Kirron Kher (Member of Parliament) dedicated the set of five stamps on eminent Indian writers on 31st May at Panjab University, Chandigarh. This stamp issue had been pending since January 2017. Like has been the case over several years, no dates for future stamp issues have been shared by India Post, leaving no time for collectors to prepare and plan stamp purchases.

Stamps Issued in 2017
22 April - Bharat Ratna Bhimrao Ambedkar Institute of Telecom Training, Jabalpur
23 April - Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
26 April - Aatukuri Kummari Molla,Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Tarigonda Vengamamba
01 May - Ramanujacharya
05 May - Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
10 May - MyStamp - Rumtek Monastery
13 May - Champaran Satyagraha Centenary
19 May - Shri Hanagal Kumaraswamiji
31 May - Eminent Writers: Krishan Chander, Balwant Gargi, K. V. Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Pandit Shrilal Shukla

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
MyStamp - Indian Journal of Opthalmology
Shrimad Rajchandraji

Update (18 April 2017): A se-tenant stamp on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's Deekshabhoomi was dedicated by the Prime Minister of India in Nagpur to celebrate Ambedkar's birth anniversary on the 14th April. Even though I haven't been able to get information on the designer yet (will update this later), the stamps were well designed. It reminds of the se-tenant on Akshardham Temple issued late last year. Despite this well planned stamp release, the stamp set on Eminent Writers was postponed once again. The design for these stamps was shared by BetterPhilately earlier, but the issue date continues to be uncertain. Two other commemorative stamps are planned for issuance in April, but let's wait and watch.

We can now confirm three other MyStamp issues that were issued in 2017, one in March and two in April that seemingly went unnoticed. Two MyStamp sheetlets were issued by the President of India on 160 years of University of Mumbai (March 17) and another on Global Exhibition on Services (April 17). The third stamp on Indian Journal of Ophthalmology was put on sale on ePostOffice on 7th April, but no dedication ceremony has been held yet (Update on 19 April 2017: This stamp has been removed from ePostOffice and is no longer available for sale).

Stamps Issued in 2017
14 April - Deekshabhoomi (Nagpur)
17 April - MyStamp - Global Exhibition on Services

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
22 April - Bharat Ratna Bhimrao Ambedkar Institute of Telecom Training, Jabalpur
26 April - Aatukuri Kummari Molla,Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Tarigonda Vengamamba
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
Eminent Writers (5 designs w/ Miniature Sheet, Rs 50): Krishan Chander, Balwant Gargi, K. V.
Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Pandit Shrilal Shukla
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
MyStamp - Indian Journal of Opthalmology
Shrimad Rajchandraji
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Update (10 April 2017): A poorly designed stamp on Cub Scouts was dedicated by the Minister of Communications on 30th March. This stamp was essentially an image of cub scouts in front of the headquarters of the Scouting organization in New Delhi. It is surely the worst design among the ones issued this year. India Post and its leadership ought to select some sensible designs and artists to improve and build on the the past experience rather than provide patchy progress, one good step forward (thematic issues this year) and several steps back (Cub Scouts, M. G. Ramachandran).

India Post has finally put out some issue dates for stamps in April. Stamps on several personalities will be issued this month. Another new addition in the ever expanding list of approved stamps is Ambedkar Institute of Telecom Training, Jabalpur. A stamp was issued in 1992 to commemorate the same institution, but this new one will now celebrate 75 years of its establishment. There are many organizations and events that deserve to be celebrated on  stamps and re-issuing stamps on the same subject repeatedly had no logic.

