Skip to main content

The PSUs are getting efficient

One (of the many) thing(s) I can lay claim to is that a liberalized India and I were born within a year of each other. So, I have seen, since I can remember, the true growth of the private sector and the IT revolution in India.

I have also seen a remarkable change in the public sector.

When I was a child, I remember about the various public sector enterprises and how hopelessly inefficient they were. I remember of the times when trains used to be late by 6-12 hours, I remember the times when you could not get a telephone line without greasing someone's palm. I remember the times when a private enterprise was considered very efficient.

Not any more. The public sector has become extremely efficient. People may disagree and point out many flaws with the public sector, but I sure can find an equivalent number of faults with the private sector. At the same time, the private sector, through complacency or the sheer lack of motivation steadily declined.

There were some interactions that I have had with different government offices in the past few years. I had to get my driver's license made. The driving test went off smoothly without any delays. I was told that my license would be ready in 3 days, and three days it was.

I use MTNL broadband, as do many in Mumbai. I believe that they have the cheapest broadband rates and the best quality in the city. Similarly, I use MTNL 3G on my mobile. During the course of my interactions with the people working in MTNL, I have noticed a remarkable change from what I had observed in my early childhood. Gone is the earlier attitude of the employees. They have embraced the consumer is king motto absolutely. A call to customer care never goes with the long hold times characteristic of the other service providers. Any complaint is promptly dealt with. The rates for various services are the lowest.

Contrast this with AirTel, which I possessed previously. A simple call to customer care to complain about their lousy network coverage would result in me being charged. That sure is no way to show that you have the lowest complaints amongst competitors!

With mobile number portability coming up, private players are spending large amounts of money on advertising. However, I see that MTNL has decided to remain silent. As they say Good wine needs no bush.

Adam Smith's Invisible Hand sure seems to work well.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Build those noise cancelling headphones

So, here's another DIYLet me start by putting the cart before the horse. I shall start with the credits. This project was done while I was working on my Electronics Design Lab, along with my friends, Srujan M and Indrasen Bhattacharya. The work would not have been possible without the generous help received from the staff at Wadhwani Electronics Laboratory, who ensured that the only thing we did right was to leave the lab on time. This project would also not have been possible without the guidance of our dear and learned professors. It would probably have just about become additional dead weight on the head.Enough with the credits, now, I need to dive right into noise cancellation and how it works.The essence of sound is a pressure wave. The pressure wave, when incident on the eardrum sets into motion the complex mechanisms inside the ear, and after a long path, rather like the Cog advertisement, ends up making some nerves vibrate. The nerves send electrical signals to the brain, …

Reading List, December 2017

Brian Merchant, How email open tracking quietly took over the world, in Wired, 11 December 2017. [Online]: https://www.wired.com/story/how-email-open-tracking-quietly-took-over-the-web/It is no longer a secret that every website you visit silently tracks you in an effort to maximise ad revenue. What is less known is that emails also track you, through the use of tracking pixels and redirect links. These techniques were used by spammers and legitimate companies alike when creating newsletters or other mass email, in order to figure out their reach. What’s happening now is that private people are also using these techniques in order to create invisible and intrusive read receipts for email, which is incredibly frustrating from a privacy point of view.My solution to the tracking woes? I only open the plain-text component of email, which gets rid of tracking pixels entirely. Redirect links are harder to beat, and I don’t have a good solution for this.Dan Luu, Computer latency 1977–2017. D…