Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tyre Expiry and Tyre Safety

This is the second mail that talks about some coding scheme.

The pdf explains what the numbers and characters printed on tyre denote: such as the manufacturing date of the tyre (expiry date = DOM + 4 yrs), load capacity, temperature resistance etc.

It also mentions some guidelines for tyre safety.

Check the pdf file:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

PAN structure

While browsing through old mails, I found couple of mails that talk about different coding schemes. Here is the first, detailing the structure of PAN.
(PS: PAN stands for Permanent Account Number, hence it's meaningless to say "PAN Number". I've heard people asking for "PAN Number" :-s)

[mail contents]
Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique ten digit all India number allotted to an assessee, for identification. The computed system generates a 10 character PAN using he information furnished by the assessee in prescribed form No.49A. PAN has the following structure:

PAN: AAA S N 0000 C

AAA = Alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ
S = Status (i.e. Company)
N = First character of assessee's Last Name/Surname
0000 = Sequential Number running from 0001 to 9999
C = Alphabetic Check digit

The unique PAN is allotted under each alphabet and in each status, i.e. individual, HUF, Firm, Company, Trusts, Body of Individuals, Association of Persons, etc.

For example, the PAN of an individual assessee viz. Jhaveri Gautam Nanubhai is ADAPJ5993J. In this number the character P identifies the status of the assessee (i.e. status of Individual) and J is the first letter of assessee's surname.

Similarly if the status of an assessee HUF, for example say Vinod Modha(HUF), his PAN would be AACHV4018B. In this number the character H identifies the status of the assessee i.e. HUF and V is the first letter of assessee's name i.e. Vinod.

In the same manner if the status of an assessee is Company, for example say Lok Prakashan Ltd. its PAN would be AAACL2742F. In this number the character C distinguishes the status of the assessee i.e. Company and Lis the first letter of assessee's name i.e. Lok Prakashan Ltd.

The different characters used for different status is as under:

Individual : P
Company : C
Trusts / Association of Persons : A
Firm : F
Body of Individuals : B

[/mail contents]
(I had received this mail as an scanned image of paper. But I've put the information in plain text, so that it is accessible through search engines.)

As per the details given on

status field for -
Individual : P
Company : C
Trust : T
Partnership Firm : F
Body of Individuals : B
Association of Persons : A
Local Authority : L
Govt : G
Judicial Artificial Person : J

The above mentioned link has more examples for clarification.

I don't have any details about : how the check character (10th) is calculated from the first nine alphanumeric characters and what's the reason for having 2 sequential series (1st AAA-ZZZ & 2nd 0001-9999).
If any one of you have any idea, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Collection of Toll free numbers in India

A good collection of Toll Free / customer care numbers of various organizations.

PS: I received it in a forwarded mail. I've not verified these numbers.

Any additions / corrections are most welcome


Indian Airlines -1800 180 1407
Jet Airways - 1800 22 5522
Spice Jet - 1800 180 3333
Air India -- 1800 22 7722
Kingfisher - 1800 180 0101


ABN AMRO -1800 11 2224
Canara Bank - 1800 44 6000
Citibank - 1800 44 2265
Corporation Bank - 1800 443 555
Development Credit Bank - 1800 22 5769
HDFC Bank - 1800 227 227
ICICI Bank - 1800 333 499
ICICI Bank NRI - 1800 22 4848
IDBI Bank - 1800 11 6999
Indian Bank - 1800 425 1400
ING Vysya - 1800 44 9900
Kotak Mahindra Bank - 1800 22 6022
Lord Krishna Bank - 1800 11 2300
Punjab National Bank - 1800 122 222
State Bank of India - 1800 44 1955
Syndicate Bank - 1800 44 6655


Mahindra Scorpio -1800 22 6006
Maruti - 1800 111 515
Tata Motors - 1800 22 5552
Windshield Experts - 1800 11 3636


Adrenalin -1800 444 445
AMD - 1800 425 6664
Apple Computers - 1800 444 683
Canon - 1800 333 366
Cisco Systems - 1800 221 777
Compaq - HP - 1800 444 999
Data One Broadband - 1800 424 1800
Dell - 1800 444 026
Epson - 1800 44 0011
eSys - 3970 0011
Genesis Tally Academy - 1800 444 888
HCL - 1800 180 8080
IBM - 1800 443 333
Lexmark - 1800 22 4477
Marshal's Point - 1800 33 4488
Microsoft - 1800 111 100
Microsoft Virus Update - 1901 333 334
Seagate - 1800 180 1104
Symantec - 1800 44 5533
TVS Electronics - 1800 444 566
WeP Peripherals - 1800 44 6446
Wipro - 1800 333 312
Xerox - 1800 180 1225
Zenith - 1800 222 004

