Citizens' Issues
112 proposed as India's single emergency number

To suggestions that existing emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers, TRAI said calls made to these numbers should be directed to the new single emergency number 112

 

India's telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday proposed using a single number '112' for all emergency phone calls across the country including for police, fire and ambulance services.
 
"Authority recommends that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for India. This new number may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the government," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said here.
 
To suggestions that existing emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers, TRAI said calls made to these numbers should be directed to the new single emergency number 112.
 
Similar to the 911 emergency service in the US, people will be able to make calls on 112 from their phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended.
 
TRAI also recommended setting up of helplines to handle calls of people in distress.
 
Under the new system, the regulator has asked the government to set up a Response Management System under a Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) which will coordinate for despatch of emergency services.
 

User

Mumbai-Goa catamaran service to be launched soon

Before the advent of the Konkan Railway and the airline tickets got cheaper, the only modes of transport from Mumbai to Goa and vice versa were either an overnight bus journey over coarse roads or hopping onto a steamer which would take 24 hours to coast over the passage

 

Tired of booking expensive flight tickets to Goa? If the efforts of Goa's Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Mumbai Port Trust pan out, a cheap catamaran service may help to fuel Goa's tourism story further.
 
Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of a media event in Panaji late Tuesday, chairman of MPT Cyril George said he had received written consent from his counterpart in the Mumbai port facility and a cheaper catamaran ferry service could begin in as soon as two months.
 
"This service will be able to serve tourists and a pleasure for passengers. It will be convenient and nature friendly," George said.
 
The top official said the two port bodies were speaking to two private agencies, who were keen on operating the catamaran service, which George said, will help tourists travel to and from Goa, with a lesser toll on their wallets.
 
"You may be feeling that to travel from Goa to Bombay (and vice versa) especially during New Year is expensive or tickets are not available. This (catamaran) may be the answer," George said.
 
Before the advent of the Konkan Railway and the airline tickets got cheaper, the only modes of transport from Mumbai to Goa and vice versa were either an overnight bus journey over coarse roads or hopping onto a steamer which would take 24 hours to coast over the passage.
 
In 80s, the steamers were commandeered into service during the Indian peace keeping force operations in Sri Lanka only to be replaced by swanky privately operated catamarans more than a decade back, a service which died a quick death because of commercial non-viability.
 
George claims a lot had changed since the failed private catamaran enterprise and that the dynamics or marine travel and interest in Goa had changed.
 
"There was a ship service 10 years ago. The situation has changed a lot like the culture, attitudes, picnic, economy, etc. Now a lot of people want to visit Goa," George said, adding that the MPT was also planning two marinas and a ferry service in Goa's territorial waters.
 
Goa is known as one of the best beach tourism destination in the country and attracts nearly four million tourists every year.
 

User

Can we simplify some procedures for NRIs?
If a foreign government has already apostilled a document, then why it needs attestation from the Consulate General of India? Furthermore, why should the NRI do this process for a document like PAN card issued by the Indian Government itself
 
Indian diaspora (or foreign nationals) wanting to do business in India have to still go through laborious processes for simple things, taking up a lot of time and money. If you live abroad and want any document (such as your PAN card, issued by Indian government) to be recognised by the Government of India, it has to be Notarised by a Notary Public, then Apostilled (An "apostille" is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961 - India is a signatory) and finally attested by the Consul General of India in that country. The originals have to be sent across to India for further processing. 
 
 
I had to get some documents attested and it took me full two days (yes!) of running around to get it done. And I may have been lucky! 
 

Day 1

First off, the person advising me from India did not know the process correctly and told me to go to the Indian Consulate (the closest one to me is at San Francisco (SFO), about 100 kms) to get the documents apostilled. It was a long two and a half hour drive. By the time, I reached there it was already 11am and the Indian Consulate accepts applications only till 12 noon. The official at the Consulate was courteous and professional but declined to take my papers because I had not notarised / apostilled the documents. Apostilling for those who live in the SFO area is done at Sacramento, about 200 kms away. By now, it was noon and I had to rush across to get it done by 4PM or I would have lost a day. 
 
Therefore, off I went to Sacramento and about halfway there, I stopped at a Notary Public's office and got my documents notarized. I pulled up at the counter in Sacramento office and the official looked at the documents and rejected three (I had a total of four) saying the wrong paper was used by the notary. 
 
The clock was ticking down and I was getting desperate and I needed some good luck and to my pleasant surprise, the person standing behind me in the line, a fellow Indian American who too had come to apostille some documents was coincidentally (!) a Notary too! We found a quiet corner and Gary Sahota walked me through the process, took signatures and I was done before the counter closed. 
 
How often does it happen that you have a person with the exact skill set right when you need him? As we were leaving, I remarked to Gary that "he made my day" and he ever so humbly pointed upwards and that said it all. Touching moment! 
 
We were chatting briefly and he mentioned that he too was an IT guy in a previous life and had started doing Notary work recently. A shout out to Gary for all those living in the Bay Area. He knows all the kinks in the Government procedures (for instance India and China want the notarisation/ apostilling done on the same page) and getting things done first time is considered a miracle!
 

Day 2

Armed with Notarised and apostilled documents, I set sail (I meant drive!) to SFO and this time too, ran into the same official at the counter and got the documents submitted by 10:30am. To my surprise, I was asked to come back by 4pm. My whole day was spent just waiting around to get the signed documents. 
 
And that got me thinking, that there must be a better way... If a foreign government has already apostilled a document, then why should it again be attested by the Consulate General? This seems to be a duplication of effort. Furthermore, why should I do this process for a document (e.g. PAN card) that the Government of India issued me? Do they not trust their own card? 
 
Imagine if I were to live in Seattle or Portland along the West Coast or in Denver Colorado. They will have to mail documents back and forth and iterate till the cows come home! In my humble opinion, an apostilled document is enough proof of the genuineness of the document. 
 
In the Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised self-attestation and if he acts on his promises, it will go a long way in convincing sceptics that this Government is serious about governance.

User

COMMENTS

US Apostille

2 years ago

In fact, It's a truely confusing issue, if India is already a Hague convention member, so why attestation from the Embassy or the Consulate of India is necessary!! Actually, the real question is, if is there are a solution of this issue soon? it wastes time and money despite the it's just an Apostille document.
but hey, http://www.usapostille.com will do it for who need to hire a private service in DC or CA.

accept my regards
US Apostille
[email protected]
[email protected]

Richard Johnston

2 years ago

I also agree with the author of this article, Sree Iyer. India is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention. The purpose of being a member is to make it easy for people to submit documents to the country without having to go through the Consulate or Embassy. We currently apostille 25-50 documents a month for the country of India through our offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Even though not every document going to India requires the San Francisco consulate to legalize the document, some documents do. For example, a Power of Attorney. Over the years, I've had clients take two days off of work just to drive to the Indian Consulate office in San Francisco. I don't see why this step is necessary - especially for a country who is a member of the Apostille convention.

Thank you.
Richard M. Johnston
California Apostille Services
International Apostille Services, Inc.
http://www.sanfranciscoapostille.com

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