Monday, November 21, 2011

Tatkal Reservation Changes from Monday, November 21, 2011


1. The Advance Reservation Period (ARP) of Tatkal scheme is reduced from two days to one day excluding the day of journey from the train originating station. For example, if train is to depart from the originating station on the second of the month, the Tatkal quota booking for that particular train will open at 08:00 hrs on the first of the month from originating station.

2. For booking Tatkal e-tickets, the passenger shall enter the ID proof type and number, which is to be used for travel. These details will be printed on the ERS/VRM as well as in the reservation chart.

3. During the journey, the passenger, whose identity card number has been indicated on the ticket, will have to produce original proof of identity indicated on the ticket, failing which all the passengers booked on the ticket shall be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.

4. Maximum of four passengers per PNR can be booked on Tatkal e-tickets.

5. No refund will be granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal ticket except in case of circumstance mentioned in para 2 of instructions contained in Commercial Circular no. 53 of 2006 issued vide letter no. 2006/TGI-I/20/P/Tatkal, dated 30.06.2006.

(From: )

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indian mobile payments

(This is the unedited version of my column Come Again that appeared in The Hindu Business Line)

When Google announced its mobile payment services Google Wallet, it created ripples all over the world. And when there was news about Google releasing an update for Android with Google Wallet, I was one of those eagerly awaiting it. Then II realised the update was not for India.

The only consolation I had was that I was already using mobile payments right here in India. I had the NG Pay and Atom apps installed in my Nexus S. I could pay utility services, buy products, recharge my mobile or DTH connections or get train or movie tickets through the two apps. I had also used mChek occasionally, but only for paying Airtel bills. These services used my bank or credit card account for payment.

Another good service was Paymate. Unlike the services mentioned above, I had to ‘load’ the money to my Paymate account or ‘buy’ vouchers and then use my mobile to make payments. I could also gift money to other mobile users. Though the service was slightly confusing at first -- I had to log in at the sister site Giftmate to load or gift the money -- I got used to it. It was working well, till I changed my mobile number. Though the customer care kept assuring me that the money in the old account would be transferred to the new number, nothing happened. Giftmate (or is it Paymate) still has my money -- though not much-- but I can’t use it.

Then came Airtel Money. Like Paymate, you have to load money into your Airtel Money account and use it to pay bills and buy movie tickets apart from recharging prepaid mobiles and DTH connections. The additional advantage with Airtel Money is that you can also make payments in shops that have tied up with Airtel Money.

But the surprise package here is our humble Post Office! The postal department, often derided for sloppy service, has a service called Beam that is similar to Airtel Money.

Once you register in Beam, you can load money into your Beam account through post offices or online ( and use it to book train tickets, recharge mobile and DTH accounts, and make utility bill payments. The service has just been launched and will soon include payments for online shopping or at physical stores.

I was sceptical while registering for the service, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the registration process was so easy. I loaded a token amount and found that my account was credited within seconds. Now my respect for the humble post office has gone up several notches!

So, as Google takes it’s own sweet time to bring Google Wallet to India, I am glad that I have my desi wallet services to fall back upon.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Nexus and Android updates

The good thing about owning a Nexus (One or S, and soon Prime), is that you get update almost immediately after it is released by Google.

This is because the Nexus range runs Google's Android software. The difference between the Android OS found in other phones and the one in the Nexus range is that the latter has 'pure' Android -- without any bells and whistles, while other Android phones have customisations by the companies.

This means that because of the extras packed in by other mobile companies in their Android versions, the updates released by Google for Android will have to be modified suitably so that they don't affect the customisations. Because Nexus phones have no extra bloatware or customisations, any update released by Google can straightaway be installed.

Even for Nexus phones, the updates may take a week or two to be rolled out for all phones. But whenever it is available, you can just download and install them. You get a notification that a 'system update is available'. All you have to do is to install it.

The same update can take even months to hit other Android phones. And some phones may just not get the update.





Saturday, July 09, 2011

Pick your favorite inbox style in Gmail

(As in Gmail's blog)

Ever felt like there should be a better way to manage your inbox? There are already lots of different ways: some people read everything, some mark messages they need to take action on with stars, and others like to have their important email separated from the rest automatically — something Gmail started offering last year with Priority Inbox

Over the coming weeks, we're rolling out several new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you. Once it’s turned on for your account, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox: 

  • Classic - This is the default inbox style most people are used to. In the Classic inbox, messages are ordered chronologically, with your most recent email at the top.
  • Priority Inbox - Important and unread messages appear at the top of your inbox, then starred messages, then everything else. Each section can be customized further, so you can create your own inbox style.
  • Important first - This style puts important mail at the top of the page (both read and unread messages). Everything else is in its own section at the bottom of your inbox. You may have noticed that we turned on importance arrows for everyone a few weeks ago; this inbox style separates messages with these arrows from those without.
  • Unread first - Simple: unread mail at the top; everything else at the bottom.
  • Starred first - Starred messages at the top; everything else at the bottom.
After you've settled on a style you like and used it for about a week, these tabs will go away, You can always change your inbox style from the drop down menu next to the Inbox label or from theSettings page.

So try on a new inbox style and see what fits you best!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

UGC says Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM

The University Grants Commission says Arindam Chaudhuri's IIPM is NOT an university and does NOT have the right of conferring or granting degrees.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pasting images into messages into Gmail just got easier

This is from Gmail's blog:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and people certainly like to spice up their emails with images. A while back, Gmail started making this easier by letting you drop images from your desktop right into the compose window. 

Now, when you’re running the latest version of Google Chrome, you can paste images right from your clipboard too. So if you copy an image from the web or another email, you can paste it right into your message. This is especially handy for passing around screenshots — you don’t have to save the files any more (I’ve been using Command-Control-Shift-4 on my Mac to save screenshots directly to the clipboard). While this currently only works in Chrome, we hope to enable it on other browsers soon.

Testing from Android

Testing Posterous cross-posting from Android.