Buying Second-hand Cars
Make sure you understand the vehicle documentation well enough
A four-year warranty is now pretty much standard with most cars and bikes in India. With some brands, as a buyer, you can try and achieve five-year warranties too. With proper service history and maintenance records, as well as a hopefully accident-free tenure, such cars are going to form the backbone of the rapidly emerging organised second-hand vehicles market in India.
With real estate prices shooting up and illegal street parking of unused or up-for-sale cars coming down, the ‘market’ has to move to a mix of online and weekend second-hand vehicle ‘melas’ in off-city centre locations. At the same time, vehicle documentation appears to be slipping backwards in India; stolen vehicles being resold under fake documentation has become a major risk.
A family friend, an NRI in his late 80s, got gypped, in this context, when he bought what he thought was a ‘clean’ second-hand luxury car with an impeccable track record. It turned out that the car had been stolen and re-registered. Then, since it was now in his name, he saw himself going to jail, before getting bail. The case continues; the car is not available to him; and, at this juncture in life, he is an ‘under-trial’ in a car theft case with all the relevant restrictions on his movements.

Micro-fibre Dusters Compared with Feather Dusters

A friend presented me with a wax-coated micro-fibre car-duster, a few weeks ago, and told me that it would eliminate the need to use a wet cloth for cleaning. I was sceptical about the whole concept at first; however, having used it for a few months, it appears as though some of the original shine and lustre of my seven-year old car has returned, without having to spend a minor fortune on shampoo and polish. In addition, there is the much needed saving of water and soap too. There are many branded and unbranded options available and most appear to be made in China, with prices varying from Rs200 to Rs800 online. Before recommending them, I would be keen to know from readers what their experience has been; because, for me, they are certainly better than feather dusters. These new dusters also successfully removed stubborn road-kill and other stains from the metal and glass on my car without applying cloth and water. 

A Good Car also Needs Safety

The Maruti Ciaz, over which so much hype was generated about three months ago, has been the subject of much debate in the automobile trade. While the manufacturer is still secretive about actual numbers, since factory despatches do not translate into actual sales, off-the-shelf availability has opened up—only for the lower versions. This is telling; because one big difference between the Ciaz and its competition is the availability of airbags in lower versions of competing vehicles, while Maruti provides airbags only in the more expensive versions.
This approach is going to cost Maruti dearly. The buy/no-buy decision is increasingly influenced by the availability of airbags, while other electronic bells and whistles and gizmos are not really something that one would pay a premium for. Wake up, Maruti!
(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)


365 days later, Govt still unable to find information commissioners; activist demands answers

When it comes to appointments of the crucial post of Central Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners, the Modi government, despite having followed all procedures of calling for applicants and shortlisting, has not been able to identify any one


Is Rocket Science required to appoint the Chief Central Information Commissioner and the three Information Commissioners that the government had advertised for? Today, it is exactly one year since applications were invited from the public to apply for these posts, but yet it is a suspicious silence from the Prime Minister’s Office:
Look at this timeline
On 25 February 2014 (exactly a year back), the government advertised for the posts of information commissioners
On 16 July 2014, the government again advertised for Posts of ICs in CIC
On 23 August 2014, CIC Rajiv Mathur retired and two months later, on 24 October 2014, the newly formed BJP government advertised the post of Central Chief Information Commissioner
On 16 January 2015, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has invited the Search Committee members comprising the cabinet secretary, Rashtrapati Bhavan (chairman); Additional Principal Secretary to PM; Secretary, DoPT; Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; Secretary, Dept of Expenditure and Professor Ram Chand, National Centre for Agricultural Economics & Policy. They were scheduled to meet at the cabinet secretariat of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 16th January. On the same day, another meeting to draw a panel for information commissioners will also take place. 
Thereafter, the candidates for the post of Information Commissioners and the CIC have been shortlisted but no action has been taken.
Irked by this inordinate delay, which has resulted in piling up of pending cases, about 38,000 as against 22,300 on 25th February last year (figures procured under RTI Act) leading Delhi based RTI activist, Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd), has now filed an RTI application. Cmde Batra, who has been tenaciously following up this issue, has sought details of the follow up after the shortlisting of the candidates from the Cabinet Secretariat of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He has sought inspection of files under Section 4 of the RTI Act.
His RTI application has demanded the following information:
1. Background As per information received through RTI, Hon’ble Prime Minister has accorded approval for constitution of ‘Search Committee’ headed by Cabinet Secretary for recommending / short listing panel(s) of names to the ‘Selection Committee’ for appointments of Chief Information Commissioner and 03 Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC)’. The first meeting of the “Search Committee’ was to be held on 16.01.2015 and the 2nd meeting on 06.02.2015.
2. In the above background /context, please provide me following information. 
a) Please intimate the procedure /criterion applied /being applied for short listing panel(s) of names for the ‘Selection Committee’, for appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and 03 Information Commissioners in CIC.
b) Please provide me the “Proceedings / Minutes of the Meetings” of the Search Committee held on 16.01.2015 and all the meetings held thereafter. Also provide me copy of final recommendations sent to PMO /DoPT for consideration of the ‘Selection Committee’. 
c) Please provide List of file/files with reference number(s) on which the ‘Search Committee’ is processing / has processed the case of appointment of Chief Information Commissioner and appointment of 03 Information Commissioners.
d) I would also like to inspect all the file/ files /records concerned with the above mentioned appointments of Chief IC and ICs in CIC. At that stage, I will take photocopies (duly certified) of the documents and notings in the file(s) as required by me. Please intimate the date and time for the inspection.
Applicants for 3 Information Commissioners’ posts: 553
Applicants for Central Chief Information Commissioner’s posts: 203

Lists of candidates are available in Public domain on Moneylife two stories below:

553 applicants for three posts of Information Commissioner!

Who will be India’s next Central Chief Information Commissioner under RTI?

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)




2 years ago

The time is fast coming when there will not be a single un tainted person in Government service. Why doesn't the Government go outside the orbit of courtiers and camp followers? They will say they tried by calling for applications. But no decent person will apply for a Government post in the entrenched culture of reservations, bribes and favouritism. It requires serious head hunting:


2 years ago

Introduction of R.T.I. is by DEFAULT or by MISTAKE , to get reacquired information is even more TOUGH to a COMMON-MAN.

ASOS.com: Does This Look Like a Ski Jacket to You?

When a Google ad offers something the advertiser can't deliver


(Three of the eight results when you type in “ski jackets” on ASOS.com, an online fashion store.)


The closest thing to a ski jacket on the online fashion store ASOS.com is a designer raincoat that even on the more mild slopes probably wouldn’t stave off the cold for long. So why then is there a Google ad saying, in part, “Ski Jackets at ASOS – Shop The Latest Jackets”
That’s exactly what Twitter user Chris Toogood was musing on this morning after googling “ski jackets” and seeing the ad pop up. Frustrated, he tweeted at ASOS:
Companies that use Google AdWords select keywords that relate to the product or service they offer. (Staples, for instance, might choose, well, staples.) When there’s a match with a term someone has googled, the company’s ad, which companies can write themselves, will appear at the top or side of the page along with other search results.
TINA.org reached out to ASOS for comment but has yet to hear back. We also contacted Google to inquire about whose responsibility it is to ensure that information in its ads are accurate. The company hasn’t immediately responded.
In the spirit of full disclosure, though, we wanted to share how TINA.org presents its Google ads via AdWords.
Click here for more of TINA’s coverage on Google ads.
Courtesy: TruthInAdvertising.org 



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