7th Pay Commission – What is good and bad for you?

Since last two years, millions of central government employees are eagerly waiting to get an increase in pay as per the recommendations under 7th Pay Commission

Central government employees may hope to get some good news at the beginning of the next financial year in April to expect a revision in salaries when the proposal is likely to be sent to the Cabinet for approval.

7th Pay Commission

The government may consider increasing the salary of lower-level officials, from matrix level 1 to 5, and go beyond the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

Government will not pay arrears on pay hike-bad news

As per news, under 7th Pay Commission, our government will not pay arrears on pay central government employees. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will place it before the Cabinet in the beginning of April.

This could bring a bad news for around 50 lakh government employees who were expecting a good news from the Narendra Modi government. 

To recall, the resolution conveying the central government’s decision on recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) on allowances published in Gazette of India on 6th July 2017.

In June last year, the Narendra Modi-led Cabinet approved the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission on House Rent Allowance (HRA) and other allowances for 48 lakh Central government employees.

Based on the report of Committee on Allowances (CoA) and the recommendation of E-CoS, the Cabinet had earlier approved the modifications in 34 allowances in its meeting held on 28th June 2017. All allowances are given the effect from 1st July 2017. It will benefit 34 lakh civilian employees and 14 lakh defense personnel.

Salary will hike under the 7th pay Commission-good news

Central government employees may hope to get some good news at the beginning of the next financial year in April. Salary is to be increased of the employees who are getting salaries from pay matrix level 1 to 5 and the proposal of pay hike will be sent to Cabinet at the beginning of April for approval.

As of now, Central government employees are drawing basic pay as per the fitment formula of 2.57 of the basic pay under the Sixth Pay Commission.

The 7th Pay Commission had earlier recommended Rs 18,000 as the basic salary but the employees, however, want the basic minimum pay to be hiked to Rs 26,000 per month, based on a fitment factor of 3.7.

 Following the implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, the basic pay of Central government employees went up from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 per month based on the fitment factor of 2.57, and effective from January 1, 2016.

The new scales of pay

The 7th Pay Commission new scales of pay provide for entry-level basic pay going up from Rs 7,000 per month to Rs 18,000, while at the highest level i.e. Secretary, it would go up from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh. For Class 1 officers, the starting salary will be Rs 56,100.

Earlier this week, Finance minister Arun Jaitley submitted the Union Budget-2018-19 in front of the Parliament ad from next month the Chief Justice of India will now get a monthly salary of Rs 2.80 lakh, up from the present Rs 1 lakh per month.

Similarly, judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts will draw a monthly salary of Rs 2.50 lakh, up from the current Rs 90,000. The judges of high courts, who get Rs 80,000 per month, will now onwards get Rs 2.25 lakh per month as per the said report.

Budget 2018 – Good, Bad and Ugly Effects

Budget 2018 is now announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the financial year 2018-19, including the good, the bad and the ugly effects. Like every Budget, this one too has also its positives and negatives. So the below-mentioned points will highlight us about its good and bad effective features.

Budget 2018

Image Courtesy:-Indianexpress.com

The Good in Budget 2018

# For agriculture 

  • The minimum price offered to farmers for their crops where the minimum support price for Kharif crops hiked by 1.5 times means all Kharif crops will be paid a minimum support price (MSP) that is 50 percent more than the cost of production.
  • The budget provides for a 100 percent tax deduction for farm producer firms with Rs 100 crore turnover.
  •  There is a special impetus to promote “Operation Green”. In total, there has been a record allocation of Rs. 14.34 lakh crores for the agriculture sector.

# For healthcare

  • The Budget 2018 announces a ‘National Health Protection scheme’ to provide health cover of up to Rs 5 lakh to each of the 10 crore poor families per year.
  • Under the Aayushman Bharat programme, a total of 1.5 lakh centers will be set up to provide health facilities closer to the homes.
  • Tuberculosis patients will be provided with a grant at the rate Rs 500 per month during the course of their treatment.
  • The senior citizens of the nation like Incentives for Senior citizens like exemptions in income of Rs 10,000 from Banks FD and post offices and Rs 50,000 per annum exemption for medical insurance under Sec 80D means No TDS for senior citizens on FDs and post office deposits up to Rs 50,000. Also deduction for senior citizens increased to Rs 50,000 for medical insurance.
  • There are plans to set up 24 new medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading district level ones. The budget lists that the PM JivanBimaYojana has benefited 5.22 crore families with more in the pipeline.

