charankanya on September 30th, 2008

For a long time I have been meaning to write on the differences between ICSE and CBSE.  The problem however was that while I was familiar with ICSE, I didn’t know too much about CBSE.  Then I came across this very well written article by Chitra Aiyer. If you are seeking admissions for your child […]

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anand on September 23rd, 2008

Having got used to the simplicity of brokerage accounts in the US, it took me some time to get a handle on how the brokerage accounts are structured and setup in India. Once you ‘get’ it, its not complicated – just painfully fragmented. However, there is typically no simple description that helps you ‘get’ it – so you’ve to play 20 questions and reverse engineer an understanding that works. Here’s what I have learned:

To invest and trade in stocks, you need :

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anand on September 22nd, 2008

In an unexpected change, against the common expectations, Obama and McCain seem to be in a statistical dead heat. All votes are going to be important (remember the 600 chads of Florida that determined the election 8 years ago?). All the more reason that US citizens who are out of the country in November should register to vote by absentee ballot.

There is a relatively simple procedure to register to obtain and vote through an absentee ballot.
The Federal Voter Assistance Program website has the comprehensive instructions and forms that allow you to register for voting and request an absentee ballot.

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anand on September 17th, 2008

The recent events in the US financial markets have lead to a sharp downturn in India’s markets too. Additionally, with the dollar strengthening against the rupee, the purchase power of the dollar has gone up significantly over the past three-four weeks. These two events, individually but more so coupled together, make considering investments in India very attractive.

Investments in the Indian stock markets has some great advantages. I am often surprised that expats, NRIs and others do not always realize some of the subtle advantages. Beyond being a hot growth area for the past few years (30-40% returns have been the common for a lot of mutual funds), the subtle advantages are on the tax treatment for these invesments. In this note, I’m just focusing on this tax treatment.

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charankanya on September 15th, 2008

While browsing I came across this very well written article by Mahipal on Ten things one must be ready for while living in India. It’s a must read for those of you who are thinking of moving back to India. Mahipal is planning to return to India in 2010 with his family, and some of the insights he has, has hit the nail on the head. He writes that:

Quality of life is not just decided by the inside of your house or office…it is a sum of every thing that you face and come in contact with on a day to day basis.

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charankanya on September 12th, 2008

This is a list of fun places that kids will enjoy in Pune. It includes a variety of places from mini-golf and gaming arcades to a snake park and an old fort.

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charankanya on September 11th, 2008

Most, if not all, want to send their children to the “best” school possible.  If you are new in a place it is very difficult to find out what is the “best” school.  Also, with all the different education boards the choices are many.  Here I list two schools that I consider to be the […]

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charankanya on September 5th, 2008

Before I moved to Pune two years ago, I did a lot of research in trying to find the “best” ICSE school. I called so many people (many whom I didn’t even know….was referred to by someone who knew them), in order to find the right school for my kids. Based on all that information, we made a decision to go with the “best” school….(l’m not going to name it). However, when we finally got here I realised that all the “information” I had got was actually just “opinions”. There was very little factual information. As I found out, almost no one had just factual information…..they just had “stories” they had heard, things that they think happened, etc.. Enough to say, that I had to find another school for my kids, and I had to find it fast. I ended up visiting almost every school there was in Pune at the time (within a certain radius), in order to get the information I wanted.

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charankanya on September 5th, 2008

The following two places offer some of the best thin crust pizzas.  If you love good NY style pizza, then these are definitely the places to go to.  If your idea of good pizza is Pizza Hut type of Pizza, then you’d be better of sticking with one of the other Pizza places. Ccasanova at Kalyaninagar La […]

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anand on September 5th, 2008

Based off my experience, I advise people to bring any and all electronics from the US. I have my home theater, DVD players, Wii, GameCube, kitchen appliances etc all working fine. I have found that electronics are the cheapest in the USA (best selection, best deals). India is at least 30%, sometimes over a 100% more expensive so it is advisable to bring your existing electronics (and even electricals) and possibly even purchase new ones to transport to India. Here’s what you have to think through (and plan for)…

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