Archive for July, 2008

India paper money history PART 2

July 17, 2008

British India Issues

British India Issues commence with the Paper Currency Act of 1861 which gave the Government the monopoly of note issue in India. The management of paper currency across the geographical expanse of the Indian sub-continent was a task of considerable proportions. Initially the Presidency Banks were appointed as agents to promote the circulation of these notes in view of their existing infrastructure. The Act of 1861 authorised the Presidency Banks to enter into agreements with the Secretary of State for becoming agents for the issue, payment and exchange of promissory notes of the Government of India. The problem of redemption of these notes over vast expanses of the Indian sub-continent led to the concept of ‘Currency Circles’, where these notes were legal tender.

These Currency Circles increased in number as the Government progressively took over the work. The agency agreements with the Presidency Banks were finally terminated in 1867. The Management of Paper Currency was subsequently, in turn, entrusted to the Mint Masters, the Accountant Generals and the Controller of Currency.

Victoria Portrait Series

The first set of British India notes were the ‘Victoria Portrait’ Series issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 1000. These were unifaced, carried two language panels and were printed on hand-moulded paper manufactured at the Laverstock Paper Mills (Portals). The security features incorporated the watermark (GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, RUPEES, two signatures and wavy lines), the printed signature and the registration of the notes.

Image : Rupees Ten
Rupees Ten

Image : Rupees Twenty
Rupees Twenty

Image : Rupees Hundred
Rupees Hundred

British India Notes facilitated inter-spatial transfer of funds. As a security precaution, notes were cut in half. One set was sent by post. On confirmation of receipt, the other half was despatched by post.

Image : Half note
Half note

Underprint Series

The Victoria Portrait series was withdrawn in the wake of a spate of forgeries and replaced by the unifaced ‘Underprint Series’ which were introduced in 1867. In deference to public demand, notes in the denomination of Rupees Five were introduced. Initially, notes were legally encashable only in the Currency Circle in which they were issued; however, between 1903 an 1911, notes of denomination 5, 10, 50 and 100 were ‘universalised’, i.e. were legally encashable outside the Currency Circle of Issue.

The Underprint Series notes were printed on moulded paper and carried 4 language panels (Green Series). The languages differed as per the currency circle of Issue. Language panels were increased to 8 in the Red Series. The improved security features included a wavy line watermark, the manufacturer’s code in the watermark (the source of much confusion in dating), guilloche patterns and a coloured underprint.

This series remained largely unchanged till the introduction of the ‘King’s Portrait’ series which commenced in 1923.

Image : Green Underprint Rs.500
Green Underprint – Rupees Five Hundred

Image : Green Underprint Rupees Five
Green Underprint – Rupees Five

Image : Red Underprint Rupees Fifty
Red Underprint – Rupees Fifty

Small Denomination Notes

The introduction of small denomination notes in India was essentially in the realm of the exigent. Compulsions of the first World War led to the introduction of paper currency of small denominations. Rupee One was introduced on 30th November, 1917 followed by the exotic Rupees Two and Annas Eight. The issuance of these notes was discontinued on 1st January, 1926 on cost benefit considerations. These notes first carried the portrait of King George V and were the precursors of the ‘King’s Portrait’ Series which were to follow.

Image : Rupee One - Obverse
Rupee One – Obverse

Image : Rupee One - Reverse
Rupee One -Reverse

Rupees Two and Annas Eight - Obverse
Rupees Two and Annas Eight – Obverse

King’s Portrait Series

Regular issues of this Series carrying the portrait of George V were introduced in May, 1923 on a Ten Rupee Note. The King’s Portrait Motif continued as an integral feature of all Paper Money issues of British India. Government of India continued to issue currency notes till 1935 when the Reserve Bank of India took over the functions of the Controller of Currency. These notes were issued in denominations of Rs 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 10,000.