Stamp Issues in 2017
30 March - Cub Scouts

Forthcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
13 April - Eminent Writers (5 designs w/ Miniature Sheet, Rs 50)
                Krishan Chander, Balwant Gargi, K. V. Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Pandit Shrilal Shukla
14 April - Deekshabhoomi (Nagpur)
22 April - Bharat Ratna Bhimrao Ambedkar Institute of Telecom Training
26 April - Aatukuri Kummari Molla,Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Tarigonda Vengamamba
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
Shrimad Rajchandraji
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Update (28 Mar 2017): Another huge set of stamps with 20 designs was dedicated on 25th March at the Heritage Transport Museum near Gurugram. These stamps show Means of Transport Through the Ages, depicting various modes of transport used in India over the past several centuries. Brahm Prakash designed the stamps and associated products. This issue has a striking similarity to the Indian Metal Crafts stamps issued in 2016; also designed by Brahm Prakash. His design appears to focus on the object and has minimal other design elements and doesn't attempt to develop a story through the series. I had posted a list of the stamp designs in the last update (see below) and that appears to be accurate. Some additional details and an image are provided below. This series deserves a follow up set of stamps in a couple years and should include the following: Bicycle, Moped and Motorcycle, Auto-rickshaw and Taxi, Cars (Jeep, Vans and Maruti), Trucks, Trains and Boats. Dates for no other stamp issues have been revealed by India Post.

I had also reported on Better Philately twitter feed a few weeks ago that a new MyStamp was issued on Montfort School, Yercaud. It has been confirmed that indeed this was a new MyStamp to celebrate the school's centenary year, which was presented at a ceremony in mid-February. A MyStamp was also issued on the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel in 2016 as well. No images for this stamp are available yet and the stamp sheet is not for sale on ePostOffice either. 

It was found that another customized MyStamp was printed on Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in Febryary 2017. A grand temple ceremony was held on 09th February and the MyStamp sheet celebrates this event. Check out an image of this stamp sheet on Better Philately twitter page. This stamp sheet is not yet available for purchase on ePostOffice.

Stamps Issued in 2017
09 Feb - MyStamp - Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
11 Feb - MyStamp - Montfort School, Yercaud
25 Mar - Means of Transport Through the Ages (20 designs)
This issue has three main products: a prestige booklet with 5 miniature sheets (Rs 600); 5 sheetlets with 20 stamps in each sheetlet (Rs 275 each); and a miniature sheet with 20 stamps (Rs 275)
 Sheet 1 - Palanquins – Boutcha Palanquin, Chowpaul Palanquin, Long Palanquin, Meeana Palanquin
 Sheet 2 - Bullock Cart & Horse Carriage – Bullock Cart, Horse Carriage, Rath Bullock Cart, Tonga
 Sheet 3 - Rickshaw – Cycle Rickshaw, Hand Rickshaw, Motorcycle Rickshaw, School Rickshaw
 Sheet 4 - Vintage Car – Austin 1928, Chevrolet 1932, Ford 1938, Rolls Royce 1909
 Sheet 5 - Public Transport – Bus, Double Decker Bus, Tram, Metro

Upcoming Stamp Issues
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
Cub Scouts (Centenary)
Eminent Writers (5 designs w/ Miniature Sheet, Rs 50)
      Krishan Chander, Prof. Balwant Gargi, K. V. Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Pandit Shrilal Shukla
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
Shrimad Rajchandraji
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Update (18 Mar 2017): Just one new commemorative stamp has been issued by India Post over the last few weeks. The Prime Minister of India dedicated a stamp on Yogoda Satsanga Society of India on 07th March in New Delhi. The stamp design by Alka Sharma uses most of the elements from the centenary year logo itself, but nonetheless is appealing. 

Several stamps are planned for issuance this year, but India Post has not provided any new dates for new stamp releases. See images for some forthcoming stamps below. The set of stamps for Means of Transport through the Ages appears to be well designed, but several modes of transport are missing. For example, no bicycles, motorcycles, Indian cars, trains and airplanes are included. I imagine there will be another set of stamps necessary to complete this series. 

Two new stamp subjects, Cub Scouts and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have also been included in the stamp program. One of these stamps will likely be issued in March 2017 itself, but no specific date is confirmed.

