FunkyTalk on dot com
J. V. Ravichandran
ICICI bank, in India, has adopted e-cheques in its e-banking
section, according to a TOI report. An outcome of possible
influence of my article in this page of December 2001.
voice messaging service ! A hip and convenient telephony, friendship
service from dialnetindia.com. Although the service is in its infancy, the
outlines of this service seem well laid out. Listen to a message and leave
a message via a funky box number ! A forewarning not to use abusive or
indecent language/words is quite thoughtful and the service may turn out
to be a real blockbuster just because of this thoughtfulness. The greatest
promise of this service is that it can pass messages to friends living in
far corners of India, without having to incur STD phone bills in the
process ! Dialnetindia.com has other services, too, on the cards.
"Funky talk" is exciting because it is free, at least, till 31st
Still on funky, yahoo.com has made its email service quite
"funky", with new options like marking a "read"
message as "unread" ! Yahoo services have always been excellent,
with its domain hosting service "Geocities.com", the best among
The ICICI bank, in India, has adopted e-cheques in its e-banking section,
according to a TOI report. An outcome of possible influence of my article
in this page of December 2001. In India, an effort or a suggestion or even
project reports are used gleefully but never rewarded or even
acknowledged. I had earlier, two years back, submitted a report to Mr.
Parvez Hashmi, then Min. of state for transport of Delhi, but never
receieved an acknowledgement for it in official press reports although
many salient points of my report had been utilised and one of them, a
suggestion on "Unified colour scheme for all public transport in
Delhi" has really been adopted heavily. Worse, I received viruses
from the Indian Banks' Association, as acknowledgement for my effort on
Still on responsibility, the MEA of India has an attitude that will leave
anyone with an impression that s-he is dealing with a superpower's
ministry. Even heads of the European union have been snubbed with
"Madam (the ever-absent MEA's spokeswoman) is not available. Please
leave a message" An enquiry on the reason behind the American
Embassy's decision to entrust all visa based activities to T.T.Services, a
courier company, via the web, (the exact address is not known to even the
Embassy staff !), produced a snorter of a reply ! "We are not aware
of such developments. Please contact the America division." where
another woman officer, with an unpronounceable name, is rarely available
at 9.30 A.M., according to her woman secretary, due to pressures of a
tight work schedule ! How can such workers' schedule ever be tight, when
they don't even bother to know or don't know the major international
developments in their own country? Maybe Ministry of External Affairs
means affairs external to internal affairs !!
Incidentally and quite interestingly, the reception at the American
Embassy has almost the same kind of response. "We are not aware of
any such development, sir. We don't even know the URL of TT
services", while an advertisement had been taken out in The Times of
India, late last year, about the new net based services via the website of
T.T.Services. The interesting aspect of this development is that
T.T.services has been entrusted this new responsibility of providing net
based services to U.S. visa seekers, after the Sept. 11 attacks, when
immigration procedures should have been tightened and best handled by the
esteemed consulate itself. A majorly thought- provoking and one of
concern, is this decision of the consulate, as illegal immigrations nearly
caused major disaster for the world and to allow such loopholes in the
immigration procedures especially, in a country where back door entries
are famed and occur often.
More interestingly, T.T.Services has been entrusted with these new powers
after it had bungled with my application, in a rather heavy way (This I
can recount with total confidence as the H1B application, which
T.T.services bungled with, was mine and the consulate knows this bungling,
too!) and instead of taking action on the handling agent, the esteemed
consulate has honoured its malicious ways by entrusting more powers to it
! One of my documents had been misplaced or deliberately withheld by this
agent thus provoking the embassy's strict ruling against my favour. But,
all said and done, visa seeking has become more convenient because of the
web based services of the American Embassy however, incompetent may be the
handling agent in between !
Still on responsibility, any educated person would agree that a grievance
concerning visa matters should best be addressed to the MEA or to the PMO
but if diplomats are not even given appointments, can the common man hope
to get one from the royal ministry ? The alternative to tight schedule is
net based administration, which not only eases the public's life but also
speeds up administrative action. But, then, the MEA is too busy doing
nothing, than rethink its functioning ! The PM's website is just for
decorative purpose as there is no attendant to the complaints made via
this website - http://pmindia.nic.in.
An enquiry to the PMO evinced this response - "We can't do anything
on this matter. We can only forward it (back to!) to the MEA or to your
local police station both of which are worse than no justice !
Administrative processes are understandable but what kind of a strange
process is this where the highest office does not even bat an eyelid nor
knows what to do, when the same grievance, in any country, would have
caused an uproar in the parliament ?
All said and done, all the above facts have one commonality - they are all
about utter disdain to accountability ! So, could this be the key link to
the deliberate incompetence being shown in all the above instances ?