Image : Rupees Fifty
Rupees Fifty

Image : Rupees One Thousand
Rupees One Thousand

Image : Rupees Ten Thousand
Rupees Ten Thousand

With the establishment of the Currency Note Press at Nasik in 1928, currency notes came to be progressively printed in India. By 1932 the Nasik Press was printing the entire spectrum of India currency notes. The improved security features were changed watermarks, intricate portrait designs and multicoloured printing.

British India: Reserve Bank Issues

The Reserve Bank of India was formally inaugurated on Monday, April 1, 1935 with its Central Office at Calcutta.

The first Central Office of the Reserve Bank of India
The first Central Office of the Reserve Bank of India

It began operations by taking over from the Government the functions hitherto performed by the Controller of Currency and from the Imperial Bank the management of Government Accounts and Public Debt. The existing Currency Offices in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Rangoon, Karachi, Lahore and Cawnpore became the branches of the Issue Department of the Bank. (It was not then considered necessary to have an office in Delhi.).

Section 22 of the RBI Act, 1934, empowered it to continue issuing Government of India notes till its own notes were ready for issue. The Central Board of the Bank recommended that the Bank notes retain the general size, appearance and design of the existing notes, albeit with modifications.

Notes with the portrait of Edward VIII were scheduled for release in the summer of ’37. But Edward’s heart had its reasons and his abdication, at levels mundane, delayed the Bank’s issues to January 1938 when the first Five Rupee note was issued bearing the portrait of George VI.

Image : Rupees Five
Rupees Five – First Note issued by Reserve Bank of India

This was followed by Rs 10 in February, Rs 100 in March and Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 in June 1938.

Image : Rupees One Hundred
Rupees One Hundred

Image Rupees One Thousand
Rupees One Thousand

Image : Rupees Ten Thousand
Rupees Ten Thousand

The first Governor, Sir Osborne Smith did not sign any bank notes; the first Reserve Bank issues were signed by the second Governor, Sir James Taylor.

Sir Osborne Smith Sir James Taylor
Sir Osborne Smith Sir James Taylor

In August 1940, the one-rupee note was reintroduced, once again as a war time measure, as a Government note with the status of a rupee coin, in terms of the Currency Ordinance of 1940 (IV of 1940). The issuance of Rs 2 and Annas 8 was contemplated but Rs 2 was introduced instead on 3rd March , 1943.

Image : Rupee One - Obverse
Rupee One Obverse

Image : Rupee One -Reverse
Rupee One Reverse

Image : Rupees Two
Rupees Two

During the war, Japanese Operations to destabilise Indian currency involved high quality forgeries, largely of Re 10 notes signed by Governor C.D. Deshmukh.

Sir C. D. Deshmukh
Sir C. D. Deshmukh

This necessitated a change in the watermark and obverse design from the profile portrait of George VI to his full frontal portrait. As an added security feature, the security thread was introduced for the first time in India.

Image : George VI Profile
George VI Profile

George VI Frontal
George VI Frontal

The George VI series continued till 1947 and thereafter as a frozen series till 1950 when post independence notes were issued.


India paper money history PART 1

July 17, 2008

Early Issues

Paper Money, as we know it today, was introduced in India in the late Eighteenth Century. This was a period of intense political turmoil and uncertainty in the wake of the collapse of the Mughal Empire and the advent of the colonial powers. The changed power structure, the upheavals, wars, and colonial inroads led to the eclipse of indigenous bankers, as large finance in India moved from their hands to Agency Houses who enjoyed state patronage. Many agency houses established banks.

Among the early issuers, the General Bank of Bengal and Bahar (1773-75) was a state sponsored institution set up in participation with local expertise. Its notes enjoyed government patronage. Though successful and profitable, the bank was officially wound up and was short lived. The Bank of Hindostan (1770-1832) was set up by the agency house of Alexander and Company was particularly successful. It survived three panic runs on it. The Bank of Hindostan finally went under when its parent firm M/s Alexander and Co. failed in the commercial crisis of 1832. Official patronage and the acceptance of notes in the payment of revenue was a very important factor in determining the circulation of bank notes. Wide use of bank notes, however, came with the note issues of the semi-government Presidency Banks, notably the Bank of Bengal which was established in 1806 as the Bank of Calcutta with a capital of 50 lakh sicca rupees. These banks were established by Government Charters and had an intimate relationship with the Government. The charter granted to these banks accorded them the privilege of issuing notes for circulation within their circles.

