IAS officer (yeh baat kuch hajam nahi hue)

I was reading this article in Hindu

BANGALORE: Gold ornaments estimated at Rs. 4.50 lakh and Rs. 20,000 in cash were stolen from an IAS officer’s hotel room in Upparpet police station limits on Wednesday.

The police said Prathap Sinha, an IAS officer from Lucknow, had come here for his son’s admission into a professional college and was staying with family members in a Gandhinagar hotel. Around 9.30 p.m., Mr. Sinha found that a bag containing the cash and jewelery was stolen from the room. The Upparpet police, who have registered a case, suspect that a room boy who brought tea for Mr. Sinha and his family members, might have made away with the bag.

I had just one question to ask…. You are here for a college admission (not a marriage) of your son, but you have just 20k of cash and a few lakhs of gold? Why would a guy in his right mind carry 4.5 Lakh worth of jewelery anywhere?



This post is dedicated to my greatest tutor. Somebody who shakes me out of the cloud of over-confidence that I cushion myself in and brings me back to reality.

I will be on Hiatus for the rest of the month… or till I figure out where I am heading and what I want to do with life.


LTA Rules

Leave Travel Assistance (LTA) has got a tax treatment which is quite different from all the other type of allowances and perquisites that you get. And that’s the primary reason it is the one that gets people confused more often than not.
The following points need to be kept in mind while taking the LTA or producing bills for it:

1. You can claim the LTA money every year regardless of whether you are going to claim tax deduction on it or not.
2. If you do not wish to claim LTA in one particular year you can have your employer carry – forward your LTA for the next year.
3. For getting LTA tax exempt you will have to produce bills, but you can’t get your LTA exempt every year.
4. You can get your LTA exempt twice in a block of four years. Right now the block that is relevant is 2006-2009. This block is decided by the Government so does not have a bearing on when you start your job and also these blocks are calendar years and not financial years.
5. The bills can be air, rail or even a private rental company however the exemption is only for domestic travel so an international ticket won’t do.
6. The bills have to be for a journey that has been undertaken when you are on leave and should be for you and your family that is spouse, children and dependant parents, brothers and sisters. Its obvious that your family can’t claim the exemption if you have not accompanied them.
7. If you and your wife both get LTA although obviously both of you can’t claim exemption for the same travel but you can avail exemption independently for different travels. So effectively between the two of you, you can claim exemptions four times in four years.
8. If for some reason you fail to claim exemption in the bucket of four years you still have the option to claim exemption in the first year of the next block.
9. Only travel bills can be used exemption, so a hotel bill can’t be produced for claiming exemption even though you might have stayed in the hotel during your leave.
10. The maximum LTA for the purposes of tax exemption is Rs.20000 so normally any most organizations design the salary structure in such a manner that they don’t give the employees more than Rs. 20000 as LTA.
11. In terms of proof for air travel although there is no fixed rule as such it might be a good idea to preserve the boarding pass along with the ticket to make sure there are no problems in claiming exemption later on.
12. LTA can only be claimed for the short distance between two places. So if you are planning to travel from Goa to Mumbai then you will be allowed exemption on tickets from Goa to Mumbai and bac. You will not be allowed to produce tickets that are via some other place like Mumbai to Hyderabad and then from Hyderabad to Goa and so forth.
13. LTA can only be claimed on tickets or rented private vehicles, you cannot show petrol or diesel vehicles for your own vehicles and then claim exemption on it.

– Source


Employment Guarantee Scheme

Till now the India Shining has been restricted to metros and big urban centers. Cities like Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore are growing by leaps and bounds while rural areas are lagging behind or growing at a minuscule 1-2%. Villages, which are predominantly dependent on the agriculture and farm produce, have been neglected for decades now. As a result marginal farmers all over the nation have been left with 2 choices: Leave the ancestral lands and move to cities or commit suicide.

Mr Manmohan Singh has a small dream, a dream of All-Inclusive growth of the country. So instead of sitting in a posh AC office, he rolled up his sleeves and attacked the root of the problem. Last year he launched one of the boldest Government Program The Employment Guarantee Scheme (E.G.S.). This year he increased the fund allocation to 120 billion Rupees extended the program to 300 of the country’s poorest districts.

Idea is simple: The government guarantees employment to one able bodied member from each family residing in the district. It is the Panchayat and the State Government’s responsibility to find within 15 days a minimum wage employment for the applicant or else pay a huge fine/compensation.

