Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why did I donate to AAP?

In 2011 I wrote about how i was impressed with the lokpal movement.  I was so enthused on the lokpal movement as an alternate to a political party in getting to where we wanted, but it was the politics that won. Though according to me the movement completely failed in reaching its goal, it anyways helped in the creation of this new political party by Kejriwal. Initially i was not completely comfortable in accepting the political form, but i do not have an alternate to argue either. I also still believe either Arvind or the Lokpal movement did not communicate enough on what their plan B was if Lokpal bill did not get through in the parliament then. They went for the kill and Arvind just jumped to political option abruptly as the politics tricked them. It wasnt a smooth transition. In one way it is also good that he parted ways with un-like minded people though with right intentions. I am gonna wait and watch what they do...will be extremely happy and proud if they get some victory and fulfill their promises, ofcourse.
AAP has a Vision, Constitution and Agenda. With all my limited intelligence collected across sources and that enhanced by own intuition, I am consciously convinced that this party will deliver honestly, win or lose.
Finally, even if i lose, i mean if either AAP doesnt win or win but not fulfill the promises, i would digest the donation as an affordable loss, frankly am not donating a money beyond my affordability. Am only donating as much as i could digest to fail and am just betting on AAP!

Instant Money Transfers across banks

Disclaimer: Below information in this blog post is shared to just help others based on my personal experience. Do it at your own risk. Am not liable or responsible for any consequences whatsoever.

Yesterday, was shocked and enthused to know about the different instant money transfer options available with banks online. We all know about instant transfers between accounts of same bank, but only yesterday i got to understand the alternates to NEFT. NEFT, which is not an instant transfer and additionally limited to working days and working hours is not useful during emergencies.
I though heard or seen this IMPS, used to think its complicated and transfers only to a mobile number and recipient receives cash through an ATM. But, that is only one part of the story. 'Need' lead to discovery for me. When the salary credits on a weekend and you have to do many transfers to different accounts across banks, well you start your quest just like I did.
So this is what i found, below are the different options available for instant transfers available across some banks which works 24x7 and all 365 days.
IMPS - Immediate Payments Service (as per NPCI)
NPCI - National Payments Corporation of India.
1. IMPS with IFSC and Account number - If you have the recipient's account number and his bank's IFSC code, you can instantly transfer
2. IMPS with MMID and Mobile number : If the recipient and sender of the money have their mobile number registered with their respective accounts, they can use this. They can use their unique MMID associated with their account which could be provided by their bank along with the registered mobile number to transfer money to the recipient's account. Please read again, that the money is transferred to the recipient's bank account instantly.
3. IMT with Mobile Number only - Transfer money to recipient through only his mobile number and the recipient can retrieve the money through ATM
4. IMPS Merchant Payments- Transfer money to merchants using his Mobile Number and MMID

Have used personally the first 2 options mentioned above and found to work perfect.

Note that not all the above options are available across all banks and through all channels(Internet, Mobile, SMS, USSD). Please check with your respective bank or its website to know the actual details. Also check NPCI website ( for more details

Also, not that there could be a transaction fee associated with every IMPS transaction specific to banks.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Need Vs Affordability

Lately I did revisit so many expenses of mine in the last one year and tuned them as much as possible. For example, the cost of monthly milk, DTH subscription, Broadband subscription...etc all reduced to half or less than that. I did not intentionally choose them big initially but i did not insist myself on the need enough i believe as they were still affordable. Also, i have reduced the dominos orders as well these days, you can cook and eat great food for a week compared to a single order on dominos at the same cost. Its healthier alternate as well when you home cook.
Most interesting incident is when I traveled back to pune from Vellore this May, I was so confused till last minute on whether to reach chennai airport from vellore by my Dad's car or bus. Had to wake up at 4 AM, if it was bus and only 6 AM otherwise. Hesitated a lot as the comfort of using the car was riding high on me. With pain i finally made it by bus, and the total cost was Rs. 89, otherwise would have been atleast Rs 1500. It did give me a great lot of satisfaction and comfort after i did it.
So what would you do saving? oh yeah you can do so much, like FD,RD, Market, Donate....
I have been maintaining the monthly budget as well for some time now and that actually helped revisit and reconsider the past expenses

I wish i focus on the needs more in the future as well!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mobile Data Plans (Pains) - India

With a post paid connection, if I would wanna use 3G data connectivity, i can choose a plan of 1 GB/month at the cost of ~Rs. 250. this applies to almost any service provider. Thats fine.
But when you are roaming, only some service providers like airtel let this plan valid, but others like Idea charge you out of the plan. You might think that is valid as well, May be but lets see the figures. you would be charged separately at a rate of 10ps/10kb which means for a 1 mb, you pay Rs. 10 (for a mp3 song usually 5mb you pay Rs. 50 ) and so for 1 gb (~ multiply by 1000), you pay Rs. 10,000. How does it sound? If you dont believe it, i paid Rs. 2500 for 250 mb(rounded figures) usage on roaming with Idea. So, the cost of 3G data usage is 40 times the cost when you were on a plan! How do you digest this even if you are on roaming. The call charges on the other hand are max twice the original on roaming, isnt it?
Now why cant I call it day time robbery? Are they expecting me not to roam outside the state at all? or are they banking on this roaming payments? wait, this charge is applicable when you are not even roaming if you are not on any specific plan or you exceed your plan limit.
In case of airtel, 3G usage post plan limit is 3p/10kb, and for 2G its 10p/10kb (?). Recently vodafone slashed the charges 80%  to 2p/10kb, wow reduced 5 times? boss it is still 8 times the cost when you are on plan! ie, Rs. 2000 per 1 GB.
The only consolation with Airtel or even Vodafone as I hear, is that you can relax as long as you are on a plan and your usage is within limits even while roaming, i have personally experienced that with Airtel atleast and thank God on that!

First of all, i dont understand why we need separate roaming charges inside the same country, when the service providers have their own networks or max friend networks all over the country and everywhere they are connected! Even if they want extra income on roaming because it is all different circles(?), they cannot be allowed to do a robbery like this. what is TRAI doing? Or am i missing something? is this justified to charge you 8 times more? or even 40 times more when you are not on a plan or you are on plan but roaming?

There are other billing issues as well on 3G usage when you switch plans in the same month, that you dont understand the billing at all or you are doomed if you dont check your bill for improper billing. Are the networks amateur still with 3G plans? that they will improve over time? Come on man, we are already behind on 4G dont expect me to buy that amateur argument!

Have posted this billing query to TRAI on its website today through feedback form. Lets see...

Update: 28/06/2013:
Not surprisingly no response from TRAI. But I moved my number to Vodafone successfully. Though i wanted an Airtel as my family mostly is on tht in addition to my long time loyalty with it, it seems impossible to get an airtel postpaid thru any agent around my place! not sure about the conspiracy but am serious. Anyways, am glad for now with vodafone, unlike Idea, it has got amazing 3G speed, more than 8 mb on speedtest, with Idea i cud hardly even cross 50 kb on 3G! Vodafone also has android app for account management, so many different plans to pick online, should have better network down south s well wheres Idea network was pathetic when i traveled home, call conference enabled by default..etc. Hope the 3G speed is good while I roam at my native as well, confirmed with cust care tht ther wudnt be separate data charges on roaming while on a data plan.