Notes issued by the Bank of Bengal can broadly be categorised in 3 broad series viz: the ‘Unifaced’ Series, the ‘Commerce’ Series and the ‘Britannia’ Series. The early notes of the Bank of Bengal were unifaced and were issued as one gold mohur (sixteen sicca rupees in Calcutta) and in denominations deemed convenient in the early 19th Century, viz., Rs. 100, Rs. 250, Rs. 500, etc.

Unifaced Notes of the Bank of Bengal

The Bank of Bengal notes later introduced a vignette represented an allegorical female figure personifying ‘Commerce’ sitting by the quay. The notes were printed on both sides. On the obverse the name of the bank and the denominations were printed in three scripts, viz., Urdu, Bengali and Nagri. On the reverse of such notes was printed a cartouche with ornamentation carrying the name of the Bank. Around the mid nineteenth century, the motif ‘Commerce’ was replaced by ‘Britannia’. The note had intricate patterns and multiple colours to deter forgeries.

Commerce Series

Brittania Series

The second Presidency Bank was established in 1840 in Bombay, which had developed as major commercial centre. The Bank had a checkered history. The crisis resulting from the end of the speculative cotton boom led to the liquidation of Bank of Bombay in 1868. It was however reconstituted in the same year. Notes issued by the Bank of Bombay carried the vignettes of the Town Hall and others the statues of Mountstuart Elphinstone and John Malcolm.

Note issued by the Bank of Bombay

The Bank of Madras established in 1843 was the third Presidency Bank. It had the smallest issue of bank notes amongst Presidency Banks. The notes of the Bank of Madras bore the vignette of Sir Thomas Munroe, Governor of Madras (1817-1827).

The other private banks which issued bank notes were the Orient Bank Corporation established in Bombay as the Bank of Western India in 1842. Its notes featured the Bombay Town Hall as vignette. The Commercial Bank of India established in 1845 in Bombay (also an Exchange Bank) issued exotic notes with an interblend of Western and Eastern Motifs. The bank failed in the crash of 1866. The paper currency Act of 1861 divested these banks of the right to note issue; the Presidency Banks were, however, given the free use of Government balances and were initially given the right to manage the note issues of Government of India.

Preparing for CAT – MBA

July 16, 2008

Cracking the CAT lies in your strategy to ensure a perfect blend of speed, accuracy and attempts. The ability to calculate faster will not only help you in the Quantitative and Data Interpretation section but also in speedily maintaining the blend of speed and accuracy.

Quant and DI in CAT have consistently been rated as difficult and challenging. Even though there have been times when people find the verbal section extremely difficult, still Quant and DI have always been characterised by the ‘tricky’ and ‘logical-input based’ questions. This makes it vital to study the nature of Quant and DI in a CAT and recall the most effective strategies to excel in the two sections.

Previous CATs: A micro-analysis of Quant and DI
While analysing the past CAT papers, one can easily find half of the questions that were either tricky or lengthy. A further division into moderate, easy, very easier can be made by analysing the question statements. Experts at TCY have categorised the questions of last three CATs into ‘very easy’, ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ and ‘difficult’ on the following basis:

~ Very easy: These are direct formula or theorem-based questions. There seems to be no trap in language or calculation and does not seem to have high level of implementation of logic.

~ Easy: This is the one that involves a little application of concept and one or more formulae. Questions involving language traps also come in this category.

