Saturday, July 04, 2020

Ad by a state government on no Discrimination

Excerpt from an Ad by a state government, who files cases on people for their facebook posts.
No discrimination by caste and religion
50% Reservations to SC, ST, BC and Minorities
The above two lines are one below another in the ad (and not in different pages). Somebody, please explain them the meaning of "No discrimination by caste and religion".

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Business by Govt vs Private

Indian government filed cases against Telecom companies like Vodafone, Airtel and Jio saying, they have to pay tens of thousands of crores as dues. When the same rules are applied to few other companies (called as Public Sector Undertaking) like Power Grid Coporation, GAIL India and Oil India etc., the dues would cross one lakh crore. But, those companies don't need to pay.

For those, who say that, the original case was related to Telecom companies, the other companies also bought spectrum and the exact same rules can be applied. If it is unfair for the PSU companies, it should be unfair to Vodafone, Airtel and Jio as well. 

Of course, if government wants to change the rule, it would change to something like, if the revenue from X business is more than Y% of the company, then this rule is applied, and they carefully choose X and Y, in such a way that, the companies that they want to target would fall in that category. 

I don't see BSNL in the list. Does it mean, BSNL paid all the taxes and fees as per the rules set by the Govt, just like it set to any other private telecom company? If it had really paid the taxes and fees as per the rules, what is the overall profit (or loss) of BSNL? If it is in losses, does it mean, a common man has to pay the tax/fee because of the mismanagement of the company? 

All the state governments run the buses. If any private player wants to run a bus, first they have to get a permit. The permit amount is pretty huge. Apart from paying the permit amount, they need to get the approval from the concerned minister/official. That permission would cost them a lot unofficially. Government run buses won't pay any permit fees whatsoever and obviously, they don't need to pay any amount unofficially. But, the private bus operators have to fight with the government run buses on the fare. On peak days, when the private bus operators increase the fare, we would crticize them for exploiting. 

Air India is in losses. Still common man is paying for the losses of running Air India. If the same thing happens to private operators, the company would be closed down, like King Fisher or Jet Airways. Only the shareholders of the company would lose and not the common man. 

The profit and losses are calculated differently for government and private companies (May be except in the sectors that are reformed like Coal etc.). When the government industry is trying to get something out of the natural resources, the revenue minus the expenditure is considered as profit. Whereas, for the private industry, one has to deduct the license fee to extract the natural resources, which is typically more than all other expenditures. When that government industry is in Profits (on books), the employees would fight for increase in the salaries, bonus etc., saying it is in profits. Many times, the profit that they say the got is far less than the license fee they would have got, had they given to a private player in fair means. 

Everyone says, Private companies are exploiting. But, in reality, Government is exploiting private sector and trying to show as if the private companies are demons. 

Eventhough India got partial Independence in 1991 (No. It did not get it in 1947), still Government is trying to reduce the freedom of the companies with something or other.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Banning Chinese Products

These days, I am seeing people destroying Chinese products in the news.
If they are destroying something that is not working or if they are doing for some publicity, then I don't have any comments.
Otherwise, only the person who owns that product is at loss and nobody else.
If you don't like China, then you may not achieve anything by blindly banning Chinese products. If you are planning to buy some product, and for the quality that you are expecting, if a Chinese product is cheaper than other product, then buy the Chinese product. Whatever the money that you saved by that, donate it to any person/organization/entity/government that you think would make India better than China. If a Chinese product is more expensive than the other product, there is no point in buying Chinese product.
If China is selling weapons, there is nothing wrong in buying weapons from China and fighting with them by using the same weapons. In the same way, if we are getting some advantage by transacting with China, transact with China, and use the advantage against China (if you don't like China).

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Airtel Support - The most efficient support system in the world

Airtel is the one which has the most efficient support system in the entire world. [If you have not got it, it was a sarcastic comment.]

There was no way I can raise a complaint with Airtel DTH. Calling customer care says, install Airtel Thanks App. In Airtel Thanks app, there is no way to raise a complaint. They don't respond to mails.

The highlight is the IVR feedback system. In any IVR feedback, I typically hear two types of feedback.

First type is, press 1, if your problem is resolved, and press 2, if your problem is not resolved.

Other type is, press between 1 to 5, based on your level of satisfaction with this issue, where 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Even if the numbers vary, these are the two different options that I see in most of the IVR feedback options.

Airtel is having third type of feedback system.
Press 1, if your problem is resolved.
If you are unable to do A, B, C, Please do X, Y, Z. Press 2.

Hats off to Airtel for having such a brilliant feedback mechanism.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rules in Different States During Lockdown

The present rules of different states is like, each state is like a different country and issuing visas differently to other states.