Indian Railway Enquiries

Indian Railway General Enquiry 131
Indian Railway Central Enquiry 131
Indian Railway Reservation 131
Indian Railway Railway Reservation Enquiry 1345,1335,1330
Indian Railway Centralised Railway Enquiry 1330/1/2/3/4/ 5/6/7/8/9

Couriers/Packers & Movers

ABT Courier -1800 44 8585
AFL Wizz - 1800 22 9696
Agarwal Packers & Movers - 1800 11 4321
Associated Packers P Ltd - 1800 21 4560
DHL - 1800 111 345
FedEx - 1800 22 6161
Goel Packers & Movers - 1800 11 3456
UPS - 1800 22 7171

Home Appliances

Aiwa/Sony -1800 11 1188
Anchor Switches - 1800 22 7979
Blue Star - 1800 22 2200
Bose Audio - 1800 11 2673
Bru Coffee Vending Machines - 1800 44 7171
Daikin Air Conditioners - 1800 444 222
DishTV - 1800 12 3474
Faber Chimneys - 1800 21 4595
Godrej - 1800 22 5511
Grundfos Pumps - 1800 33 4555
LG - 1901 180 9999
Philips - 1800 22 4422
Samsung - 1800 113 444
Sanyo - 1800 11 0101
Voltas - 1800 33 4546
WorldSpace Satellite Radio - 1800 44 5432

Investments/ Finance

CAMS -1800 44 2267
Chola Mutual Fund - 1800 22 2300
Easy IPO's - 3030 5757
Fidelity Investments - 1800 180 8000
Franklin Templeton Fund - 1800 425 4255
J M Morgan Stanley - 1800 22 0004
Kotak Mutual Fund - 1800 222 626
LIC Housing Finance - 1800 44 0005
SBI Mutual Fund - 1800 22 3040
Sharekhan - 1800 22 7500
Tata Mutual Fund - 1800 22 0101


Club Mahindra Holidays -1800 33 4539
Cox & Kings - 1800 22 1235
God TV Tours - 1800 442 777
Kerala Tourism - 1800 444 747
Kumarakom Lake Resort - 1800 44 5030
Raj Travels & Tours - 1800 22 9900
Sita Tours - 1800 111 911
SOTC Tours - 1800 22 3344


Best on Health -1800 11 8899
Dr Batras - 1800 11 6767
GlaxoSmithKline - 1800 22 8797
Johnson & Johnson - 1800 22 8111
Kaya Skin Clinic - 1800 22 5292
LifeCell - 1800 44 5323
Manmar Technologies - 1800 33 4420
Pfizer - 1800 442 442
Roche Accu-Chek - 1800 11 45 46
Rudraksha - 1800 21 4708
Varilux Lenses - 1800 44 8383
VLCC - 1800 33 1262


AMP Sanmar -1800 44 2200
Aviva - 1800 33 2244
Bajaj Allianz - 1800 22 5858
Chola MS General Insurance - 1800 44 5544
HDFC Standard Life - 1800 227 227
LIC - 1800 33 4433
Max New York Life - 1800 33 5577
Royal Sundaram - 1800 33 8899
SBI Life Insurance - 1800 22 9090

Hotel Reservations

GRT Grand -1800 44 5500
InterContinental Hotels Group - 1800 111 000
Marriott - 1800 22 0044
Sarovar Park Plaza - 1800 111 222
Taj Holidays - 1800 111 825


Asian Sky Shop -1800 22 1800
Jaipan Teleshoppe - 1800 11 5225
Tele Brands - 1800 11 8000
VMI Teleshopping - 1800 447 777
WWS Teleshopping - 1800 220 777


Domino's Pizza -1800 111 123

Cell Phones

BenQ -1800 22 08 08
Bird CellPhones - 1800 11 7700
Motorola MotoAssist - 1800 11 1211
Nokia - 3030 3838
Sony Ericsson - 3901 1111

Sunday, January 4, 2009

RTI - part 3 : my thoughts

Why did I attend that seminar and my thoughts about RTI:

After the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I had received a mail in which there was a mentioning about section 49-O of elections act. It allows us to specify that we do not want to vote for any of the candidates.