# For Transport infrastructure

  • Infrastructure outlay increased from Rs 4.94 lakh crore to almost Rs 6 lakh crore.
  • National highways exceeding 9,000-km will be completed in 2018-19 and allocation of over Rs 1.48 lakh crore has been planned for railways.
  • Elimination of 4,267 unmanned rail crossings at broad gauge network. 
  • Regional air connectivity scheme shall connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads for a better connected and closer India.
  • Expansion in airport capacity by five times to handle 1 billion passengers. 
  • Package worth Rs 7100 crore for the textile sector. 

# For the rural economy

  • Under the Prime Minister’s SaubhagyaYojana, it is estimated that 4 crore poor people will get power connection.
  • 8 crore poor women will get new LPG connections means free gas connection for 8 crore poor women under Ujwala scheme. 
  • Under the Swach Bharat Mission, the Government plans to construct 2 crore toilets in the next fiscal year.
  • The government has set an ambitious target to provide a house for all by 2022.
  • A total of 1 crore houses are to be built under Pradhan MantriAwasYojana in the rural areas.
  • The Government will expand the PM Jan DhanYojana. All 16 crore accounts will be included under micro insurance and pension schemes for better returns and social outreach.

# To formalize the economy

  • The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Act will be amended to reduce the contribution of women to 8 percent from 12 percent for first three years, with no change in employer’s contribution.
  • The government will contribute 12 percent of wages of new employees in EPF for all sectors for the next 3 years.
  • The standard deduction of Rs 40000 for salaried people. 
  •  The target for loan disbursement under Mudra scheme has been set at Rs 3 lakh crore for next fiscal.
  • Rs 56,000 crore for SCs and Rs 39,000 crore for STs. 
  • Rise in customs duty on mobile phones from 15% to 20%. This will be a big relief for the domestic mobile manufacturers. 

The Bad in Budget 2018

  • No change in personal income taxes. The middle class had expected a change in tax slabs while others had expected to raise of exemption limit in Budget 2018. 
  • The government has extended Corporate Tax of 25% to companies with turnover up to Rs 250 cr in the financial year 2016-17.
  • The government has opted for the wider fiscal deficit at 3.5 percent of GDP for 2018-19 and projected 2018-19 deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP. Higher fiscal deficit not good for government credibility and FDI among other things. 
  • 100% tax deduction is allowed to co-operative societies, the majority of whom have cooked books and shady members.
  • No tax cut for big corporates which could have helped revive private investment as well as create more jobs. 
  • The Education cess increased to 4% from 3% to collect additional Rs 11,000 crore but in turn, has put an additional burden on the tax paying middle class.

The ugly in Budget 2018

# LTCG and DDT on Equity

Govt introduces LTCG tax of 10% on capital gains over Rs1 lakh means the long-term capital gains will now be taxed at a rate of 10% if exceeding Rs 1 lakh.  Also, earlier there is no dividend distribution tax for equity and equity mutual funds. Now it is levied at 10%. 

increase in customs duty on imported items

Urban consumers will have to pay more for almost everything they cover from cranberry juice and iPhones to sunglasses and lipsticks due to higher customs duty  (10% on basic customs duty). The import duty increase would make it a double whammy for consumer products companies that are already reeling under poor sales due to low consumer sentiment. 

  • Prices of imported iPhones and Google’s Pixel smartphones are set to go up by 3-4% due to increase in customs duty to 20% from 15%, though iPhone SE, which is locally manufactured, will escape the price hike. 
  • Import duty on a host of beauty and cosmetic products, watches, including make-up preparations, sunscreens, perfumes, hair colors, and manicure and pedicure products, is being doubled to 20%.
  •  The move will impact global players such as Sephora, South Korea-based Innisfree, Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, and Italy’s Kiko Milano which import majority of their products. 
  • Flat-panel television prices are expected to go up by 1.5-2%, escaping any major price increase despite the government doubling duty on LED panels to 15%, since most of the companies have started local assembly of panels by placing the glass top on the panel.
  • The price hike for televisions will be due to increase in duty on parts like the TV cabinet and printed circuit board where it has gone up to 15% from 10%. 
  • The price of toys, games, dolls, puzzles, watches & clocks to cost more. Outdoor sports equipment, footwear, fishing rods, cigarette lighters, silk fabric, sunglasses may also become costlier.

