Online Tax Returns Filing Goes Up By 80% In India

Looks like the citizens of India are gradually jumping on to the web – wagon! According to recent reports, online filing of tax returns or e-tax has increased by great numbers. This was revealed by SNK ETax solutions, a company which specialises in corporate and individual taxation.

The figures are some thing like this:

In the year 2009-10, the total number of tax returns filed were 3.4 crores approximately. Out of this, the number of returns that were filed online were 51.06 lakh. Whereas in 2010-11, the total number of tax returns filed was 4.4 crore and out of this the number of tax returns filed online was 91.57 lakhs. If we compare just the online returns, there has been almost 80% growth.

The number of online tax returns filed is expected to touch 7.5 crores within next five years which is going to be a tremendous growth indeed. The website of the Income Tax department of India has a lot of information how to file your tax online, and detailed information about various tax laws.

There is also a Tax Calculator application on the website using which you can find out your tax liabilities according to your net taxable income. People generally hire a tax consultant in order to manage their taxes and filing. However, if you file the taxes online using the calculator we mentioned above, you can save yourself some extra money in form of the fees which the tax consultant would charge.

Google Street View Temporarily Discontinued In India

Just around the end of last month, Google had announced the start of it’s Street View project in India. Street Viewis one of the many projects from Google that lets you check out places around the world with the help of 360-degree street-level images from Google Maps. However, Street View has already come under the scanner of various governments across the world.

The Street View project has now fallen prey to the eyes of the Indian Government as well. When Google started this in Bangalore, India last month, we were quite skeptical about it’s operation in the country. Now it turns out that Google did not even secure the necessary clearance required for filming the streets in Bangalore.

Google has already procured a fleet of Chevrolet Captiva SUVs and tri-cycles with special rotating cameras atop in order to film and take photographs of the streets. The Bangalore police is concerned because there are many military institutions in the city and making available such data online would pose security threats to these areas.

Google has already confirmed that the “Street View” project has been suspended as they have received a letter from Bangalore’s police commissioner ask to do so. Not only India, Google has faced serious obstacles in implementing this project in other countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.

Facebook Credits To Go Live In India From 1st July

Facebook has announced the launch of it’s Facebook Credits feature in 13 Asian and Latin American countries via international payment methods and improved payout workflows for developers using Facebook Credits. For the ones who have not heard about Facebook Credits before, it is a safe way to pay for Virtual Goods in Facebook Applications without having to reveal your bank or card details to a third-party app or game provider.

According to a blog post from Facebook:

We’re also excited to announce that we now support payouts to developers in all countries globally (excluding a few government-embargoed countries). To do this, we’ve developed a new pay out process for developers in countries where we haven’t previously supported payouts through banks or PayPal. For developers in these countries, we may request some additional documentation to enable them to be paid through their local bank account.

Although there is a no special mention about India in the official blog post but we can see India listed in the payment options page for Facebook Credits. The payment methods available for Indian developers include Mobile payments (using Boku or Zong), MOLePoints, Moneybookers, Western Union QuickPay. As expected, there is no PayPal in the list. And in the case of Mobile Payments, only Airtel supports Boku in India, so Zong is ruled out.

LinkedIn Hits 10M Registered Users In India; Doubles User Base In Just 1 Year

LinkedIn – the social network for professionals is seeing a fast growth in India. The company recently did it’s IPO and what could be a more better news than hitting the landmark of 10 Million registered users in India. There are already many online job portals in India such as Naukri.com, Monster.com and others but none provide a social angle to Job hunting, the way LinkedIn does.

Although, there is a desi social network for professional called brijj.com which has 4 Million registered users (claimed) but the experience and user engagement is of no match to LinkedIn. LinkedIn had 5 Million registered users in the month of May last year (2010) and this years 10 Million figure seals LinkedIn’s 100% growth in the country.

In order to increase it’s reach among users and brands, LinkedIn has been taking many initiatives such as the launch of Company pages for all Indian companies. However, LinkedIn needs to do more in order to beat it’s competitors (naukri.com and monster.com) hands down. Naukri.com has a very vast reach in India among users when it comes to searching for jobs as users know these websites as job search engines. LinkedIn has to come up with an awareness campaign for users in India so that they start understanding the power of LinkedIn as well.

Bharti AIrtel Introduces High Speed Broadband Plans

Bharti Airtel has introduced high speed broadband internet plans for tier-1 and tier-2 cities in India. The best part about these new plans is that they cost less, have high data download limits and have minimum data speeds of 2mbps in Tier-1 and 1mbps in Tier-2 cities. The cities where this minimum 2mbps broadband plan will be available include Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

Here is the detailed tariff structure:

Top 10 Cities

All the plans listed below will have a minimum download speed of 2mbps

Alpha Plan: 3GB data @ Rs. 649

Alpha Plan: 6GB data @ Rs. 799

Max Plan: 10GB data @ Rs. 999

Max Plan: 30GB data @ Rs. 1299

Max Plan: 75GB data @ Rs. 1599

Max Plan: 150GB data @ Rs. 1999

Rest of India

All the plans listed below will have a minimum download speed of 1mbps

Ace Plan: 3GB data @ Rs. 549

Ace Plan: 6GB data @ Rs. 699

Mega Plan: 10GB data @ Rs. 899

Mega Plan: 30GB data @ Rs. 1499

Mega Plan: 75GB data @ Rs. 1999

Airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer – Girish Mehta said while unveiling the plans that raising the broadband internet speed threshold with the new broadband plans will help enhance uptake of the array of content and rich media experience on Airtel broadband.

