All about EPFO (Provident Fund)

EPFO – Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has been making a lot of changes recently and it was good to discover some of the benefits when trying to accomplish a few things regarding Provident Fund. Here’s a list of useful links and key information that can help many employees transfer, withdraw and view PF balance through Passbook.

EPFO home page

This is the start page for many different portals and services for EPFO. Some of the quick links that are important are listed below – Portal to download passbook & Link to the Unified Portal. There is much more information along with some video tutorials on this home page.

Download Passbook

This portal enables login with the UAN and password to download passbook.

EPFO Passbook Login Screen
EPFO Passbook Login Screen

Once logged in, it will show the account on the left hand side. It will show all accounts if more than one are linked to the same UAN. Clicking on the link will show the passbook on the right hand side immediately. You can download the PDF for offline use from the same browser window.

EPFO Passbook PDF Download Screen
EPFO Passbook PDF Download Screen

Unified Portal for users to login and carry out certain transactions related to Universal Account Number (UAN). Also called as MEMBER e-SEWA. This is the portal to transfer PF online from old account to new account at the time of changing jobs.

UAN portal login screen

EPFO Mobile App UMANG

UMANG download QR Code

UMANG provides seamless integration with popular customer centric services like Aadhaar. It has a rich multimedia interface with a focus on maximizing usability and enriching user experience. UMANG provides a unified platform where multiple government services (central, state & regional) can be accessed by user.

UMANG has been created with a thought to add convenience to your lifestyle. UMANG will revolutionize the way how an Indian citizen avails government services today, because it leverages the current accelerated internet and smartphone penetration in our country.

You can also Get App link by giving a missed call on 97183-97183.

UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is envisaged to make e-governance . It is developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.

UMANG Download Page

 

 

How to check and pay your traffic violation dues online

Here is an online utility from the Hyderabad Traffic Police computer systems that enables you to check your violations record and monetary fine. Click the following links to check the e-challan status. http://www.echallan.org/publicview/ or alternative link 1 or alternative link 2.

E-Challan Payment : How to make Payment for E-Challan

You can make payment of your e-challan online by making use of Credit Card through Payment Gateway and clear the e-challan or challans pending against your vehicle.

In order to make payment of e-challan pending against your vehicle, you need to first visit the above mentioned site (echallan.org) and check for pending e-challan against your vehicle.

  1. Enter complete number of your vehicle including the missing zeros.
  2. Enter the Vehicle Number in this format: AP09AB0009
  3. Incorrect Formats are: AP09AB009, AP09AB09, AP9AB9

Once you have checked the Pending e-challan against your vehicle, then go to the following site.

http://www.esevaonline.com

  1. Click on Register and Enter all your details with a Username and Password.
  2. Once you have Registered then go to http://www.esevaonline.com again.
  3. Click on Pay Bill or Go to http://www.esevaonline.com/htmlpages/login.htm.
  4. After Logging in Click on “You want to Pay Hyderabad Police Traffic Challan Click Here”.
  5. If you do not see the above option Click on the tab at top left side “Add More Services” and Select Hyderabad Traffic Challans Or Cyberabad Traffic Challans.
  6. Enter your complete Vehicle Number in CAPS, total length of any vehicle will be 10 Words and Numerals. For Ex: AP09AB0009, It includes all the zero as mentioned in your RC.
  7. Once you enter your Motor Vehicle Number and click Submit then you will be shown the list of E-Challans pending against your vehicle. If there is no E-challan then you will see “Invalid Registration Number/Challan already Paid”.
  8. When having Multiple E-Challans, you can select all of them at once and click Submit. Total amount payable will shown in the box as shown below. 
  9. After clicking Submit you will be redirected to the following page where you will shown the complete amount. Click Submit to proceed for payment. 
  10. Once you click Submit above you will redirected to ICICI Bank Payment Gateway where you can proceed to make the payment.
  11. Please note it takes 24 Hours to update your payment at E-Challan Server.
  12. You can also make payment for other services such as GHMC Property Tax, Telephone Bills, Broadband Bills and Electricity Bills.