BSNL cancels free Sunday calling from 1st Feb 2018

BSNL cancels free Sunday calling from 1st Feb 2018. This is a big blow by the State-owned telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for the citizen of the Nation. BSNL has revised its free voice calling benefits and it might be a huge dissatisfaction for customers. BSNL will withdraw its free voice calling benefits from landlines on Sundays from February 1.

The news really a great regret for those customers especially those ones who could not afford higher rates call charged by others. The decision comes soon after the company decided to restrict free night calling benefits for the broadband users.

BSNL cancels free Sunday calling from 1st Feb 2018

But for Kolkata, there is some relief for Calcutta Landline users, the Calcutta Telephones (CalTel) is BSNL’s Kolkata unit, are working on some plans which will reduce the impact for the state customers as per said by the Chief General Manager S P Tripathi of (CalTel).

As this service gets effective, the BSNL landline users will have to pay for the calling, similar to that on weekdays. Calcutta Telephones currently has six lakh fixed landline connections out of some 12 million connections across the country.

When did the free night calls begin?

 Free night calling and free Sunday calling was introduced by BSNL from August 21, 2016, following which customers were able to make free unlimited calls on any mobile or landline number in the country on Sundays from August 21. BSNL has also launched unlimited BB249 plan which offers unlimited Broadband internet for merely Rs 249.

BSNL cancels free Sunday calling from 1st Feb 2018


How will be the new plan acts?

From February 1, BSNL customers who have subscribed to the FTTH, landline, broadband and combo plans will be charged on Sundays just like any other day. It will be applicable to both the existing and new customers too. Still, the users can enjoy the free night calling for the new timing on Sundays too.

BSNL has already revised the night voice calling scheme in 1st January after which free calling is offered from 10.30 pm instead of 9 pm, initially, the free night voice calling was from 9 pm to 7 am.

The unlimited broadband plans from BSNL start at Rs. 499 and not all these plans come with bundled free voice calls. It is limited to some plans such as the BB249 and a few other combo plans.

 Why has BSNL taken such harsh decision?

 On July 31, 1995, first for India when our honorable the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu made the first mobile phone call in India to then Union Telecom Minister Sukhram. Sixteen years later 4th generation services were launched in Kolkata.

It’s really a question mark for all of us now that how suddenly the Government telecommunication company become so rude to its nation’s customers?

I think its just because of these private players. Once there was a time when BSNL was the one and only means of telecommunication for the peoples of India when the whole nation whether he was rich or poor, any VIP or the general public of the nation all possessed the landline.

 But post the launched of the mobile phone in 1995, a major revolution began in the telecommunication sector. The private companies lure the customers by offering free plans after every alternate day due to which majority of the peoples left their BSNL landline connection by transformed it with the private mobile connection.

However, those customers who still retain their BSNL landline connection due to its low call rates in comparison to private telecom companies and enjoying its free calls at overnight and at Sunday will now have to think for its chargeable call rate.

Because how long the Government will bear the loss for satisfying its customers when the private telecom companies always stand in competition about their new Plans and rates.

As a result in the current competitive arena, the BSNL company now become restricted with its free call plans because the Government will have to run its business successfully along with these private players.

 Notably

In the meanwhile for the development of telecommunication in few States, BSNL had sealed a deal with the ministry of law and justice for providing high-speed internet and cloud connectivity to as many as 900 subordinates and district courts in remote locations including majorly Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern states.

WhatsApp Business app in India for Android – New Features

Finally, the WhatsApp Business app in India has now launched. It’s a complete Business linking, a promotional app for the extension of your business in a broadway with your customers directly by messaging platform. This solitary app making easier for small businesses to let them communicate with their clients and customers in an easy way.

WhatsApp Business app in India for Android

The WhatsApp Business app in India for Android is now available for free download via Google Play in India. You could not find the WhatsApp Business app now on the Apple App Store, meaning iOS users will have to wait a bit.The new app, for small businesses, arrived first in a handful of markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the US. The app was initially tested in India and Brazil ahead of its public release.

WhatsApp Business app in India aims at promoting, strengthening and simplifying the reach of small businesses without making hefty investments in website development, infrastructure related to customer support and more.