Upcoming Stamp Issues in 2017
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
Cub Scouts (Centenary)
Eminent Writers (5 designs w/ Miniature Sheet, Rs 50)
      Krishan Chander, Prof. Balwant Gargi, K. V. Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Pandit Shrilal Shukla
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
Means of Transport Through the Ages (20 designs w/ 5 Miniature Sheets and 6 Sheetlets):
      Bullock Cart & Horse Carriage – Bullock Cart, Horse Carriage, Rath Bullock Cart, Tonga
      Palanquins – Boutcha Palanquin, Chowpaul Palanquin, Long Palanquin, Meeana Palanquin
      Public Transport – Bus, Double Decker Bus, Tram, Metro
      Rickshaw – Cycle Rickshaw, Hand Rickshaw, Motorcycle Rickshaw, School Rickshaw
      Vintage Car – Austin 1928, Chevrolet 1932, Ford 1938, Rolls Royce 1909
Shrimad Rajchandraji
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Update (04 Mar 2017): Since the last update, three stamps have been issued by India Post. Two of these were MyStamp sheetlets, one fragrant stamp issued on Rose and another one on Holi festival. Both these are personalized sheetlets, where a picture can be provided to the post office for printing on the blank portion of the stamps. Two points of note: Firstly, description on both the stamps has English first followed by the vernacular description in Hindi.  This had not happened in many years and there are rare examples of this. Secondly, MyStamp is not explicitly described on individual stamps. This feature has been inconsistently used by the stamp designers for MyStamps issued in the past.

The other stamp issue was on Ladybird Beetle in 4 designs. Suresh Kumar Achari designed this set of four stamps, each showing a beetle in different color. Stamps were issued in two formats, a miniature sheet containing four stamps and 4 sheetlets with 16 stamps each. The format of these sheetlets was different in each sheetlet and not a single se-tenant block of four can be obtained! These sheetlets do allow to have multiple formats of se-tenant of 3 stamps.

A postage stamp on Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (established by Yogananda Paramhansa in 1917) will be dedicated on 07th March by the Prime Minister of India in New Delhi. Several other pending stamp do not have known dates of issuance.
Ladybird Beetle Sheetlet Formats (India Post; Feb 2017)
Stamps Issued in 2017
14 Feb - MyStamp - Rose (Fragrant Stamp)
23 Feb - Ladybird Beetles of India (4 designs)
03 Mar - MyStamp - Holi
07 Mar - Yogoda Satsanga Society of India
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
Cub Scouts (Centenary)
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
Means of Transport Through Ages (20 designs)

Update (13 Feb 2017): It is likely that the issuance of the fragrant souvenir sheet on Coffee is likely postponed. Other stamps that have so far been issued as planned. The first issue in February was a miniature sheet of 16 designs showcasing some Head Gears of India. These stamps designed by Gulistaan were not issued in any other format. This pane of stamps was dedicated by senior postal officials at the 31st Surajkund Crafts Mela in Faridabad. Along with the Hear Gears stamps, a new MyStamp sheetlet was also issued to celebrate the Surajkund Festival itself. Another MyStamp sheetlet was issued on the same day on the foundation day of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in Delhi. This organization implements Indian government's energy efficiency programs - it has played a key role in the recent mass distribution of LED lights across India. The very next day, on 11th February, a stamp was issued on the bicentenary of The Poona Horse regiment of the Indian Army. The stamps were dedicated in a ceremony at the regimental headquarters in Meerut. 

A stamp that was postponed from mid-January on Ramjas College Centenary was finally issued by the President of India in New Delhi on 13th February. Ramjas College was one of the 5 founding colleges of Delhi University, the others being St. Stephens College, Hindu College and Zakir Hussain College. A fragrant MyStamp sheetlet on Rose will be issued on Valentine's Day. This along with many other stamp issues will likely be available for purchase on ePostOffice, but lately, no updates have been made on ePostOffice, and no clear reason has been provided by the post office.

