Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category and Proprietary software.

December 11th, 2008 41 comments

I am just back from The event had several renowned participants and and exhibition on free software.  I was responsible for setting up the stall of IHRD. We show cased LTSP and  remastering Ubuntu.  I was busy with the stall yesterday and day before yesterday and could not attend any sessions.

At our stall with a Thin Client on the table.

Today morning, I went to the convention centre at Mascot hotel. I was planning to attend a few technical sessions. I was shocked to find  many speakers running Windows Vista and power point presentations.  I thought the guys running the show were hard core GNU fanatics. ( Ricard Stallman was present on the opening day of the conference.).

I was listened to two talks , one on  GRAILS and the other on Javafx. The guy who spoke on grails used GNU/Linux and openoffice impress. The  talk on Javafx was simply crap. The speaker seemed  to know very little of Java.

I asked him whether the Javafx is available on any free platforms and whether it is  free software.  He said  some bla bla and quickly wound up. Any way,  took some photgraphs of his presentation. I think he was trying to carefully hide windows and powerpoint.

Teach yourself   free software   with  Windows XP  in 21 days

Back in the exibition pavallion, I scanned around for  proprietary  stuff. I could spot them on a couple of stalls.

Hands on Free Software with Windows VISTA. 😀

Finally, the Linux user group was running a windows  theme on  one of their Laptops 😀

Learning  windows (theme) on Linux

You cannot get rid of proprietary software even in a conference on freedom and free software 😀

PS: I use windows if it is absolutely needed.

Learning with NPTEL

September 9th, 2008 2 comments

The national program of technology enhanced learning (NPTEL) is  an initiative of the Government of India to provide quality educational material to engineering students . The site has several video tutorials for various engineering subjects.  However, the site is not very popular among Indian students. I have been trying to promote it among my students and colleagues for quite some time as  a source of quality material. But, the response is not very encouraging.

The videos are hosted on youtube.   The complete playlist is here.  There are several course  suitable for electronics /computer science  students. Some of the so called “difficult” subjects are lucidly explained by senior professors.  I have recomended  the digital signal processing course by Prof. S C Dutta Roy as supplimentary  material to my students.

If you want to view the courses offline, you can download it form youtube using youtube-dl. The youtube  videos are in flash (.flv) format. Softwares such as ffpeg can be used to convert them to your favorite format.

Categories: Engineering Education, Finance Tags:

E-Payment of Income tax in India: Frequently asked questions

May 18th, 2008 Comments off

1) Can I make a payment for my client and then collect the money back from him?

See the Challan report. It prints out the details of the PAN holder along with the bank account number from which the payment was made. I think you can make payments for third party, but keep your books clean.

2) Whether it is mandatory to pay tax online?
It is mandatory for the following types of assesses to pay tax online with effect from April 1,2008.
a) All the corporate assesses.
b) All assesses (other than company) to whom provisions of section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are applicable.
3) How can I know that I have completed tax payment ?
A challan identification number ( CIN) given to you. Keep it. You can verify your o bank statement and make sure that the tax has been paid.
4) What I should do when I file the income tax return.? I have paid the tax by online payment.
You can quote the CIN (challan identification number) in your income tax return.
5) I encounter several problems while making online payment. What I should do?
Problems can occurr at NSDL website ( during challan preparation)or at the bank’s site (during actual payment). In the first case, you can call TIN Call Center at 022-24994650 or send an email to . The subject of the email must be “e-payment”. If you encounter any problem while making payment at the banks internet site, you must contact the respective bank.

6) Whom should I contact if the counterfoil containing the CIN is not displayed on completion of the transaction?
You should contact your bank.
7) If I have misplaced my counterfoil who do I contact?

You should contact your bank.

8 ) How secure is the transmission of data to the website for e- payment?
All transmission through NSDL-TIN website is encrypted and is with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) authentication. With respect to the banks, it depends on the security measures provided by the bank for net-banking.

9) How do I contact bank ?
This file lists the address and phone number of the bank official to contact. Note that details about some banks are missing.

10) How do I check challan status?

You must be able to check it at However I could not check it as the site says no records found. May be I have to wait for a week to get it. 🙂

Categories: Finance Tags: , , ,

Electronic payment of Income tax in India : A pemier

May 16th, 2008 6 comments

Government of India has recently started an e payment service for paying several taxes over internet. At present the following taxes can be paid over internet. This document will give you the step by step procedure for making tax payment.