What is WhatsApp Business app?

WhatsApp Business app is meant for small businesses this might be of no use to you unless you own one. Say, if you run a small online boutique or garments shop or have a local grocery store or bakery or bookstore, then WhatsApp Business app can help you connect more efficiently with your customers. 

What new features of WhatsApp Business app in India launched?  

The new ‘WhatsApp Business’ features include ‘Business Profiles’, ‘Messaging Tools’, ‘Messaging Statistics’, ‘WhatsApp Web’ and ‘Account Type’. 

1. Business Profiles: Will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses, website or any extra description of the business.

2.Messaging Tools: Allow business owners to set quick replies to ensure that they can quickly send answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). There will also be greeting messages for customers and away messages as well when the owners are busy or during off hours.

3. Messaging Statistics: Business owners will also get to see messaging statistics and review what messages have been read and see what is working on the platform so that they can tweak the content of quick replies or their strategy of contacting their customers.

4.WhatsApp Web: There will also be the option of WhatsApp Web to send and receive messages with WhatsApp Business on the desktop.

5. Account Type: Finally, the account type will let users know if they are talking to a business as it will be listed as a Business Account means to ensure that the customers contacting them know that they are business owners.

WhatsApp pointed out that over the time business accounts will get ‘confirmed accounts’ after it is confirmed that the operator of the WhatsApp Business account is using the same number as the actual business contact number.

Will WhatsApp charge for this Business app? 

The WhatsApp Business app in India is free for all SMEs. The normal users can continue to use WhatsApp without change and there is no need to download anything new. Users have full control on the messages that they receive as they can block any number including the messages coming from a business account. Users can also report the messages from Business accounts as spam if they are spammy in nature.

How will this affect normal users?

 The present WhatsApp service is different from the WhatsApp Business service, which caters more to business owners. So you will have to verify and register your mobile number once again.

But since it is a separate service meant for different users, WhatsApp Business app in India will ask for a separate mobile number, one that is different from the one you use for your regular WhatsApp application.

For those who stuck with one mobile number can choose to move it to WhatsApp Business or simply use the second number for verification. WhatsApp warns that hitting ‘Continue’ will “move” and not share the number with its other service.

Terms of the service

In terms of some major similarities with the original WhatsApp, the WhatsApp Business app in India allows businesses to set privacy for their profile photo, about information, and status as well as lets them block any of their contacts and enable read receipts. The app also has a live location feature that helps companies share their live location with their clients and customers. It additionally allows businesses to make voice and video calls. Notably, the app offers end-to-end encryption for all the messages and calls it circulates to restrict any third-party access.

 Caution:-

 WhatsApp is free and has no ads for the service, so it will need to look at new ways of monetizing the app. Also, WhatsApp says, in countries like India and Brazil, over 80 percent of small businesses are using their app to connect with customers. You could not find the WhatsApp Business app now on the Apple App Store, meaning iOS users will have to wait a bit.

For those of you who prefer WhatsApp for sending pictures and good morning messages, then the current version of the app is good enough.

Instagram testing two type features for stories and screenshot alert

To share your stories and images on social media -Instagram plays a vital role. Instagram testing two type features for stories and screenshot alert– one was the new ‘Type’ feature for Stories that puts the emphasis on written stories and the other being the screenshot alert for Stories that could notify users when someone takes the screenshot of their Stories. 

Instagram’s Stories are one of the most popular ways to share content on social media, but sometimes images and videos just aren’t as effective as plain old text. 

Instagram testing two type features for stories and screenshot alert

Instagram testing two type features for stories and screenshot alert

The feature for Stories which is one among the Instagram testing two type features for stories and screenshot alert, shows up as another option at the bottom of the Stories camera, next to Boomerang and Rewind icon, for text status. You can select several fonts, and Instagram automatically selects a plain background or gradient. Alternatively, you can even select photos of your choice to use as a background, though Instagram will apply a filter to it in order to emphasize your text.

How did the new feature inform you about the last time the user was online?

 Instagram is continuing on with updating the platform to continue to provide users (and marketers) a better experience than ever before.

With this new feature, users can check out the online status for people that they were conversing with on direct messages. Noted, the feature works even if the person is not following your account. 

How it works similar to the ‘Last Seen’ feature on WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger?

