Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Everything is online these days—and the best part about that in a country like India is that you don’t have to stand in line anymore. Here are some amazing ways to get those boring errands and essential services done without having to make a zillion calls, or pull your hair out. (Some of these are tried and tested by this writer!)
It may be a while till the next election for you (Maharashtra and Haryana have one around the corner), but you’d still like to make your voice heard. The Election Commision of India has an easy to use website, which will remove all excuses you have to just sit at home and watch movies the next polling day. Link. (POPxo tried and tested! Card came home two weeks after we applied.)
This one is a bit of a pain, because it involves printing out the appointment time and taking it to the passport office, but once you’re done with that, you can track the status of your application online. If you’re going the tatkaal (fast) route, be sure to take along a document saying you need your passport fast tracked, but if you’re not in a hurry, stay cool, and the passport reaches you within two months. Link. (POPxo tried and tested! A little longer than it took friends with a passport tout, but it reached my home safe and sound within the time period.)
Bengaluru has a great scheme where you can apply for your license online, a blessing for those who don’t want to brave the traffic or the queues. Full list of details on the link. (Link.) (Not tested, but leave your comments if you’ve tried this and tell us how long it took.)
If you’ve been paying your taxes—and you should be paying your taxes—you’ll know that you need one of these. The website offers several easy buttons including “change of details”, “PAN card for foreign nationals” and more. (Link.) (Not tested, but leave your comments!)
Most of the “fancy” banks already do it, but sometimes for government purposes (like a passport) you might need a government bank. The Central Bank of India (CBI) now lets you fill out a form and register online. (Link.) (Not tried and tested, but seems legit.)
Sometimes you just have to send snail mail, for contracts or parcels or what have you. Why leave your home? This nifty service lets you send national and international couriers, after putting in the details of your package, and selecting a courier near you. Simple! (Link.) (Not tried and tested, but so going to try this the next time!)
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