What you can pay
1) Tax Deducted at Source / Tax Collected at Source (TDS/TCS) from corporates or non-corporates through CHALLAN NO./ITNS 281
2) Payment of Income tax & Corporation Tax CHALLAN NO./ITNS 280
3)Payment of Security Transaction Tax, Hotel Receipts Tax, Estate Duty, Interest Tax, Wealth Tax, Expenditure Tax /Other direct taxes & Gift tax through CHALLAN NO./ITNS 282
4) Payment of Banking Cash Transaction Tax and Fringe Benefits Tax Through CHALLAN NO./ITNS 283
This document will provide a hands on introduction to the epayment system.

1) For payment of tax over internet you need an net banking enabled account with any of the following banks.

# Axis Bank
# State Bank of India
# Punjab National Bank
# Indian Overseas Bank
# Canara Bank
# Indian Bank
# Bank of India
# Corporation Bank
# State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
# State Bank of Travancore
# State Bank of Indore
# Vijaya Bank
# HDFC Bank
# Oriental Bank of Commerce
# State Bank of Patiala
# Bank of Baroda
# IDBI Bank
# State Bank of Mysore
# Bank of Maharashtra
# State Bank of Hyderabad
# State Bank of Saurashtra
# Union Bank of India
# Allahabad Bank
# Dena Bank
# Syndicate Bank
# ICICI Bank
# United Bank of India
# UCO Bank
# Central Bank of India

2) A PC with broadband internet. Never try to pay the tax from internet Cafes. Most of these places are loaded with key loggers, virus etc. (I always do my financial transactions on internet from linux)

3) A printer. You have to take printout of the receipt and present it along with returns.

Preparing the Challan

Now open the site You will get the following screen ( if you want to see full screen images of screens shots used in this tutorial double click on the relevant image).
Income tax epayment site

Depending on the type of tax you have to pay select the relevant challan from the web page. For this tutorial I am going to pay RS 1 to the goverment as Income tax. Income tax payments are done through Challan ITNS 280. The screenshot of the online Challan ITNS 280 is below

The following instructions are given on the challan itself
1 Enter valid 10-digit Permanent Account Number (PAN) first.
2 Fields marked with * are mandatory.
3 Provision to enter tax amount is given in the Bank’s site.
4 Do not enter double quotes (“”) in any of the fields.

The PAN (permanent Account Number) number is a unique 10 digit number assigned to each income tax payee in India. The rest of the tax payment procedure will work only if you enter a valid PAN number. Also note that no amount is entered in the challan. You will be prompted for the amount at your banks internet site. Finally, note the last instruction. You should not enter double quotes in any of the fields.
Now start filling the form. Most of the fields are self explanatory. As soon as you enter PAN number , Income tax department;s server will be contacted and only if the PAN is correct the Bank name drop down box will be populated. Please note that if you are paying for the current financial year ( 2008-09), the assessment year will be next financial year ( 2009-10). You can also pay tax for other assessment years. Now submit the form. It will return the following page if everything is correct.


(I have blanked my personal particulars,like PAN etc). Note the red line. It is asking you whether the name is correct. If you are sure about the name , you can submit the challan to the bank for payment.
For ICICI bank I got the following screen. ( Other banks may have different login screens).

Income tax epayment site

Since I am not a corporate customer, I clicked on retail login. (This step may be different for another bank). This will lead you to this page.

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank

Type in your user name and password and then click payment login.

I got the following screen with all the details filled in.(Here again Personal details blanked.)

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank

You can fill in the amount you want to pay here.Note that you can pay tax, cess,surcharge ,penalty etc. Click on calculate total. Finally, submit the form. I got this screen asking for internet banking transaction password. ( If you have an account with any of the above bank, you can ask them to issue an internet transaction password.)

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank Epayment internet transaction password screen

Enter the password and click pay. I got the following screen.

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank Epayment internet transaction password screen

Here ICICI bank is confirming your identity. It is asking for 3 numbers on the debit card issued against your account. Get hold of your card and punch in the numbers. Then click pay. I got this screen with transaction id.

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank Epayment internet transaction password screen  internet transaction password confirmation screen

Note down the id. Then click on proceed button to generate report. I got this screen.

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank Epayment internet transaction password screen epayment report

Here is rest of the screen.

Income tax epayment site epayment of tax challan icici bank Epayment internet transaction password screen epayment report

There are 2 options on this screen. You can save or make a print out. If you click on save a file named DirectTaxPaymentChallanReport.htm will be generated. . Rename the file immediately,if you are planning to make payments frequently. Now that the tax payment is done, you are at a dead end. There is no close button on the screen. You may close the browser manually.

Categories: Finance Tags: , , , , , ,