Instagram’s text-only feature apparently similar to ‘Last Seen’ on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. It can be approached by going into the Instagram Direct messages section of the app. It shows the last time stamp when the user was online on the app, it has options like ‘Active now’, ‘Active today’, ‘Active 1h ago’, ‘Active 24m ago’ etc. To change the visibility of your Active status, users will need to go to ‘Settings’ via the three-dot menu in the app and toggle the ‘Show Activity Status’ feature. The feature is currently being tested with a few select users on both Android and iOS.

 How Instagram’s security feature act?

It will alert you by sending a notification when someone takes a screenshot of your Story –a screenshot alert. Previously the company supported notifications for the screenshot of direct messages, but this is the first time it applies to stories. Every time someone takes a screenshot of your Instagram Story you will be notified. However, Instagram will apparently be a little lenient, with letting you off with a warning the first time, and the next time it would send an alert.

How UIDAI protect Aadhar privacy by ‘Virtual ID & Limited KYC’?

Do you really worried about the safety of your sensitive, personal information of Aadhaar data? Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has come up with a solution termed Virtual ID, in an attempt to eliminate possibilities of such data breach and misuse. 

623460-144557-aadhar

This significant attempt has been taken out by UIDAI in regards to the safety of the citizens of the country. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced two new features Virtual ID and limited KYC (Know Your Customer) to limit the use of the 12-digit code for strengthening the privacy and security of Aadhaar number holders, which Aadhaar cardholders can generate from its website and use for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.

Vital facts about Aadhaar Virtual IDs

How to create Virtual ID?

  • The Virtual ID will end the need to share user’s Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The ‘Virtual ID’, which would be a random 16-digit number, together with the biometrics of the user, would give any authorized agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address, and photograph, which are enough for any verification.
  • The ID can be generated as many time as possible.
  • The older ID gets automatically canceled once a fresh one is generated.
  • Users can go to the UIDAI website to generate their virtual ID which will be valid for a defined period of time, or till the user decides to change it.
  •  This ID will be used to authenticate Aadhaar users through a new authentication method that UIDAI is calling Limited KYC.

How ‘Limited KYC’ acts?

  • The UIDAI has also introduced ‘limited KYC’, under which it will only provide need-based or limited details of a user to an authorized agency that is providing a particular service like telecom operators.
  • Limited KYC will allow agencies to do their own paperless KYC process without access to the Aadhaar number. This will eliminate agencies storing the Aadhaar numbers of users in their databases.
  • The ‘Virtual ID’ will be a temporary and revocable number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number and the Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting it from March 1, 2018.

Only users can generate ID

  • As per the UIDAI, agencies that undertake authentication would not be allowed to generate the ‘Virtual ID’ on behalf of the Aadhaar holder.
  • The UIDAI is instructing all agencies using its authentication and eKYC services to ensure Aadhaar holders can provide the ‘Virtual ID’ instead of Aadhaar number within their application.
  • As many as 119 crores biometric identifiers have been issued so far and Aadhaar is required as an identity proof by various government and non-government entities.

 For instance, the government has made it mandatory for verifying bank account and PAN to weed out black money and bring unaccounted wealth to book. The same for SIM has been mandated to establish the identity of mobile phone users.

Caution

From June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the ‘Virtual IDs’ from the users.

Agencies that do not migrate to the new system to offer this additional option to their users by the stipulated deadline will face financial disincentives. 

 

 

How to post your Instagram Stories directly on WhatsApp?

You can Soon post Instagram Stories directly on WhatsApp!

Do you love Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, and Facebook Stories too? You would be happy to know that an Instagram story can be shared on WhatsApp and Facebook too.

Facebook-owned popular image and video sharing platform, Instagram might soon allow users to post their Instagram ‘Stories’ directly as a WhatsApp Status. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that ‘Instagram’ Stories’ and ‘WhatsApp Status’ both now have 300 million daily active users.

The features, which are the clones of rival app Snapchat, now boast numbers almost twice the size of Snapchat that has 173 million daily active users. Facebook is currently testing the feature for sharing Instagram Story on WhatsApp.

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 Facebook introduced new feature

Recently, Facebook created another feature to help you discover photos uploaded by friend and family who may have forgotten to tag you. The social media giant is basically using facial recognition technology to help you find photos you’re not tagged in. This feature also helps you know when others might be using your image as their profile picture.

How to share Insta Stories on WhatsApp?