Upcoming Stamp Issues (2017)
10 Feb - Headgears of India (16 designs)
10 Feb - MyStamp - Surajkund Mela (2 designs)
10 Feb - MyStamp - Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)
11 Feb - The Poona Horse (1817-2017)
13 Feb - Ramjas College, Delhi
14 Feb - MyStamp - Rose (Fragrant Stamp)
23 Feb - Ladybird Beetles of India (4 designs)
Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)
Means of Transport Through Ages (20 designs)

Update (06 Feb 2017): January ended with 35 stamp issues (including 2 sets of 12 designs for Splendor of India). The last issue in January was on the new venture from India Post, a Payments Bank. Two branches of this bank were launched by the Finance Minister and MoS Communications of India on 30th January, along with the stamp release and the release of the bank's logo. The stamp was well designed - with the new logo and the postman as the central theme - by Sankha Samanta. Stamp designs are refreshing this year and a welcome change from the lack of innovation last few years.

Tentative dedication dates for a few stamp subjects are known and listed below. The Headgears of India stamp issue was originally listed for issuance in 2013. This will likely be a set of 16 designs issued in one miniature sheet of 16 designs, but let's wait to confirm. India Post's website has also listed the Poona Horse and Ramjas College stamps for issuance next week. Right after these stamps, two stamps with fragrance will be issued on Valentine's Day. Three other stamp issues are coming up for release soon, but the dates are yet to be confirmed.

Will there be a stamp issued on J. Jayalalithaa this year? Will the India-Russia joint stamp issued mid-March on in June, when the Prime Minister of India visits Russia for an economic conference? I've updated details for the January 2017 stamps in another post. Click here to find more.

Upcoming Stamps Issues in 2017
10 Feb - Headgears of India (16 designs)
11 Feb - The Poona Horse (1817-2017)
13 Feb - Ramjas College, Delhi
14 Feb - Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
14 Feb - MyStamp - Rose (Fragrant Stamp)
23 Feb - Ladybird Beetles of India (4 designs)
Means of Transport Through Ages (20 designs)
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)

Update (24 Jan 2017): India Post has been putting out quite a few announcements for stamps releases in 2017. My thought is that India Post will likely issue over 100 stamps in no time and many of these could be higher denomination stamps. I suggest that collectors reduce the requirements in the philatelic deposit account at the philatelic bureaus to lessen the expenditure and purchase desired issues on ePostOffice or over the counter. This approach is typical in the United States, where very few collectors have standing orders in post offices. It is best to buy only what is needed to keep the collections complete. I believe that India Post is planning a large number of stamp issues and high denomination stamps to fulfill sales targets and make stamp sales a lucrative business.

Last few weeks haven't seen too many new stamp issues, but one of the issues was correctly predicted by BetterPhilately. This year is M G Ramachandran's birth centenary and India Post issued a stamp in Chennai on 17th January on his 100th birthday. The stamp was poorly designed, with remnant of some chair on the right shoulder of the personality. I am still waiting to see who designed the stamp, but overall another case of bad design  and complete lack of innovation.

Stamps on Headgears of India, Means of Transport through Ages, Coffee (Fragrant stamp), Ramjas College, India Post Payments Bank, Ladybird Beetles and Rose (Fragrant MyStamp) are likely to be released in the next few months. Issue dates for very few stamps are known, but some speculated dates are below. Images of the Coffee stamp sovenir sheet (we've tweeted the image) and FDC were available online. This will be a 100 Rupee stamp with the fragrance of Coffee. Although a good concept, the stamp design and the denomination are both a dampener. The stamp on Ramjas College, Delhi was lined up for dedication on 17th January, but was postponed at the last minute with no clear reason provided. Centenary celebration of the college even included a date and time of the stamp issuance by MoS Communications, but the event never happened. This stamp will likely be issued sometime during this year. Quite a few of the new stamp issues are being announced, many of which were not included in the 'approved' stamp list provided earlier in January. India Post should provide a complete list of stamps issues for 2017 as opposed to sharing it piecemeal.