~ Moderate: Generally this category consists of questions from geometry, mixture and alligation, time and work, and some sub-topics of number theory. Good observation and analysis, fast pace of calculation and comprehensive understanding of the concept are vital in solving these questions. An example for such type of question from CAT 2006 is given below:

Question:The sum of four consecutive two-digit odd numbers, when divided by 10, becomes a perfect square. Which of the following can be one of these four numbers?
(1) 21 (2) 25 (3) 41 (4) 67 (5) 73

Strategy: Here the conceptual expertise will be possessed by the one who knows that the maximum sum of any four consecutive two-digit odd numbers can at most be 389. Now on twisting the question we have to think of a number less than 389 which when divided by 10 will result in a perfect square. Hence the feasible sum can be 360, 250, 160 or 90. Now let’s go with the options as the answer should be a number near to one-fourth of the sum. The fifth option is easily eliminated as one-fourth of none of the assumed sums above is near 73. It should be near 90, 63, 40, and 23 and checking further we get numbers 41 as the part of four odd numbers ie 37, 39, 41 and 43 as the numbers, that are odd and which add up to 160 thereby satisfying our conditions. So 41 is the right answer.

~ Difficult: These are the questions with ambiguous and confusing question-statements. It is recommended to leave these questions unless you are very strong in math and have plenty of time.

The following graph gives an overview of the analysis:

The above graph shows that the share of ‘very easy’ questions is increasing since 2004 and in the year 2006 more than half (52 per cent) of the Quant questions were very easy. A similar trend was observed for DI questions (40 per cent were very easy). Although the share of difficult questions in Quant is declining, it is not the case with DI. Hence, with more and more logical reasoning inputs DI in CAT is getting more challenging than Quant.

Meeting the Quant, DI challenge
Experts from TCY offer the following tips to help recall the tools to counter the challenges offered by CAT at this stage of your preparation:

  • Method(s) of solving questions
    You can use any of the four methods to answer the questions in Quant or DI section.
    ~ Direct or conventional method as you did in your school days — going from the question to the answer. This method, however, is least preferable.
    ~ Eliminating the options or going with the options. This is always the best and quicker way to reach the required answer.
    ~ Substitution of some values in the question. This method is very useful for algebra problems.
    ~ Using the direct method and elimination method simultaneously.
  • Selection of questions
    While selecting the questions to attempt we have to be very careful. One must remember that in exams other than CAT we have to answer as many questions as possible. On the other hand, in CAT a possible scenario may be the one where the test taker leaves nearly half the questions and still makes it to the top. The ability to select questions with easy statements and not-so-close answer choices can be developed by analysing your Mock CATs regularly at this stage.
  • Improving speed of calculation
    The time spent by a student in the Quant and DI section on calculation is about 20 per cent and the remaining 80 per cent is spent on comprehending the concept of the question. So besides your basic concepts you need to work more on your calculations. It is recommended to spend at least 15 minutes daily on doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Also the ability to recall tables, squares and cubes up to 30, and multiplication between some common numbers like 13 x 12, 18 x 24 etc will be handy in getting the best out of the 20 per cent time one spends on calculations.
  • Accuracy
    Since time does not permit us to solve all the questions, it becomes important to make sure that one solves 50 per cent of the questions at an accuracy rate not less than 80 per cent rather than doing 80 per cent of questions with 50 per cent accuracy. If the paper is tricky, then attempts and accuracy can be adjusted to find the optimum balance.
  • Handling traps in the language of the question
    Even a well-prepared student can fall in the traps in a few questions in CAT. You have to clearly see what is being asked. For example, consider the following:
    Question: A student is expecting 90 marks in the mathematics paper and overall 75 per cent marks in five papers but he actually gets only 80. What percentage of marks does he finally get if the marks in the other four papers are the same as expected?
    Solution: The very first answer from a majority of students will be 73 per cent as they imagine the maximum marks of a paper as 100, which is a trap in the question. This happens because in many examinations maximum marks are 100, but this does not hold true in this situation. So the answer for such questions will be data insufficient or can’t be determined.
  • Preparing for a changed CAT-Quant pattern
    Be prepared with every type of permutation and combination for the pattern of CAT 2008. Will it have five or four options per questions; is there going to be one-fourth of a mark or one-third negative marking for a wrong answer; will the number of questions decrease or increase; will the sections have sub-sections and further sub-sub-sections with varying marks per question or not; which topics would be visible more in CAT 2008; what adjustments should be made in the attempt pattern if there are more questions from an unexpectedly less preferred topic like functions, time and work etc. All these uncertainties should be addressed and discussed with your trainers at this stage only in order to be prepared for the same.