 You can share Instagram Stories that has improved pictures, GIFs, and videos on WhatsApp without worrying about encryption. The feature would allow users to post photos, GIFs, and videos enhanced with emojis and stickers.

 Instagrammers would see an option to share Stories to WhatsApp on the Instagram sharing screen. They need to click “send” to post their Stories.

The Stories shared as WhatsApp Status will appear on the status bar and disappear after 24 hours. Like other messages on WhatsApp, the Instagram Story that you will share will be encrypted too.

Instagram launched a new feature

Recently, the photo-sharing app Instagram introduced a new feature which enables users to follow Hashtags, following a hashtag is just like a following a friend, just search for a topic that fascinates you and taps any hashtag that is visible, and on top of the results page, you will see a follow button.

According to Instagram, the feature makes it easier for users to discover photos, videos and people on its platform. If you follow a specific hashtag, you will see relevant posts from the same hashtag in your feed and the Stories bar. Users can also unfollow these hashtags if they don’t find them relevant anymore.

You will also be able to see all the hashtags your friends follow just like how you can see which accounts they follow. However, Instagram reassures us that you can change your privacy settings to make sure only your followers are able to see those lists.

Instagram Stories can also be shared on Facebook

 The Instagram story can be shared on Facebook too. However, the feature currently is only available to Instagram users in the US.

Why Facebook creating this?

 With this new feature, Facebook is trying to expand Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status user bases and enhance customer experience.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram Stories has 300mn daily active users (DAUs).

The feature would help Stories generate more traffic, especially in markets where WhatsApp is more popular.It would help increase the usage of WhatsApp Status feature, which also has over 300mn DAUs.

Caution

The official launch of the feature would happen soon, no timeline has been revealed. As of now, Facebook is only testing this feature with a few users. There is no word from the company about when it will be rolled out to all its users. 

 

Why you failed always to book a Tatkal train ticket?

Why you couldn’t get Tatkal Train Ticket but your agent could?

Whether its any festive or New year celebration, you always plan your holidays trip at various destination within the country by Indian Railways rather by choosing to invest in costly air tickets.

Now during online booking of Railway tickets when you fill up your details you get that all the seats under Tatkal quota gets full within minutes of start of the booking and you immediately call up your travel agents and then you have to pay them a sum of somewhere between Rs 500-Rs 5000 as a commission for a confirmed tatkal ticket.

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My first question is have you ever noticed that how the travel agents always manage to reserve a seat under the tatkal category on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website while you failed even after your hard try?.

Now my second question is, its not like that only during festive season there is a rush for booking tickets while you may notice even during off-seasonal periods the Same reply you used to receive from the agents and when you ask them that why there is always a scarcity of Railway tickets around the whole year then they very smartly skip your query but after you arrive at the particular berth of the compartment, you will notice that many vacant berths are still there for travel.

More surprising used to be the fact that some of the ticket agents were able to book the same confirmed tickets from their end. For this, these agents charged extra money. However, the customers complain bookings are either rejected or they get a wait-listed ticket that too at a very steep price.

Did you ever wonder why such issues? What was the game all about? The answer is very simple because there’s a big Scam running behind it. Let me reveals the bitter truth behind the scene.

Who is behind the SCAM?

Ajay Garg, ex-IRCTC employee and presently working with the CBI, was the kingpin of this entire network for developing an illegal software which he sold to the travel agents who then booked 800 – 1000 tickets at one go. Anil Garg along with numerous other persons has been running this racket for the past one year. Garg had worked with Indian railways since 2007-2011 and understood the vulnerabilities in the website. This helped him loot the Indian Railways and the common people.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday 27th December arrested the techie, Ajay Garg, from Delhi after it was found that he played a big role in a racket that duped the entire Tatkal system.

The CBI official said “It was alleged that Garg had developed an illicit software for duping the Tatkal ticket booking system being run by the IRCTC and conspired with Anil Kumar Gupta. They indulged in distributing the software to private persons for their unauthorized use for a hefty consideration”. Garg was allegedly the brain behind one such illicit software which allowed the ticket agents to book hundreds of Tatkal tickets with a single click of the mouse.

Along with Garg, CBI has also arrested Anil Gupta, who worked on the front while the former remained veiled. CBI has said that Gupta was responsible for developing and distributing the software to agents for a price. Besides Gupta, Garg’s family members are also alleged to be involved in the scam. Garg’s parents, wife, sister, and brother-in-law are believed to be instrumental in making collections from travel agents using his software.