Stamps Issued in 2017

01 Jan - Splendor of India: Happy New Year (12 designs in 1 miniature sheet, 12 designs in 12 calendar miniature sheets)
05 Jan - 350th Prakash Parv - Guru Gobind Singh (Takth Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib)
07 Jan - India-Portugal: Joint Issue (Dandiya Dance & Pauliteiros Dance)
17 Jan - Dr. M. G. Ramachandran
20 Jan - MyStamp - Christian Medical College, Vellore
25 Jan - Nature: India (6 designs)
30 Jan - India Post Payments Bank
14 Feb - Coffee (Fragrant Stamp w/ Souvenir Sheet, Rs 100)
14 Feb - MyStamp - Rose (Fragrant Stamp)
Means of Transport Through Ages (20 designs)
Headgears of India (16 designs)
Ladybird Beetles of India (4 designs)

Update (07 Jan 2017): Stamp issuance in 2017 began with a bang, on 01st January itself. A well-designed stamp issue on Splendor of India: Happy New Year was issued with 12 designs. The stamps were issued in a miniature sheet format (similar to the Wild Flowers issue in 2013), with all 12 stamps on the same pane. All stamps are of Rs 25 denomination. Along with this one miniature sheet, India Post produced a unique product in the form of a calendar with valid postage stamps. There are 12 stamp sheets, one for each month with one stamp each. These are essentially miniature sheets with holes punched for binding the calendar together. The calendar stamps are also priced higher than the face value, at Rs 1000, each sheet of Rs 25 costs Rs 83.3. Stamps in these calendar sheets carry the same design, but are of different size and likely the quality of paper is different as well. Due to these differences, each catalog number will likely have two varieties for this issue (24 stamps in all for a complete collection). Two other observations - Sankha Samanta is back designing stamps for India Post. After almost a complete hiatus in 2016 (other than the Legendary Singers stamps), the artist has begun the year on a strong note. We hope that India Post and it's leaders continue to assign more stamp designing projects to the esteemed team of artist comprised of Mr. Samanta, Kamleshwar Singh, Bharati Mirchandani, Brahm Prakash and Suresh Kumar. Stamp cancellations and first day covers designed by Alka Sharma and Nenu Gupta could provide a good balance to the designing team. The second observation is about the spelling error on one of the stamps out of the twelve. The design depicting the art of Pietra Dura spells the word Pietra incorrectly as Peitra. We recommend that the proof reading team at India Post do a better job of catching such glaring errors before approving for printing. We have written earlier about the need for research unit in the department to gather and disseminate accurate information (click here for that post).

The second issue of 2017 was also a nicely designed miniature sheet on 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. The stamp was issued in Patna by the Prime Minister of India during the Prakash Parv celebrations on 05th January. Kamleshwar Singh designed the stamp and his style of design (like the unique font) were easily recognizable. Bringing back Mr. Singh to design stamps is a welcome step by India Post. His stamp designs have been our favorite over the last 15 years. We hope this trend to focus on art and stamp design will continue for all future issues.

Another set of two stamps were issued on 07th January by the Prime Ministers of India and Portugal to celebrate over 500 years of ties between the two nations. Click here to read about this issue.

It's been a great start to the new year. We hope India Post will spread stamp releases evenly all through the year, reduce the number of high denomination stamps and MyStamp issues to control the cost of collecting Indian stamps.

Finally, there are still quite a few stamp subjects that were not included in the approved list of stamps for 2017. We request these subjects be considered for release while postponing some thematic subjects. In this regard, the list at the bottom of the post is being combined with our wish list posted on 23rd December 2016 and a final list is posted below. These stamp subjects have not been listed for release by India Post, but we recommend for inclusion in the stamp program.