So, in order to reach the 99.99 mark it becomes imperative to get familiar with the different ways of managing the attempt and findinganswers to the optimum number of questions. Keeping many sources of questions handy with you (like previous CATs and hundreds of tests and new questions available on and their continuous analysis are indispensable for CAT preparation at this stage.

Source: Rediff

A Guide to Staying Gainfully Employed (While doing as little work as possible!)

July 15, 2008

1. Never walk without a document in your hands: People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they’re heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy: Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss–and you *will* get caught–your best defense is to claim you’re teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training dollars.

3. Messy desk: Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail: Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing–they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there – it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.

5. Looking Impatient and Annoyed: According to George Costanza, one should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Leave the office late: Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important emails at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.

7. Creative Sighing for Effect: Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8. Stacking Strategy: It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).

9. Build Vocabulary: Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember: They don’t have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.

Words to live by!

Rare Historic Pictures!!!!

July 11, 2008

The daughter of an Indian maharajah seated on a panther she shot, sometime during 1920s. This picture and the others in this series appear in a new book, ‘India Then and Now’, by Vir Sanghvi and Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Roli Books, India. Pictures courtesy: Roli Books.

The Grand Trunk Road, built by Sher Shah Suri, was the main trade route from Calcutta to Kabul. Here, transport leaves Ambala for Delhi.

A throwback from the Raj: A British man gets a pedicure from an Indian servant.

A rare aerial view of the president’s palace and the parliament building in Delhi, both designed by architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.

A group of dancing girls. Dancing or nautch girls began performing at courts around 1830. They were known for their elaborate costumes and jewellery.

A group from Vaishnava, a sect founded by a Hindu mystic. His followers are called Gosvami-maharajahs and own several temples.

Women gather at a party in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1910, a sign that women were very much part of the social scene in many respects.

An aerial view of Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi, built between 1650 and 1658 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

The Imperial Airways ‘Hanno’ Hadley Page passenger airplane carries the England to India air mail, stopping in Sharjah to refuel.

If Inflation Doesn’t Stop

July 10, 2008

De- Motivational Posters

July 10, 2008
Tired of inspiration posters in your office that urge you to do things the company wants you to do?

59 Of The Coolest Toilet Signs Around The World

July 10, 2008

Below are a showcase of how gender is captured in just a few strokes. Enjoy.