How Garg learned those frailties?

The thirty-five-year-old Ajay Garg had joined the CBI in 2012 through a selection process and has been working as an assistant programmer. Earlier, he had served with IRCTC, which handles ticketing system of the railways, between 2007 and 2011. The CBI probe has found that Garg learned the vulnerabilities of the IRCTC ticketing software during his tenure there, which he exploited in his software.

How agents charged extra money?

After failing to book tatkal tickets, passengers would go to the travel agents to secure a berth in the trains departing the next day. Under Tatkal Booking system, a premium quota for the tickets opened at 10 am for AC class and 11 AM for non-AC coaches for the trains departing next day. Under the scheme, a fixed number of seats, in each coach, are sold at a premium by the railways to travelers who need tickets urgently.

The travel agents would approach Garg who would book the required number of berth through the fake website. The travel agent would then charge the passengers somewhere between Rs 500-Rs 5000. Even some travel agents offer to provide confirmed tickets under the quota by charging a premium, over and above railways prices.

How they collect the payment?

Well, it’s another surprising that Garg collected the money in the form of bitcoins and through hawala channels to avoid scrutiny.

Through the software, Garg was allegedly able to keep the statements of tickets booked by the agents and charged them on per ticket basis, in addition to the cost of the software.

The recovered treasures after searching

The CBI has carried out searches at 14 locations in Delhi, Mumbai and Jaunpur during which it recovered Rs 89.42 lakh in cash, gold jewellery valued at Rs 61.29 lakh which include two gold bars of one kilogram each, 15 laptops, 15 hard discs, 52 mobile phones, 24 SIM cards, 10 notebooks, six routers, four dongles and 19 pen drives. The security agency has also arrested 10 agents, seven from Jaunpur and three from Mumbai in this connection so far.

The Indian railways already have an ongoing drive against ticket-less travelers and such illegal ticket booking, which creates artificial shortages of tickets.
“Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has now further ordered to continue this drive and identify similar cases which are causing inconvenience to genuine passengers”.

So hope the coming year will really bring a relief for online booking of Tatkal Railway ticket. 

 

Why WhatsApp will stop working on BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone 8.0 after Dec 31, 2017?

With the end of this year (December 31), 2017 WhatsApp gives the shocking news of ending its service for several smartphone platforms. The Facebook-owned company has confirmed this via its official blog post. So the countdown starts for some mobile platforms when it comes to WhatsApp updates.

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The messaging service will end support for operating systems from BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8.0 and older devices, and Nokia S40 will not be able to use WhatsApp properly after December 31, 2017. This means that users using mobile phones running any one of these platforms will not be able to use WhatsApp after this year. WhatsApp says users on these particular platforms will not be able to create new accounts, nor re-verify existing accounts once the company ends support. End of support does not mean a user will lose access to their WhatsApp account. WhatsApp says users can continue using the app on their phone, but should not expect any future security updates or new features.

While Windows 8 will get axed once 2018 starts, WhatsApp will continue support for Windows 8.1 version and higher devices, even though Microsoft itself has admitted that Windows Mobile is dead. In BlackBerry’s case, the company has itself confirmed it will no longer be manufacturing or launching new smartphones, and the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS have been abandoned. Instead, new BlackBerry-branded phones are now manufactured by China-based TCL and powered by Android OS. So WhatsApp ending support for the BlackBerry platform is not surprising.

The company said “We will no longer actively develop for these platforms, some features may stop functioning at any time,” WhatsApp said. “These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 4.0+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8.1+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp,”

This is not the first time that WhatsApp is ending support for old mobile platforms. In February last year 2016, also the company had announced a list of devices/platforms that it ceased support for. These included Android 2.1 and Android 2.2; Windows Phone 7. The list also had a version of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS, iPhone 3GS/iOS 6. This list also included BlackBerry OS and Nokia S40 platform, the date for these was later changed to June 2017 and then this deadline was further updated to December 31, 2017. This means these platforms have already received extensions twice.

These are the mobile OS that would stop supporting WhatsApp by the end of this year:

— Nokia Symbian S60 after June 30, 2017

— BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 after December 31, 2017

— Windows Phone 8.0 and older after December 31, 2017

— Nokia S40 after December 31, 2018

— Android versions 2.3.7 and older after February 1, 2020. 

