PF May be Withdrawn Online from August, Says EPFO Official

PF May be Withdrawn Online from August, Says EPFO OfficialNew Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO may launch by August an online facility to withdraw provident fund, a move that will reduce paperwork and provide hassle-free service to its subscribers.

With the new facility, settling PF withdrawal claims would just take few hours.

“We are hopeful of launching an online facility for PF withdrawal claims by August this year. We have already digitised our records and processes using Oracle operating system,” a senior EPFO official told PTI.

“EPFO will soon buy blade servers for setting up three Central Data Centres at Gurgaon, Dwarka (Delhi) and Secunderabad. All the three centres will be connected to 123 offices of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO),” he said.

The process of procuring servers would be completed by May while the testing would start in June to gauge the response of the system in place.

“After intensive testing and trials in June and July, we are planning to launch the online PF withdrawal facility in August this year,” the official said.

Once this is operational, subscribers can apply online for PF withdrawal, which will be transferred directly to their bank accounts.

At present, subscribers who wish to settle their accounts with the EPFO are required to apply manually.

For settling online claims, the subscribers would have to activate their Universal (portable PF) Account Numbers which are seeded with KYC details including bank accounts, Aadhaar number and permanent account number.

The EPFO has over five crore subscribers. As many as 6.15 crore UANs were issued by EPFO out of which 2.34 crore were activated by the subscribers so far.

Twitter laughs after Govinda says sorry and offers Rs 5 lakh to fan he slapped eight years ago

Twitter laughs after Govinda says sorry and offers Rs 5 lakh to fan he slapped eight years ago
Photo Credit: AFP
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He was Hero No. 1 and Coolie No.1 through his reign in the ‘90s as the king of slapstick comedy in Bollywood, before trying his hand at politics in 2000s. But not much has been heard about Govinda since his term as Member of Parliament ended in 2009. Now, he’s back in the limelight in rather bizarre circumstances.

On Tuesday, Govinda offered an unconditional apology and Rs 5 lakhs to a fan he slapped on sets of a film in 2008. Still a parliamentarian at the time, Govinda was supposedly provoked by the alleged misbehavior of a fan named Santosh Rai while Money Hai Toh Honey Hai was being shot at Filmistan Studio in Mumbai.

Rai’s case was initially quashed by the Bombay High Court, but the Supreme Court took up the case last year. Govinda’s lawyers had contended that a video clip of the slap had been doctored, but the court rejected this claim.

The Supreme Court had previously faulted Govinda for failing to act with grace and dignity.

On Tuesday, the judges asked Govinda to meet Rai within two weeks and negotiate a settlement. After the hearing, Govinda declared, “I have immense love and respect for my fans who also wanted me to apologise.”

Govinda’s apology and particularly the compensation he offered had social media laughing. Here’s a selection:


Netflix Says Will Block Proxy Access to Content Not Available Locally

Netflix Says Will Block Proxy Access to Content Not Available Locally

Netflix doesn’t mind its users sharing their account with friends and family but the popular on-demand streaming service disapproves of the usage of unblockers and proxies. The company has announced that it will be blocking such tools in the coming weeks. As a result, you are unlikely to be able to stream shows and movies that are not available in your region.

The video streaming giant has long expressed its concerns over the usage of tools that allow users to fake their location to access content that isn’t available in their home country. But so far, Netflix has maintained a relaxed approach towards it, turning a blind eye to the fact that many of its users are indulging in such practices. That has changed.

[…] in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are,” David Fullagar, Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture, wrote in a blog post. “We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”

Netflix ‘s catalogue houses more than 34,000 movies, documentaries, and TV shows titles. However, not all content is available in every region. For instance, Kevin Spacey-starrer House of Cards is not available in India. This sort of unavailability of content, as you can imagine, has led many users to use apps and services such as Smartflix that circumvent the geo-location barriers and provide users access to a wider catalogue.

To understand Netflix’s move, you have to realise that the company has a partnership with content owners, and it has to respect the licensing deals in every region. Moving forward, however, Netflix intends to sort out its licensing deals so that all of its content is available everywhere. But that is likely going to take years. To recall, Netflix launched its service in India and 129 other countries earlier this month.

“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or ‘unblockers’ to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere,” Fullagar added.