Important Note

Always keep a record of your payment transaction. Keep it as a Screenshot, PDF or Note it down. Sometimes the payment does not reflect in the respective department such as Hyderabad Traffic Police, Cyberabad Traffic Police, APCPDCL, GHMC or Other services. This detail comes in handy to you at that point in time.

Note: The facility to view violation images online will be available to e-challans generated after 1-May-2013. If you wish to see the Violation Images for E-Challan generated before 1-May-2013 you have to visit the Traffic Police Station mentioned in the E-Challan.

The above instructions are also available on Hyderabad Traffic Police blog, with few screenshots.

If the above links do not work for someone down the line, here is the landing page. You can click the top-left icon “e challan status”. I am not sure how consistent and updated this database is but you can sure run your vehicle number and verify.

How to report Bribe Incidents of a Traffic Personnel?

This is what Hyderabad Traffic Police says on their blog:

“We have and keep suspending Traffic personnel on the basis of complaints received against them. A inquiry is conducted against them and if they are found guilty they are removed from the service with penalty. Let us understand how the whole process works, we cannot suspend a personal just because a person on Facebook or any other Online Platform says he is corrupt, for the simple reason that the cop can go to court and get his suspension revoked rendering the whole exercise useless.

A written complaint is needed to take action, evidence accompanying it also needed. The evidence can be the Individual giving the complaint. The whole process takes its due course in the courts and appropriate action is taken. If you are complaining means you should be ready for inquiry and ready to appear whenever it is requested. Other wise we can not judge who is at fault. We can not go by your version or our personnel version and judge the issue.

As a part of the society one should also not promote bribing and follow rules. An individual should pay fines for the violations and request for and take receipt of the challans. You can report the incidents at traffic helpline number 9010203626 whenever a cop is asking for bribe.

We do not support corrupt practices and corruption in our department and ask everyone not do the same. By paying a bribe or bribing a personnel from any government department you make our job difficult to keep the system clean.”

Happy riding, happy driving!

Free Security Software from Microsoft

We now have the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) available. And it’s free! Microsoft Security Essentials is the name of Microsoft’s latest Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware software for Windows operating system. It provides real-time protection for home PCs that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.MSE replaces Windows Live OneCare, a commercial subscription-based antivirus service and Windows Defender, which only protected users from adware and spyware.

Microsoft-Security-EssentialsKey features as listed on Microsoft website:

  • Comprehensive malware protection
  • Simple, free download
  • Automatic updates
  • Easy to use

I used CA Internet Security Suite for a few years now and then moved to McAfee. I switched to MSE a week or so ago and so far so good. Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want – without interruptions or long computer wait times.

Here is a review of the product, with screenshots of the installation and GUI.

*Your PC must run genuine Windows to install Microsoft Security Essentials.

Break the copy protection on DVDs!

If you have ever tried to copy or rip a DVD title and failed because it was copyright protected, come join the club. I tried this on every DVD I purchased just in case it works. I prefer to buy DVDs of my favorite movies but also prefer to make a copy to another normal DVD or onto my computer’s hard disk for viewing. The original DVD is more like a collector’s item for me and I would like to save it safe.

While I was looking around for some assistance in this regard, I bumped into this awesome freeware software. I haven’t tried it yet but reviews on the web say lot of good things about this utility. So I wanted to share it with you all. I might try this in the next week or so but if you get your hands on it before I do, please add a comment and let me know your experience.

DVD Shrink is the utility that allows you to break the copyright protection and therefore make copies. A few noteworthy points of this software:

  • DVD Shrink does not burn DVDs! The output from DVD Shrink is saved as files on your hard drive, which you can then burn to a DVD-R using separate burning software, such as the software provided with your DVD-R drive. (DVD Shrink will also burn your backup DVD, if you have installed the latest version of Nero).
  • Some DVDs cannot be copied at all, and some can be copied but cannot be played. DVD Shrink overcomes copyright protection with built-in decryption algorithms. This is the feature that actually ‘opens’ the disk for copying.
  • Original DVDs are normally Disk 9 type (9.5 GB). So even if the DVD can be ripped, file size is too large and cannot be copied to a single normal DVD (DVD 5 or the 4.7 GB disks we use). This software compresses the ripped file to less than 4.7 GB! Happy backups!
  • DVD Shrink is FREE!