Anyone can visit Telangana without any issue. But, if they have any symptoms, then they would be taken to institutional quarantine. Otherwise, they can go home.

In AP, one needs to register in Spandana App. Only after it is approved, they can book the tickets. If the person is coming from Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan or M.P, then they have to mandatorily go for institutional quarantine for 7 days. If the person is coming from other areas, they can go home for home quarantine for 14 days, if they do not have any symptoms.

For Karnataka, the process is much more complicated and one has to read all the rules before visiting.

If a person who is coming from Chennai or Mumbai wants to visit A.P., then they should go to state like Telangana and from there, if they go to A.P., then they don't need to be in institutional quarantine. Otherwise, they would be in institutional quarantine for few days.

I see few forwards with one or two line rules for each state. The rules are much more complicated than that. If you are travelling to any state, please read all the rules of that state before the travel. Many times, the rules vary almost every week.

You can read the rules of different states from https://www.goindigo.in/information/state-regulations.html

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Travel from Chennai to Hyderabad on the first flight after lock down

I travelled from Chennai to Hyderabad by the first available public transport after the lock down which does not require any government approval. The following is my journey details, which I am mentioning here, so that, those who are planning to travel (in the coming days) can be prepared.

Flight booking

I booked Indigo flight for the afternoon of 25th May. Late night of 24th May, I received message saying, the flight has been cancelled. I tried to rebook the flight, but, it was giving different errors each time. I tried to cancel the flight and get refund of the money. After undoing the checkin, that worked.  Later I realized that, I should not have done that, if the plan is to rebook the ticket in a week. Because, when we cancel the flight and ask for the credit, Indigo takes a week to credit the amount in your shell. So, within a week, if you have to book, you cannot use that. Also, the credit amount should be used within a year (and probably by the same passenger). So, not a good option, if one does not plan to travel that often. Fortunately, in my case, Indigo customer care helped me to change the flight to 25th May at 8:50 PM.

To Chennai Airport

In Chennai, no public transport was available, no cab/ola/uber available. Autos were very rare. You may need to be lucky to spot one. I started at home at 5 PM, and walked a lot of distance and found one unofficial transport vehicle who dropped me near by airport for Rs.800 for 5 kms. Even then, I had to walk a lot of distance to go the terminal with heavy luggage. During normal times, Ola cab used to come to my house and drop near the terminal for a charge of Rs.150.

In Chennai Airport

In Chennai Airport, they did thermal screening. Everyone had to do web checkin before.
Indigo expected everyone to take printouts of the boarding pass and luggage tags. But, they were not required. They gave me a  new boarding pass (since they were unable to scan my paper boarding pass) and they put their own baggage tags. In the ticket instructions, they said, they don't take extra luggage charges at the airport. My luggage crossed 6 kgs than their limit and they charged Rs.2400 for that, and they took credit card payment.

Flight got delayed and it started at 10.30 PM instead of 8.50 PM.

In Hyderabad Airport. 

Flight landed before 11.30 PM. First time, I saw people in India getting down in the order. Of course, as soon as the flight halted, everyone stood up to take their luggage and started waiting to go first. The flight attendant announced three times to get down in the order of the seat numbers, and people started getting down in the order of their seat numbers.

While coming out of the airport, they did thermal screening. If the temperature is fine, they let go without saying anything. By 12 AM, I was near the cab point and tried to book Ola/Uber and I could not get anything. After some time, I tried to check other cabs. Few cabs operated like share autos, taking three different passengers, and charging each one Rs.700-1000. I could not get anything as the cabs were very less. After some time, there were no cabs at all.

I went back and sat in Airport chairs till 4 AM, when I was asked to vacate the chairs. They said, nobody is supposed sit in the chairs as people would be coming from the arrival flights, and they expect everyone to go without waiting there.

I took free shuttle to the Airport bus station. There, I started waiting along with many other people including those who came in the same shuttle. When I casually asked for a cab, they said, one was available and I took it immediately. They charged Rs.700, which was usual charge. I wondered whether I was lucky to be the first one to ask casually or I was the only person there who was waiting for a cab.

By 5 AM, I reached my final destination. Total time taken was 12 hours (from 5 PM to 5 AM).

From the political angle, it was like, transport was started by Union (Central) Government and not started by state government. You go and figure out what to do. 

Saturday, February 01, 2020

To all the protesters of the CAA

To all the protesters of the CAA,

I appreciate your fight against the one time discrimination of non-Indians in the name of religion.

Can you also please fight for Indians who have been discriminated by the government based on caste, religion, region and many others since Independence with no plan to end the discrimination even in far future?