Recommended Stamp Subjects
Amritlal Nagar
B. D. Jatti
Balasaheb Thackarey
Balasheb Deoras
Chinmayananda Saraswati (1916-1993)
Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy
Eknath Ranade
Gopal Swarup Pathak
I. K. Gujral
J. Jayalalithaa
K. R. Narayanan
Khushabhau Thakre (1922-2003)
Mohammad Hidayatullah
N. Sanjeeva Reddy
Nanaji Deshmukh
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Shivmangal Singh Suman
Siyaram Sharan Gupt
Swami Abhedananda
V. P. Singh

100 Years of Kheda Movement
Auroville (Golden Jubilee)
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
Bishop Cotton School, Bengaluru
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai
Dayalbagh
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Human Organ Donation Awareness Programme
Lions International Centenary
Presidency University, Kolkata
Submarine Arm of Indian Navy (Golden Jubilee)

Stamps Issued in 2017
01 Jan - Splendor of India: Happy New Year (12 designs in 1 miniature sheet, 12 designs in 12 calendar miniature sheets)
05 Jan - 350th Prakash Parv - Guru Gobind Singh (Takth Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib)
07 Jan - India-Portugal: Joint Issue (Dandiya Dance & Pauliteiros Dance)

Update (05 Jan 2017): A few more stamp subjects for release in 2017 were announced today. Some of these were previously approved, but were not included in the list posted yesterday. This takes the total approved stamp issues to 73. We hope these stamps will be issued over a period of two years and not just 2017. See the updated list below (new additions are highlighted)

Update (04 Jan 2017): Completely unexpected, but India Post's social media pages put out a huge list of stamp subjects that have been approved for release in 2017. Combining subjects that have already been approved, the list now stands at an astonishing total of 65 stamp subjects. Our first reaction was that this is more of a laundry list, and will be used to guide the stamp program for thematic subjects even in 2018. Given that such a long list of subjects has been provided, we will re-work the list at the bottom of this blog post to allow tracking stamp releases with this new information. But first, a few high level points to note:

- There are six joint issues listed, with Armenia, Belarus, Canada (two themes), Papua New Guinea, Portugal and Russia. Belarus and Canada were new additions, and haven't shown far been shown in these countries' stamp program.

- Out of the 65 new subjects, only 15 are personalities. This number is likely going to increase because proposals for many important personalities have either not been submitted or have not yet been approved.

- Many of the previously announced themes (Jataka Tales were approved as far back as 2001) have been included in this approved list. Our blog post for previously approved issues has been tracking these subjects and this effort by India Post is much appreciated.

- The total number of issues this year could be as high as 2016, resulting in a significant increase in cost of collecting one stamp each or the minimum purchase quantity.

1942 Freedom Movement
Aquaculture
Birds: Vulnerable, Endangered & Critically Endangered
Boats of India
Bridal Costumes of India
Caves of Meghalaya
Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (ICAR)

Children’s Day
Four Dhamas (Are these Char Dhams?)
Fragrant Stamps (Chocolate, Strawberry)

Goan Tiatr
Historical Gates of Indian Forts
Holiday Destinations
Independence Day
India’s Participation in World War I
India-Armenia: Joint Issue
India-Belarus: Joint Issue
India-Canada: Joint Issue (two themes)
India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue
India-Russia: Joint Issue
Indian Cuisine
Indian Fashion Industry
Indian Perfume
Jataka Tales

Mahabharata
Mangalyan
Mehandi (Lawsona inermis)
Minerals of India (Innovative)
Musical Instruments (Chimta, Dotara, Ektara, Khartal, Tumbi)
Palace of Wheels
Pilatus Induction
Puppets

Shaktipeeth Temples (Kalighat, Kamkhya, Meenakshi, Vaishno Devi)
Solar System
Step Wells of India (Rani ki Vav, Agrasen Baoli, Chand Baoli, Adalaj ni Vav, etc.)
Terracotta Temples of India (Click here for a good list of such temples)
Traditional Embroideries of India (Innovative)
Traditional Hand Fans
Tribes of India