  1. Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. swiss pair

  3. Patong Beach, Thailand
  4. patong beach pair

  5. Somewhere in Taiwan
  6. taiwan pair

  7. Somewhere in UAE & Oman
  8. male uae

    female uae

  9. FH Augsburg
  10. augsburg

  11. Pamukkale, Turkey
  12. turkey

  13. Somewhere in Iran
  14. iran pair

  15. Café-Tabac-Brasserie “Le Jeanne d’Arc”, rue Jeanne d’Arc, Paris
  16. paris femlae

    paris male

  17. Frog Pubs, Paris
  18. female frog

    male frog

  19. Disney Sea
  20. female disney

    male disney

  21. Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  22. female hungary

    male hungary

  23. Somewhere in Paris
  24. female paris

    paris male

  25. UrbanAngel, Edinburgh
  26. edinburgh

    male edin

  27. Apple HQ
  28. apple HQ female

    apple male

  29. Somewhere in Ghana, Africa
  30. female ghana africa

    ghana men

  31. Shinjuku bld
  32. shinjuku female

    shinjuku male

  33. KLCC Malaysia
  34. klcc female

    klcc male

  35. On the ferry to Jerba
  36. female


  37. Somewhere in New Zealand
  38. new zealand female


  39. Somewhere in Australia
  40. australia

    male australia

  41. At the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
  42. female museum

    science male

  43. Siam Center, Bangkok
  44. siam center


  45. Desenzano, Italy
  46. female


  47. Toilet Smurfette & Smurf
  48. smurfette


  49. Aum Thong Thai Restaurant, Hove, UK
  50. female


  51. Sheffield Park Cafe, UK
  52. female


  53. Red Roaster Brighton,UK
  54. female


  55. Nou Nou North African Restaurant, Brighton
  56. female


  57. Somewhere in Paris
  58. paris

  59. Unisex at Cliff House, San Francisco, California
  60. unisex

  61. Somewhere in Barcelona, Spain
  62. barcelona

  63. Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood, CA
  64. roosevelt


  65. Petit Palais” museum in Paris
  66. uni

  67. Kloschild, Männer, Café in Prag
  68. female


  69. Somewhere in Bangalore
  70. female


  71. Fontainebleau, Archives nationales, France
  72. female




  73. Home Slice Pizza, Austin
  74. female


  75. Somewhere in Atlanta Georgia
  76. female


  77. Magasin Apache, Paris
  78. magasin

  79. Honolulu Airport
  80. female


  81. Somewhere in Seoul, Korea
  82. korea

  83. Université Paris 8 Saint-Denis, France
  84. paris uni

  85. Somewhere in Bremen
  86. female


  87. Seoul Garden Restaurant, NYC
  88. ladies


  89. Unknown
  90. female


  91. White Dog, Philly
  92. female


  93. HonFest 2006, Baltimore MD
  94. honfest

  95. Somewhere in Ireland
  96. female


  97. Coyote Eatery, near Batthany Square in Budapest
  98. female


  99. Eggspectation in Montreal, Canada
  100. fem


  101. Brick Lane Curry House, 6th Street and 2nd Ave, NY
  102. female


  103. Somewhere in Boston
  104. female


  105. Santa Barbara, CA
  106. wom


  107. Hongdae, Seoul, S. Korea
  108. female


  109. Storehouse at Foulis, Scotland
  110. female


  111. Schirn art museum in Frankfurt
  112. female


  113. Kispipa Restaurant, Budapest
  114. female


  115. Cafe Lalo, New York City
  116. male


  117. Unknown
  118. b

You know you’ve had too much to drink when…

July 9, 2008

Bureaucrats in Australia have drawn up an official list of 39 intoxication symptoms, so that pub owners can tell when patrons are drunk.

Among the 39 steps towards drunkenness are: ‘Bumping into furniture’, ‘sleeping at a bar or table’ and ‘inability to find
one’s mouth with a glass’.

The intoxication guidelines, drawn up by the New South Wales Office of Liquor and Gaming, were distributed to club and pub managers last week.

The department said the guidelines were drafted to help bar staff form a reasonable belief that a person is intoxicated. However, it warned that the list was neither exhaustive nor conclusive.

The 39 signs of drunkenness are:

1. Slurring words
2. Rambling or unintelligible conversation
3. Incoherent or muddled speech
4. Loss of train of thought
5. Not understanding normal conversation
6. Difficulty in paying attention
7. Unsteady on feet
8. Swaying uncontrollably
9. Staggering
10. Difficulty in walking straight
11. Cannot stand or falling down
12. Stumbling
13. Bumping into or knocking over furniture and people
14. Lack of co-ordination
15. Spilling drinks
16. Dropping drinks
17. Fumbling change
18. Difficulty counting money or paying
19. Difficulty opening doors
20. Inability to find one’s mouth with a glass
21. Rudeness
22. Agression
23. Belligerent
24. Argumentative
25. Offensive
26. Bad tempered
27. Physically violent
28. Loud or boisterous
29. Confused
30. Disorderly
31. Exuberance
32. Using offensive language
33. Annoying or pestering others
34. Overly friendly
35. Loss of inhibition
36. Inappropriate sexual advances
37. Drowsiness or sleeping at a bar or table
38. Vomiting
39. Drinking rapidly


Filing tax returns? A step-by-step guide

July 8, 2008

It’s that time of the year again. You knew all along that it would come, whether you ignored or waited for it. The pages of the calendar have turned and you can hear colleagues waking up to it.