In the mail it was mentioned that if such "no-votes" count more than the votes of the elected candidate then there will re-elections. But as per wikipedia ( this is not the case. So I was wondering if I can get the help of RTI to clarify what is the reality. Just then I got to know about this seminar and thought of attending it.

After attending that seminar I got to know that there is already lot of information available on internet about RTI. So I thought I need to first look at it to find the answers to my questions. I spent almost 2-3 days just looking at the websites related to RTI. The information is tremendous in quantity. The typical info that you can find on these sites is: the RTI act (in different Indian languages), the standard process of application under RTI, FAQs that tell you what is meant by Information, Which info you can get and which you can't get etc.

In spite of all this mind boggling information I didn't get a straightforward answer to my question, where should I apply to get info about elections act. I mean, if someone wants to get some information about some department of government or other organization, where will he get the details where to apply? We need to know the postal address of the concerned PIO to send the application letter by post. And finding that information is indeed another trouble for a citizen(?) like me. [As per the RTI act its not compulsory to have an email id to provide information under RTI - as far as I know. Hey, but ... I've not seen a post box at a walking distance from my home. Where will I drop the letter then? I'll have to re-check.]

I really feel ashamed of this thing, but the fact is that I don't know exactly where to ask for the info. Also, at times there is a confusion about which government organisation or department is responsible for some activity. For eg- Couple of months back I had read in a newspaper that traffic signals are set up by RTO and controlled by traffic police. So if there is a question regarding traffic signals, where should we direct it to? As per RTI, if you have sent the application to wrong authority, the PIO over there is supposed to transfer your application to concerned authority and notify you about the same. But this adds a delay in getting the information. (Does that mean, I can send the question about traffic signal to PIO of the local post office and expect him to do the needful?? :-s ... well, I don't know.)

Moreover, just like any other act / law, this act is also full of jargons, that may not be understood by a newbie. I remember, in the seminar one person asked what is PIO (Public Information Officer - the person whom you are supposed to contact for getting the information). I know its unavoidable, but I think it is one of the main reasons why people stay away from such activities. Its a fast paced life and people doesn't seem to have enough time to understand all these details of any law and act / behave accordingly.

To help you in such cases, there are quite a few organizations which provide guidance for filing the application under RTI. One such organization is PCGT. They conduct a RTI Clinic every saturday (in Pune). One of the speakers at the seminar, Mr. Nitin Sonawane is RTI Prog Officer of PCGT. But the problem is that, not many people are aware about these organizations and their work.

I seriously feel that there is a need to spread awareness about such organizations as well as RTI. Though conducting seminars is a good way to do this, it may not be that much effective. I could attend the seminar this time, only because I was on leave. I wanted to know about RTI for long time but never got such a chance. Similarly, it may not be possible for many people to attend it due to their work or other responsibilities. It could be a reason why I had noticed quite a few senior citizens (couple of them were sleeping) during the seminar, and only a handful of young generation.

One way to spread awareness among the people who use emails (for personal or official use), is to put an animated image in the email signature that displays info about RTI and let others add the same signature in their emails. For example I use the following signature in my mail. It shows the latest posts on my blogs. Same thing can be used to spread RTI awareness.
[my email sign]
VNA in Capsule

[/my email sign]

When this idea came to my mind, I thought that we should have a blog where a knowledgable person (not me) will post some information about RTI every day (could be just a small piece of useful information) which will act as a daily dose of info. And it will spread through the email signature to millions of people, not immediately though. So I tried to register a blog having name RTI and its variants. I realized that most of the names are already taken by someone else. Many of these blogs are not at all related to RTI and the ones that are related to RTI are stale. There is no activity on such blogs since long time. Most of them are not updated since 2007. This was really irritating. I just managed to register 2 blog names: and . I've registered these blogs just to make sure that no one else wastes these. I'm ready to let any knowledgable person add information to these blogs, and I'll do the required settings to create email signature out of it.

