In all 330 commemorative postage stamps on freedom fighters and 430 on eminent personalities have been issued between August, 1948 and April, 2012.
The commemorative postage stamps issued by the Department of Posts are determined based on the following rules:-
1. Commemorative postage stamps will be issued on subjects that have a national or international stature or have made national/international contribution or impact or reflect national/international areas of concern.
2. The Annual Issue Programme shall reflect regional, cultural and ethnic balance.
3. Stamps on a particular subject shall issue only once, except thematic such as wild life, environment, transport, flora fauna etc. or regular issues like Children’s Day, Season Greetings and sets on heritage, nature, culture, art, architecture etc.
4. Stamps shall be issued only on the apex institutions, not on branches of any institution or organization.
5. There shall be not over 50 issues (maximum 100 stamps) of commemorative stamps per annum.
6. Stamps on personalities shall not exceed 10% of the Annual Issue Programme.
7. The Union Minister incharge of the Ministry of Communications & IT may approve 5% of the Annual Issue Programme.
8. The date of issue shall be fixed by the Philately Division keeping in view the significant dates relating to the subject and the availability of slots in the printing schedule.
9. Dates of issue once fixed shall not be changed. A proponent may hold a presentation function on any day on or after the date of issue.
10. Proposals may be sent by any citizen of India.
11. Proposals should be sent at least two years in advance for consideration by the Philatelic Advisory Committee (PAC) and approval by the competent authority.
12. Proposals must be submitted in the format available on indiapost.gov.in.
13. Proposals will be considered and recommended/not recommended by the PAC. They will not be carried forward for the next PAC meeting.
14. Proponents shall follow the protocol for release functions.
15. The Department of Posts will decide the subject matters, prohibited subjects renewal of philatelic products, procedure for proposal consideration and issue/release of a stamp, period of sale of commemorative/special stamps and for definitive stamps and postal stationery. It will also determine issue policy, withdrawal policy and archival policy.
16. The denominations of postage stamps shall be in consonance with domestic and international postal tariffs.
17. The personalities on whom commemorative stamp may be issued should be of national or international importance. The occasion to be commemorated must be the birth centenary or 10th /25th /50th /100th death anniversary. No stamp will be issued sooner than ten years after an individual’s death. A commemorative stamp shall be issued in honour of the head of State on his/her first death anniversary.
18. A stamp on an institution, building, monument etc. may be issued on its centenary/125th anniversary/ 150thanniversary etc. The building, institution to be so honoured must be Heritage site of national/international importance or site recognized by ASI of national/international importance. Building of regional importance may be commemorated with issue of special cover with special cancellation.
19. At least 25% of the stamps issued in a year will be on popular themes like flora, fauna, culture, heritage etc.
20. Proponents for the stamps relating to institutions/events/large organisations are required to make a mandatory purchase of a minimum number of 1 lakh stamps and the requisite philatelic ancillaries.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Shri Sachin Pilot in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 16.05.2012.