And you know you can’t run away from it any more. We are talking about 31 July, the day we are reminded of our bondage, the price we have to pay for many of the good things in our life.

This happens to be the last day for filing income tax returns for all salaried Indians, be they resident or non-resident. Of course, you must have done everything legally possible to maximise your freedom from this bondage called tax. But then, the law permits you only that much. The rest, as they say, is illegal.

You might also have wondered about the word return being used for an outgo. Maybe it’s because governments always want citizens to see things from their point of view, perhaps for the larger good.

Filing of tax is compulsory for everyone whose gross total income – the income under the five heads (salary, business, capital gains, house property or other sources) before allowing for any deductions such as insurance premium – exceeds the basic exemption limit.

For financial year 2007-08 (assessment year 2008-09), this limit was Rs 145,000 for women below 65 years of age, Rs 195,000 for senior citizens (above age 65 years) and Rs 110,000 for any other individual. It is compulsory for every person exceeding these limits to file the return before the prescribed date, even if their employer has taken care of their tax liabilities by reducing their salaries by the necessary amounts before paying the rest to them. Paid this way, it is known as tax deducted at source or TDS.

Filing of the form

There are two income tax return forms, ITR-1 and ITR-2, for salaried individuals. Your sources of income (they will fall under one or more of the five sources mentioned earlier) will decide your form. You will have to submit the filled form to the tax authorities and get an acknowledgement from them.

Income source decides return form

ITR-1: Income from salary, pension and interest earned in a financial year

ITR-2: Capital gains, income/loss from house property and income from any other source

Use ITR-1 to file your tax return if your income is from salary, pension or interest. In case of any capital gains, income or loss from house property and income from any other source, you will have to use ITR-2. You can go to to download these forms.

You will find ITR-1 relatively simple to fill up. A prerequisite for the exercise is Form 16, the certificate that comes from the employer showing the TDS from the income chargeable under the head salary. ITR-1 is almost a replica of Form 16. All you have to do is pick the numbers from Form 16 and put them in the ITR form.

Apart from salary income, there is an important component of income that many taxpayers ignore while filing their returns. It is the interest income earned from the funds lying in savings accounts in banks. Disclosing that, however small it may be, is mandatory.

You just have to add the total interest credited to your bank account in the last financial year. Scrutinise your income tax return to ensure that no taxable income is undisclosed. After you file your return, the tax authorities will hand you an acknowledgment. That’s it, you are through with the filing of returns.

You will need to fill up ITR-2 if you, as a salaried individual, have made any capital gains. This form is filled in the� same way as ITR-1. In addition, you will have to fill in income, if any, from house property and other sources.

How to file

The actual filing of return can be done either by using the traditional paper form or electronically, over the Internet. The second, known as e-filing, is fast catching up. The digital method is compulsory for companies, but optional for salaried individuals still. However, it may well become compulsory for individuals with a certain level of income in times to come. So, it may not be a bad idea to familiarise yourself with this process.

Before you start filing the return, check if you would be getting a refund from the IT Department or have to pay tax. In case of the latter, even before starting the filing process, you should first get hold of Form 280, fill it up and deposit it any bank along with the tax payable in cash or cheque. You can also pay tax through Internet banking. In both cases, you will get a receipt number which has to be quoted in the ITR form.


* Keep ITR-1, ITR-2 forms handy

* Enter all the details in CAPITAL letters

* Ensure that name, address and other personal details are entered correctly

* Double-check PAN number, bank account details and the MICR code you write

* Store the acknowledgement safely property and income from any other source

Doing it offline

There are two options – you may either submit the ITR form at the nearest income tax office after filling it up yourself, or you may get a chartered accountant or a tax return preparer to do it for you. Try to visit the ITO well before the last date for filing return as crowds increase as 31 July draws near.

You may also take help from the public relations officer of the ITO to fill the form. No documents or investment proofs need to be attached with the form, but remember to bring photocopies or originals with you to the ITO. These will come in handy if you are asked to authenticate the maths.