Apart from this what I observed is, on most of the sites related to RTI, there isn't any option to search for a specific information on those sites. So its very difficult to find the required information from all the available information. If we have the information available on blog, people can browse through each post or we can tag the posts with specific labels which will make the browsing easy or even we can provide search facility as well. I hope this will be helpful in spreading the awareness.

Lets see if I can get some help from RTI experts to provide a daily dose of information on RTI blog.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RTI - part 2

Some information that is not about RTI, but it was available from case studies explained by Maj Gen (reted) SCN Jatar.

Literate - anyone who can sign in his / her mother tongue, based on this definition our country has 65% literacy.

Signs of corruption:
1. delayed decision
2. lack of transparency
3. hasty/rapid decision approvals (last minutes proposals)

Habituated corruption - some people do the same thing over and over again in spite of being caught.

Newspapers / media want news of corruption from new people every time. If the information is about old corruption or person, it is treated as stale news and is not accepted / published.

Pune people pay 44 lakhs extra every month for water supply.

BRT - Costly Volvo buses bought even though there wasn't any requirement. AC is ineffective because of the bus stops at each 200 - 300 mtrs. Earlier Tata buses were recommended which are much cheaper, but the decision was changed within 1 week and unwanted AC buses were bought.

MLAs go to parliament for collecting DATA (Dearness Allowance / Travelling Allowance) :D

[When Mr. Jatar was asked if you get threatened, he said smiling, he gets friendly threats like, people ask him why does he do all this, he is an old man now, we will settle this within us, etc.]

Part 3 : Why did I attend that seminar and my thoughts about RTI

Info about Right To Information - part 1

Couple of weeks back I attended one seminar on RTI. The seminar was organized by MCCIA on 11-Dec-2008. Mr. Nitin Sonawane and Maj Gen (reted) SCN Jatar were the speakers. It was quite informative. Here are the highlights of the seminar (mainly from the intro given by Mr. Nitin Sonawane).

RTI was introduced in Sweden in 17th century, 200 yrs back. In India, Tamilnadu was the first state to implement it (state level act) in 1997. In Maharashtra it was implemented in 2002 and central government implemented it in 2005.

The Rights that we get under RTI are:
1. View (almost) any document.
2. Get it photo copied.
3. Get it authorized.
4. Get samples of the material used in any activities like construction, food supply etc.
5. Get copy of electronic data on CD, floppy. (some states allow DVD as well.) [Bihar allows to provide information on phone. PIO provides the information on phone. Voice recording of the call is done and appropriate charges are added to your telephone bill.]

Official secrets act (1923) is overruled by RTI act (2005), with some exceptions.

If information is related to some ones life / death it must be provided within 48 hrs.

Except J&K rest of the states are covered by RTI Act 2005.

You can get information related to any of the public authorities, such as:
1. Loksabha, Rajyasabha or any organization created by them
2. Vidhan parishad, Vidhan sabha or any organization created by them
3. any organization that is substantially funded by government
4. Co-operative sector

1. security of nation
2. information prohibited by law / legal decisions
3. patented / copy right protected info
(but you can ask for information related to corruption or human rights etc. Such info is sent after getting due permission from concerned authority.)

Information can be anything like records, memos, papers, logbooks etc

As per the section 3 of the act, no officer can ask you, why you need this information.

In general the steps are:
1. you make an application for information.
2. if you don't get satisfactory reply within 30 (depends on situation) days, you can make 1st appeal within 60 days since you made the application for information.
3. if you don't get reply from the concerned officer within 30/45 days then you can make the 2nd appeal at higher authority.

There are some charges for providing the information, around 10 Rs. but if the applicant is below poverty line, s/he need not pay anything.

If proper information is not provided in time, it should be provided free of cost and the officer has to pay 250 Rs / day for the delayed days or 25000 Rs max.

The question should be phrased properly. Instead of asking "why did you do this?" you should ask "Based on which rule you did this?".

RTI can not stop corruption, but expose it.

Officer is custodian of information of government, s/he can not hold back the information.

Part 2 : Some more info, not about RTI

Sunday, November 23, 2008

online telephone directories

online telephone directories:

MTNL Mumbai:
MTNL Delhi:

in general if u want to search for a telephone number anywhere in the world, you can check: - it's the old URL but easy to remember.
it will redirect you to:

if any of you know how to search for info about mobile numbers or land line numbers of private service providers, please let me know.