What does it mean:
1) Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Manmohan Singh won this election with a simple question “What has India Shining meant for you?” With the schemes like EGS and mid-day meals, the architect of India’s liberalization today has makes sure that the fruits of the development reaches to the needy.
2) The work involved is strenuous manual labor that too for minimum wages. So only those who are poor, unemployed and are ready to earn their daily bread is benefited from the program.
3) The funds are enough to sponsor 20 billion man hours of employment each year for the remotest and most backward regions of the country. My God.. you can build the Great Wall of China all over again. Even after accounting for pilferage, corruption a village can build god knows how many roads, irrigation projects, schools and infrastructure.

I feel that this audacious program is the biggest boast to the rural economy in the Modern India. However Hindu seems to disagree with me.

They are oblivious to the fact that EGS will definitely reduce suicides/crime rates, increase child literacy, reduce malnutrition and slow down emigration to cities. Instead these pompous journalists at Hindu, who have never ventured out of their Air-Conditioned offices, take great pride in branding EGS as Anti-Farmer. Since the rich Landlords will no longer be able to exploit the poor and pay them below the Statutory Minimum Wages, this scheme should be withdrawn.

I know ECS is far from perfect, but if you feel that what I say is even partially true, then please do write a letter/email to the Hindu.

A detailed impact analysis and the employment opportunities generated under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) can be found at EPW. Do open this pdf in IE instead of firefox. and this

Humor Links

colors of holi

do watch the public service message embedded at the last of this video song.
A Taliban was sitting in a cave when he hears over a dune the voice of one American solider:
“One American solider is better then 10 Taliban fighters” so the Taliban angry sent over ten of his high-ranking soldiers.
After a lot of gun fire and yelling and screams of agony the Taliban heard the voice again. “One American solider is better then 100 Taliban fighters”
So the Taliban sends over 100 of his highest ranked soldiers sure of victory.
After a lot of gun fire and yelling and screams of agony the Taliban heard the voice again. “One American solider is better then 1000 Taliban fighters”
So the Taliban sent his toughest, meanest, personal guards over the dune. After hundreds of bullets fired, and explosions and the screaming and crying, it was over.
The Taliban now wondering what happened goes over the dune where he finds a wounded Taliban solider who says “don’t send anymore men it’s really a trap there is really two of them!”


optical Illusion

BTW guys try to find the fault in this picture.


Puri Temple in ‘Cleansing Act’

I read yet another shocking news and could not resist commenting on it. Here is an dialogue account of what might have taken place.

Paul Roediger (PR) is the American tourist amazed by the Indian culture and Hindu religion. He has traveled far and wide and read lots of books and articles about India. He visits Puri and is greeted by Ramachandra Panda (Priest) is a priest at Jaganath Temple.

PR: I see this majestic temple, and thousands of devotees. What is this place?
Priest: It is the temple of Lord Jaganath, the King of the Creation. Subjects from all over the world come to pay their respects to their mighty Lord. The Lord blesses them and cleanses their soul.
PR: Did you say the Lord of the Entire World? I also have a grievance, can I also worship here?
Priest: NO!
PR: Please, I promise i won’t take more than 15 seconds of my lords time.
Priest: No, you cannot meet him… you need to be a Hindu.
PR: So if I am a Hindu and an Indian, I can meet him?
Priest: Yes, But provided you are not a Shudhra.
(confused why someone would want to be a Shurdhra on the first place)
PR: How do I become a respectable Hindu?
Priest: You can never become one… you need to be born a hindu to be one.
(Seriously disappointed, and not knowing what to do. This devotee PR is turning back)
Priest: Hey wait! I can make a special provision for you.
PR: What sort of provision? (thinks for a while) Will 500/- do?
Priest: (smiles) You are the most generous and noble man I have ever seen.

Gist of the story….
I seriously believe that in a Modern egalitarian India, there is no place for temples like this. Temples like Jaganath breed religious hatred and casteism. and keep the Indian mentality primitive. SC/ST/OBC and females are still barred from visiting many of the holy sites.

You cannot cleanse these temples by throwing 300,000/- worth of prasad (food), but by DEMOLISHING Jaganath temples and putting all the priests and authorities behind bars. What use is this grandeur if there is no humanity and brotherhood?