The fee of a CA would depend on your income slab and the number of income sources. Typically, it would range from Rs 300 to Rs 2,000, depending on the complexities involved. One good thing about filing through a CA is that it would bring down the margin of error to nil. Also, depending on the acumen of the CA, which often gets reflected in the quality of his practice, he would suggest some tax saving ways to you for the future.

Doing it online

E-filing is done through sites authorised by the IT Department to file taxes on your behalf. To e-file, you will have to input the details of Form 16 in the software of the website, which would automatically generate an electronic return in XML format.

This format helps in sharing of structured data across different information systems. A PDF file of the relevant ITR form is also created along with the XML format. You can download this ITR form, submit it at the ITO and get an acknowledgement.

Save the XML file to your desktop and then upload it on – the IT Department site. Some sites also have provision for online payment of tax. Use of a digital signature will render the e-filing process complete without involving paperwork and visits to the ITO.

In case DS is used, the acknowledgement will be emailed to you. If you upload the file on the tax department’s site without the DS, the acknowledgement, called ITR-V, emailed to you will have to be submitted at an ITO within 15 days of downloading it. A DS can be acquired from any of the agencies authorised by the government for the job, including the private and government websites meant for filing tax returns.

E-filing is not just convenient and saves time, it can also be done from anywhere. What is especially important is that the online method reduces or even eliminates the interface between the tax assessee and tax officials.

Online sites

Among the major sites offering e-filing facilities are Taxspanner, Taxsmile and Taxshax. You can either take printouts of the relevant ITRs from these three sites and physically submit them or upload your XML file on the IT Department’s site.

Taxspanner uploads the taxpayer’s file directly and emails ITR-V to him. With Taxsmile, you can submit the forms at any of its offices spread over the country. They will then forward it to the ITO.

All the three sites are secure and easy to navigate. The major difference among them is on two counts – the number of income sources covered and the process. Get clarity on the cost and features offered. The minimum cost package would normally be only for salary income. The advanced version might be required if you have income from other sources.

The tax sites also differ in the way they ask for information and allow you to input figures. Taxshax gets most of the figures filled up in a single page. Taxspanner has a step-by-step guide and takes one piece of information on one page. Taxsmile gives both these options.

Use of DS raises the cost of e-filing. The amount of this increase varies across tax sites. A DS can be obtained from Taxsmile for Rs 500. Apart from this, you will have to pay for the basic package. Your DS comes with a validity period, after which it has to be renewed.

A DS from Taxspanner, for example, is valid for two years. This site offers a deal in which you can file returns for three years at a cost of Rs 250 a year. To get your DS from a tax site, download the relevant form from it, attach the required documents, such as your identity and address proofs, and courier them to the address concerned. The entire process of acquiring a DS may take around 15 days.

A tax return can also be filed from the government site – – meant for it. Your PAN will work as the username for registering at this site.

Should you go online?
Internet accessibility is growing, but it is still out of reach for many of the 40 million taxpayers. For those who have access to it and want to save time, the digital signature way looks ideal – you will be able to file the return in a few minutes from the comfort of your home or office. E-filing without the DS is almost the same as filing returns offline.

Tax laws can often seem like a cross between a Rubik’s cube and Mutthiah Muralitharan’s spin bowling. The three private tax sites get around this by making themselves friendly to taxpayers and not making filing of return dependent on an intricate understanding of the workings of tax laws. They empower with information and knowledge while taking the taxpayer step-by step through the entire process of tax filing. The details of the return filed get saved in the database of these sites and can be accessed anytime in the future.

If you have any specific doubts concerning the filing process, email the tax site to clear them. Getting clarity is important as some sites do not include things like income from business or profession, losses of earlier years brought forward or clubbed income. If tax is due, check if you can pay it through the site.

Stick to the deadline

Whether you are going offline or online, make sure your are on the right side of 31 July. If tax is due and return is not filed till 31 March of the following year, a penalty of Rs 5,000 is levied. Penalty may also have to be paid in the form of interest. Check out the answers on the next few pages to some frequently asked questions to get on top of tax returns. And then go ahead and file with a smile.