Download the software here. If you need help to use the software, a guide is available here.

One step further:

IF the DVD Shrink software is unable to break the protection and copy the file, you can try this additional tool. This software only ‘opens’ the protection as soon as the disk is inserted in the drive. You can then use the DVD Shrink to do the job or any other favorite software you prefer.

DVD43 is a free DVD decrypter that runs in the background and decrypts DVDs on the fly. It will decrypt (unlock) a movie DVD so that your copy program can read it.

Firefox experience

firefox-logo

Firefox has released the latest version 3.5. Check what’s new in this release and download the latest version here. Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use. Some of the notable features (including playing videos without additional plugins!) are listed on the release notes page linked above.

I installed the new release and am loving it so far. I guess this is one of the best browsers giving us the control and ease of use for better browsing experience. In fact, after moving to the wordpress platform, I used just Firefox to develop my blog. Though I did verify a few times in IE and Chrome for compatibility issues, this is my main work tool for development and testing. So, you’ll no doubt enjoy the blog experience better if you are on Firefox.

The beauty of this application comes in with add-ons. While there are thousands of options to customize your browsing experience, here are a few of my favorites. I already use a few and yet to try the others, but sharing information anyway just in case you are interested. If you use this browser or any add-ons, please add in a comment about your experience!

Add-ons:

ColorZilla 2.0.2: While this allows you to zoom the web page and also measure the distance between two points (for web development), I use this for color picker. In fact, this was my favorite when tweaking colors on my blog CSS! Works awesome!

Google Reader Watcher 0.0.14.3: I use the Google Reader, so I think I will try out this add-on soon. This checks your Google Reader for unread feeds and if you have, the plugin will display them on your browser’s status bar.

ShareThis 3.1.0: ShareThis makes sharing any online content quick and easy. The ShareThis plugin allows you to share text, pictures and video to any contact via email, IM, text message, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter and many more services.

Meebo 1.1: Who hasn’t given meebo a try at some time or the other? Now, this is meebo inside firefox as sidebar! Instant messaging across all major IM networks.

Media Converter 1.0.3: Download and convert online videos directly from your browser without the need for special software. This is a video downloader and video converter in one simple extension.

Facebook experience:

Boost for Facebook 9.4.0: If you are a facebook freak, this will make your experience more colorful and live! Some of the notable features: auto-refresh Home, rollover image for each view in full size, ability to load all the album photos on a page, quick access icon in the status bar, rollover all profile pic thumbnails, auto-login and password is stored.

Facebook Toolbar 1.4: Am not a great fan of any browser toolbar but here is one for facebook if you are interested. Notable features: Search for friends and go to their profile page directly from toolbar, notification when friends update status messages and also new requests, pokes etc., sidebar option to organize facebook friends and an option to share any page you’re browsing directly with your friends or you can also post it to your wall.

Twitter experience:

This one has a good collection but here are my preferences.

TwitterBar 2.4: Post to Twitter from your address bar.

TwitterFox 1.8.2: Notifies you of your friends’ status on Twitter. You can also of course tweet directly from here.

TwitKit 1.2.2: TwitKit is a Twitter sidebar for Firefox. It is like a twitter client, but inside the firefox application! TwitKit has a 6-section interface, using tabs to separate content. You can view the Twitter public timeline, your user timeline, a list of your friends and their latest tweets, a list of your followers and their latest tweets, @replies made to you, and stats about your account.

Flickr experience:

Flickr Gallery Plus! 0.87: Improvised presentation for Flickr fans who browse those awesome Sets all day. Keyboard navigation with arrow keys and slideshow options included.

Flickr Buddy 0.2.5: This is your Personal Assistant to get you updates from Flickr. You configure with friends’ RSS feed and it shows you the number of new pictures uploaded every few minutes (duration can be configured) and you can check those pictures in a new browser tab instantly.

These are the ones I have on my mind today. If you get a chance to try these out, please add in a comment to let me know how it works for you!