Google Debuts “Street View” In India; Starting From Bengaluru

“Street View” is one of the many projects from Google that lets you check out places around the world with the help of 360-degree street-level images. This feature is available inside Google Maps. Street View has already been under the scanner of various Govt. agencies in the 27 countries where the service is currently available. Google has now announced the launch of the “Street View” service in India too.

“Street View” will debut in Bengaluru and after which it will make it’s way into other major Indian cities. However, you won’t be able to see any imagery as of now as the service has just been started in India and Google will have to take pictures and compile the database first. Once the collection process is over, the entire city of Bengaluru will be available on your desktop or mobile device!

Here is an image of some vehicles from Google Street View’s fleet of vehicles which will used to scan the images of various parts of the city. In the image you can see a tricycle and two Chevrolet Captiva SUVs. Note the special camera at the top of the vehicles which will be used to capture the images.

Via Google India Blog

Infibeam Unveils BuildABazaar – Build Your Own Online eStore

Infibeam is known for many firsts in India. Infibeam was the first to launch India’s first desi e-reader, the Pi and followed it up with the iPad competitor – Phi. Well now Infibeam has come up with a new offering called the BuildABazaar on the lines of Amazon’s Affiliate Stores. With eCommerce on the rise in India, BuildABazaar will definitely help entrepreneurs to try their hands at selling stuff online without requiring to get familiar with the much needed tech jargon behing running such e-stores.

The service is currently being offered on a first come first served basis.Interested users may send their details to Infibeam by 7th June 2011 and Infibeam will finally declare the names of the approved users by 10th June 2011. Here are a few features of BuildABazaar which users as well as store owners may find very useful:

  • Users can start their own store with a customised brand name of their choice
  • Owners will have the option of uploading their own product catalog or feature selected products from infibeam.com on their BuildABazaar store.
  • If the user chooses to upload his/her own catalog, then these products will also be made available for sale on Infibeam.com and the owners can get paid via the Infibeam Affiliate program.
  • Infibeam will take care of order deliveries and   ship orders and the store owners will be paid a commission for all transactions that happen on their stores.

Here is what Vishal Mehta, CEO of Infibeam.com has to say about BuildABazaar:

This launch signifies our largest commitment to empower entrepreneurs including sellers as well as local shop owners by allowing them to create their own online store under their brand. Using our self service platform, every entrepreneur can setup their own branded Online store, upload their own product catalog, select products from Infibeam catalog like Books, Movies, Mobile phones, Electronics, Cameras and start selling with no upfront investment

 

BSNL Slashes Data Card Prices; Launches Conference Software

India’s telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has taken a step forward in makeing the Internet more available for to the masses in India. The internet data cards which the company sells will now be available at a cheaper price as BSNL has announced new reduced the prices for it’s Internet data cards. The standard Edge/GPRS data card will now cost Rs. 1600 (Rs. 400 less as compared to the previous price of Rs. 2000) and the cost of the 3G Triband data card has been reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs. 2,500.

However the real reason behind the reduction in the prices of these data cards are the fact that the Chennai division of BSNL has lost more than 15,000 subscribers from the ongoing Mobile Number Portability scheme. The company feels that reduction in these prices may result in some new connections. Chennai alone has a subscriber base of 17 lakh BSNL users.

Apart from this, BSNL has also launched a audio/video conference software suite called Meeting Junction in association with it’s partner – Silk Media. This software is available only for the post-paid subscribers of BSNL. This new offering from BSNL takes advantage of Internet data and clubs it with video and audio to provide a true Conferencing experience.

Hiox India Launches Indiaballot.com – Live Election Results At Your Fingertips

Wouldn’t it be good if you get the consolidated results, of the government elections happening in your state, at one place? If you feel this is true then here is something you may be interested in. Hiox India – a web services company, has launched a website called Indiaballot.com. The website currently has full reports and results of the Assembly elections in India including all the data for the five states where Assembly elections took place recently.

The website nicely structured with all the election data categorized under the respective states. There is also a search feature which you can use for finding information about a party or alliance wise, district wise and constituency wise information of parties from any state in the country.

Among other things, indiaballot.com has information about the number of contestants from each party or alliance, along with the name of the candidates, who participated in the election and number of candidates who won or lost are recorded. Another website which has been profiling similar information is myneta.info. It will be interesting to see how these websites profile the info for better use during elections.

Mobile App Dev Firm SourceBits Posts $6.5M Revenues; Raises $10M Funding

If you have been using the iPhone or the iPad for quite some time then you must have used the Night stand or the Skyfire apps. Both are most downloaded and top apps in their respective categories on the iTunes app store. Skyfire is famous for the fact that it brings the ability to play flash videos while browsing the web on the iPhone or the iPad. Well, both of the above mentioned apps have been developed by Bangalore based SourceBits technologies.

Sourcebits has developed over 300 apps for various mobile platforms like iOS Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Windows Phone 7. The company recently posted it’s revenues for the year 2010-2011. The figures were a whopping $6.5 Million. The Night Stand app for iPhone (developed by SourceBits) has already been downloaded more than 5 million times fetching $1 Million in revenues alone for the company.

Sourcebits has also raised a total sum of US $10 Million from top investors – Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures ($5M each) in their first round of investment. The company now plans to set up engineering and sales centers in the United States and a design engineering center in India and Europe.

via Medianama