Showing posts from 2011

Making of a Will

Recently I attended a seminar hosted by Moneylife Foundation, delivered by Adv Dr S D Israni. Dr Israni clarified during Q&A that Will/Personal Law etc are not his area of expertise but as a student of law he has interest in it; and would like to share his views with the audience. Seminar was oversubscribed and many were asked to join the next seminar. Unfortunately many did not turn-up. It happens. That's why overbooking is a standard practice in some service industries.

Any way, coming back to the subject of will, there is already an article on the seminar at this site.

I'll just add few points based on notes that I took during the seminar, mainly to record the important points for future use.

First, writing a will is neither complicated nor expensive. In fact, it could be done any time, any where on a simple plain piece of paper! What one requires is that, after it is written down - in language of your choice, when you put your signature - there should be two witnesses.…

The delay is on account of computer system blocking the refund - reply to RTI query for Income Tax Refund

My Income tax refund saga has spilled over to other posts in recent past. So, here I would like to share certain points to be kept in mind while making a RTI (Right to Information) application.

Brief History
For Assessment Year 2006-07 and 2007-08 my case was taken up for scrutiny and Assessing Officer  passed orders u/s 143(3) for refund of Income tax on 18-11-2008 and 31-8-2009 respectively. Since I did not receive the refund within the prescribed limit of 1 month from the date of order, I wrote number of letters to the ITO. I did not get a single reply. Hence I visited them personally 3 to 4 times but every time they sent me back with mis-leading replies e.g., system is blocked because you have one more PAN number (this PAN was already cancelled by ITax long back), we will have to prepare the cheque manually and so on.

RTI Application
I read in one news paper that income tax refund is covered under RTI Act. So, I said - let's try this out. And with about 3 months of effort I got …

TringMe software (Voice over Inernet) for Blackberry

When i got hooked to Blackberry, I looked for skype or an application similar to skype, which will allow me to make internet calls using Blackberry. Of course, there were some claims but none of them were found working. And, then I learnt that that technically there is some issue because of which it is not possible to write such application on Blackberry. Unless, of course, in newer OS such technical limitation was overcome.

This was bit difficult to digest because I had seen skype working flawlessly on recent phenomenon called iPhone. Any way, tech world being what it is, we can't do much.

So, it was a surprise when I learnt that TringMe, a India based start-up had developed an application that would enable a Blackberry handset with any BB OS version to make IP calls over Wifi and 3G. When I read more, it even claimed that it would even work for those data plans where only e-mails and IM were allowed i.e., GPRS/browser support was missing. I said to my self, that's like a rea…

Problems with MTNL's Triband Internet Connection

About 15 days back, we experienced totally black-out for almost 3 days with MTNL's internet connection. Upon inquiry we found that their Fibre Channel cable was damaged by a utility company while doing some road repair work. Ok. We understand this happens sometimes.

But, for past 8 to 10 days, kind of problems we have been facing with MTNL's triband is making us crazy. Almost every day some time or other, suddenly for 4 to 6 hours Internet connection starts behaving bad. For some days it has been 'web page cannot be displayed'. Today it is able to load only certain sites e.g., google, google mail, yahoo mail, mtnl, iit bombay, stock holding corporation, blogger etc. It's not able to open sites like irctc, saraswat bank, most links on google search, indian passport, kingfisher club etc.

Talked to various people at MTNL including their server room people. They are clueless. And, to make it worse, today is saturday. So, they will take it up on Monday! Same thing had h…

Convocation speech by actor Balraj Sahni in 1972 at Jawaharlal Nehru University

Yesterday my wife pointed out to me an excellent article in Gujarati News Paper - Janmabhoomi Pravasi - about a convocation speech given by film actor Balraj Sahni in 1972. I wondered, what would an actor - however great his acting would have been - would say which would help any one to learn something new or encourage new graduates to go out and conquer the world. I remembered great convocation speech by Subrato Bagchi - 'Go kiss the world' and few more.

It was only after I read the condensed speech and supporting material that I realised how great a person had been Balraj Sahni - ordinarily known as a good film actor. I told my wife that his speech reminds me of speeches by past President, Shri Abdul Kalam. Also, I was reminded of great articles written by Salim Khan, an actor and father of famous hero Salman Khan from Bollywood.

Balraj Sahni was a post graduate in English literature and taught English and Hindi at Shantiniketan and served as a  radio announcer in BBC at Lo…

Seven questions to a Cloud computing Vendor

I'm really surprised by the hype created around Cloud computing. I just fail to understand how can any one give his data in the hand of a faceless vendor?

I've following seven questions to any one who is offering Cloud services:

1. If data is stolen - how does the Cloud vendor compensate the customer?

2. What's cost and effort involved in switching to another vendor along with my existing data?

3. What happens if vendor decides to change terms of his services at a later date; or worst, decides to close his service offering after say 1 year's notice e.g., Cisco, Microsoft as per their contract terms?

4. What remedy is there for a customer if vendor does not answer customer's service calls satisfactorily?

5. What kind of legal protection is there for a customer when data is compromised or he gets un-satisfactory service from the vendor?

6. Are cyber laws simple enough to indict the vendor and get legal remedy without spending great money, effort and time?

7. If th…