 

 

How to stop WhatsApp from Auto Downloading on Android, iPhone?

WhatsApp has close to 1.5 billion users globally, with India being among its top markets. WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India alone. In fact, it is probably one of the first apps anyone in India downloads when they get a new smartphone as it has become the default means of texting in the country. Due to the increasing popularity of the chat app has made it compatible with the messaging. SMS sounds old and outdated now.

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Besides text conversations, WhatsApp is also a place where people share a ton of photos and videos. Both photos and videos get auto-downloaded on iOS. However, it can become an annoyance too when the chat app automatically downloads all those stupid memes, audio files, videos, and photos. These not only clutter your phone’s gallery and music player but also eat up a lot of storage and data. Here’s how you can stop WhatsApp from automatically saving photos and audio on your phone.

How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving Pictures, Videos and Other Media on Whatsapp for Android phones:

If you are an Android user, open your WhatsApp, go to Settings>Data and storage usage>Media auto download. Now uncheck all the three boxes under the Media auto download- when using mobile data, when connected to Wifi and when roaming.

Step by step guidance:

  1. Open WhatsApp, make sure you are seeing the main window – where all your chats are displayed. Tap the three vertical dots on the top right > Settings.
  2. Now tap Chat settings > Media auto-download. You’ll see three options: When using cellular data When connected to Wi-Fi and When roaming. Tap each one and disable auto-downloads by unchecking all three options – Images, Audio and Video.

To view photos, you will have to download them. When you do, WhatsApp saves them in a folder, and you can get inundated with stupid memes and other unwanted content, which is visible to anyone who open’s your phone’s Gallery App. However, it is possible to stop these photos from appearing in the Gallery app. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Download Quickpic and open the app.
  2. Navigate to the WhatsApp media folders. The location of the WhatsApp folder varies across devices but it should typically be the following: Internal Storage (sometimes labelled sdcard0) > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Images, > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Audio, and WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Videos.
  3. Long-press the WhatsApp Images folder and make sure that it is selected. Do the same with the WhatsApp Video and WhatsApp Audio folders.
  4. After selecting the three folders, tap the three dots icon on the top-right > Hide. This will ensure that the Gallery app doesn’t show them. You can still view these images and videos within WhatsApp and through any apps that let you view hidden folders. But if you pass your phone to someone, you no longer need to worry about them seeing the WhatsApp photos and videos through the Gallery app.

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How to Stop Auto Downloading and Saving Pictures, Videos and Other Media on WhatsApp for iPhone:

iPhone users can also de-clutter their phone from annoying audio file, videos, and photos. Open WhatsApp>Settings>Data and storage usage. Now check the Never box for photos, videos, audio, and documents.

Step by step guidance:

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap the Settings button at the bottom-right, and tap on Data and Storage Usage
  2. In this menu, you will see the Media Auto-Download option on top
  3. For Photos, Audio, Videos, and Documents, select the Never option.

Now only the files you choose to download manually will appear on your phone, and you can even choose to stop the photos and videos from appearing the phone’s Camera Roll. All you need to do is to go to Chats in the Settings menu, open the Save to Camera Roll menu, and turn it to off. This stops the pictures people are sending from showing up in the camera roll and taking over your synced Photo Stream.

Few quick points to save mobile data and phone storage when using the WhatsApp:

  • Stop auto-download of heavy files. Videos are entertaining but hog a lot of space on your phone. You can always set the auto-download for such videos when on WiFi.
  • Allow chat back up but only on WiFi. WhatsApp stores all your text chats and images. While this is an important feature as it allows you to retrieve your photos later from Cloud, backing up on mobile data can eat up your mobile data. So try doing it only on WiFi.
  • WhatsApp has an option where you can view your contacts and how much space each is taking. Go to WhatsApp> Storage and data usage>Storage usage.
  • Now you will see all your recent chats along with the space each is consuming on your phone. Select the chat>Manage messages>Clear messages.

Low data usage for WhatsApp calls:

WhatsApp also has an option to lower the amount of data it uses during WhatsApp voice calls. Open WhatsApp>Settings>Data and storage usage> Low data usage.

Hope the above sharing will definitely help you to save your Smartphone’s storage from mess up by unwanted WhatsApp auto-downloading of videos, images.