Saturday, June 29, 2013

Aadhaar card enrolment, an experience

Since the day GoI declared that in not so distant future, the cooking gas (LPG) subsidy would be delivered directly to the customer through a scheme called direct benefit transfer (DBT), Whole of India is running after getting an elusive piece of number called Aadhaar number. I never bothered to go for it, because it involved standing in a line for hours.
Yesterday, I saw this website that had a method where I could get an appointment online, fill the form online and then only show up at the enrolment center for document verification and biometrics, so I decided to give it a try. Here are my experiences for getting enrolled for Aadhaar.
  • Getting an appointment was easy, may be because the website is new and not many people are aware of it. But I could get the appointment for next day and there were many slots open till the evening.
  • I also filled all the forms online but since I was not certain of how the data would be made available, I also took physical forms and filled them and carried them with me.
  • As I reached the enrolment center, I was pleasantly surprised to find a person sitting there with a list of people who had taken the appointment for document verification. He verified the documents and asked me to go to the adjacent room which had the setup for enrolment.
  • This is where proceedings took a turn for the worse, The guys who were actually doing enrolment, had no clue of the appointment system. It was every individual for him/her self. The person with the loudest voice was the next person in line.
  • We waited for an hour hoping that somebody would call us but nobody called up.
  • To make things further complicated, there seems to be another system at which is also issuing appointments at the same center with same timings. The center does not have list of people from this system. They only have list of people from the system I mentioned earlier. This is resulting in the people at the center getting overloaded since they have twice as many people showing up.
  • Anyway, we also used the loudest voice method to get ourselves scanned for biometrics and got our enrolment done.
  • The data that we entered online, is not available at the center so it has to be entered again and that is extremely time consuming.
In nutshell, like most of the other ideas of GoI, it is a brilliant idea gone horribly wrong in implementation. I only hope, as time goes along they fix it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Logistics: Why we suck

I needed to buy two components that go inside of a PC. One of them was available with IT Depot which is based in Chennai. Other item was not available with any retailer in India, so I decided to order it with a vendor in US.
The vendor in US (Amazon) did not ship that item to India, so I decided to use one of the address forwarding services (Borderlinx).
Both the orders were placed one after another on June 06, 2013 around 1:30PM. Today is June 12, 2013. I already received the order placed with US retailer yesterday night, while the order with Chennai retailer is still showing a status of "Ready to Ship".
How is it possible that these online retailers based in India can be so pathetic for an item that they claim is in stock and was paid for so long ago.