UNESCO Heritage Sites
University of Mysore
Wildlife – Flora & Fauna


Acharya Bodhihdharma & Efflorescence of Zen Culture
Acharya Konda Laxman Bapuji
Bhupesh Gupta
D. Devaraj Urs
Dr. Mehr Chand Mahajan
Dr. Shivajirao G. Patwardhan
Gaurishankar Govardhan Joshi
Jyoti Basu
Kavi Muddana
Lala Thunthee Mull
M. Balamuralikrishna
Nannayya Bhatta & Draksharamam Temple
O. P. Jindal
Raja Todarmal
Sant Pipaji Maharaj


Update (27 Dec 2016): India Post will issue 13 miniature sheets comprised of 12 designs (1 sheet with all 12 designs and 12 other sheets with one stamp each) on the theme, Splendor of India - Happy New Year on 01st January itself. Each stamp will be of Rs 25 denomination. Stamp designs have not been revealed and is not easy to figure out what to expect. Based on the images India Post has been circulating on its social media pages, it appears to include different forms or art work. Let's wait and watch. Dates for no other issues have been announced yet, but some could be as listed below.

01 Jan - Splendor of India (12 designs)
05 Jan - Guru Gobind Singh
07 Jan - India-Portugal: Joint Issue (Dandiya Raas & Pauliteiros de Miranda)
26 Jan - Nature: India (Crowd-sourced Design)
03 Apr - India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock & Bird of Paradise)

Update (23 Dec 2016): While waiting on India Post to provide details for the Stamp Program for 2017, we recommend the following subjects must be considered for releasing stamps this coming year. The first part of the list shows eminent personalities and the second half lists some important events or institutions that deserve recognition. This is only a 'wish list' and we will continue to monitor the original listing posted at the end of this post for real-time updates as they are obtained from India Post. In other news, it appears that a set of 12 miniature sheets and 1 sheetlet will be released in the form of a calendar for 2017 on the theme, Splendor of India. Details for this issue are not available, but given that it contains a calendar one can safely assume it to be released in January itself.

Amritlal Nagar
B. D. Jatti
Balasaheb Thackarey
Balasheb Deoras
Chinmayananda Saraswati (1916-1993)
Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy
Eknath Ranade
Gopal Swarup Pathak
I. K. Gujral
J. Jayalalithaa
K. R. Narayanan
Khushabhau Thakre (1922-2003)
Mohammad Hidayatullah
N. Sanjeeva Reddy
Nanaji Deshmukh
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Shivmangal Singh Suman
Siyaram Sharan Gupt
Swami Abhedananda
V. P. Singh

Auroville (Golden Jubilee)
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai
Dayalbagh
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Hitopdesa & Jataka Tales
Human Organ Donation Awareness Programme
India in World War I
Joint Issues with Armenia, Portugal, Papua New Guinea & Russia
Lions International Centenary
Mahabharata
Mangalyan
Presidency University, Kolkata
Ramayana
Shakti Temples – Kalighat, Meenakshi, Vaishno Devi, Kamakhya
Submarine Arm of Indian Navy (Golden Jubilee)

Update (17 Dec 2016): It appears that the fragrant stamp on Coffee could be issued in January 2017 instead of December 2016. An announcement for sale of a miniature sheet on ePostOffice was posted on India Post's social media pages, but there is no confirmation from India Post for the issue date. Two other stamp issues, both carried forward from 2016 are likely to be released in 2017. As was predicted correctly by BetterPhilately, the joint issue with Portugal will be issued on 07th January during the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal. The other joint issue that was repeatedly postponed, with Papua New Guinea will now be issued on 03rd April 2017. The stamp was originally planned for release in April 2016, now stands to be dedicated exactly one year later. Better late than never. We also believe that now that Parliament session is complete, India Post will put out a press release for the outcome of the Philatelic Advisory Committee that has deliberated for the stamp subjects for 2017. There are over 230 pending proposals before the Committee and we hope information for the proposed stamps will be shared with stamp collectors soon. 

Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune will celebrate its centenary year in 2017. India Post should consider issuing a stamp on this occasion. We've learned that the organization may not be able to afford purchasing 100,000 stamps on their own budget and are hoping that the federal government will take cognizance and issue the stamp as a gesture of appreciation of their services to oriental research.

Forthcoming Stamp issues
03 Apr - India-Papua New Guinea: Joint Issue (Peacock and Bird of Paradise)
07 Jan - India-Portugal: Joint Issue (Dandiya Raas & Pauliteiros de Miranda)

Update (06 Dec 2016)
Potential Stamp issues:
Fragrance Stamp on Coffee (could be released in 2016)
J. Jayalalithaa
Nature: India (Republic Day 2017)

Update (25 Nov 2016): Portugal's Prime Minister is scheduled to visit India as the Chief Guest for Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held from 07-09 Jan 2017 in Bengaluru. It is possible that the India-Portugal Joint stamp issue could be released during this visit, especially if there is a bilateral component as well. It appears that two of the stamps, Emperor Vikramaditya and G G Joshi could be released in 2016 itself. India Post's list of forthcoming releases shows these issues listed as approved for release in December 2016.

Forthcoming/Potential Stamp issues
Gaurishankar Govardhan Joshi 'Dhumketu' (Approved for release) - could be released in 2016 itself
Samrat Vikramaditya (Approved for release) - could be released in 2016 itself
Submarine Arm of Indian Navy (Golden Jubilee)

Update (20 Nov 2016)
Fragrance Stamps (Coffee, Chocolate, Spices, Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables)

Update (17 Nov 2016): 
Gaurishankar Govardhan Joshi 'Dhumketu' (Approved for release)
India-Armenia: Joint Issue (Approved for release)
Ramanujacharya (Approved for release)
Samrat Vikramaditya (Approved for release)
Srimad Rajchandra (Approved for release)

Original Post (18 Oct 2016): Although India Post is unlikely to provide timely information for it's stamp program for 2017, the following subjects could be under consideration for release next year. This blog post will be used to provide updates and other information for our readers for all stamp subjects for 2017. Another blog post will list the stamp issues once all the relevant information for printing and designs are available. Do continue to follow both the posts regularly once the new year begins. Feel free to drop a message if there is additional information to be shared with the readers. Happy Holidays.

100 Years of Champaran and Kheda Movements
70 Years of Independence
Amritlal Nagar
Balasheb Deoras
Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute
Bishop Cotton School, Bengaluru
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai
Delhi High Court - Golden Jubilee
India-Armenia: Joint Issue
India-Portugal: Joint Issue (Dandiya Raas & Pauliteiros de Miranda)
India-Russia: Joint Issue
Lions International Centenary
Mahabharata
Montfort Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Yercaud
Nanaji Deshmukh
Ramayana
Srimad Rajchandra
Swami Abhedananda

Stamps Issued from the Approved List
350th Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh
India-Portugal: Joint Issue
Samrat Vikarmaditya
Headgears of India
Beetles of India
Yogoda Satsanga Society of India
The Poona Horse
Means of Transport through Ages
Republic Day (Nature India)
Deekshabhoomi of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Eminent Writers: Krishan Chander, Balwant Gargi, Kummari Molla, K V Puttappa, Bhisham Sahni, Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Srilal Sukla, Tarigonda Vengamamba
Srimad Ramanujacharya
Jhala Manna
Srimad Rajchandra
Fragrant Stamp (Coffee)
Ramayana
Banaras Hindu University

Stamps Issued from BetterPhilately Wish List
M. G. Ramachandran (Birth Centenary)
Montfort Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Yercaud
100 Years of Champaran Movement