Skip to main content

Tips for dealing with DST...Issued in public interest

Attending a conference abroad is so painful because of all the paper work one has to do to get a visa and to obtain some grant money. But, it does not end with the conference itself, as one has to then come back and submit all the bills, which is another set of paperwork. And, this I realize now is more troublesome of the two.

I went to a conference in Jan 2013 and submitted the bills in Feb 2013. It is now June and I am yet to get the grant money that was promised to me by DST. First, they don't have the basic coutesy to send an acknowledgment email to the the claimant who has sent all the original documents by post. And, this is a major drawback and you get all worried coz a large sum is at stake. Second, when you try calling them at the phone number that they have provided in your grant letter, they never pick it up! Half the time you get a busy tone, which I am sure is because they have set the reciever down coz they do not want to be "disturbed" for exactly the thing that they are paid for. And, at other times, they simply don't pick up your calls, which again I am sure is because they have chosen to not come to office on that particular day. So, after a week or so of relentless calling when someone shows mercy on the poor phone and does pick it up, they ask me not to call on this number as no one picks it up (just in case, I hadn't realized it yet!). So, when I ask them about my file and the bills I have submitted, their first reply is that they haven't got it yet. But, after some checking, it is revealed that they did get my file but have lost one particular document, the solution to which they suggest is that I again fill up some forms, get the required signatures and send it to them (hoping all the time that they do not lose it again!). The good thing is that I have the photocopies and the scanned and copies of all my documents.

So, here are some tips which might be useful when dealing with a govt. office:

1. Keep photocopies and scanned copies of all your original documents. This will help you when they say that you have not sent them some document, when in fact, what they really mean is that they have lost it. 
2. The phone number listed on the letter will mostly be the one which they do not bother to pick up. So, for DST, the phone number which they do pick up is: 011 26961916.
3. They also do not reply to emails, especially on the id that they have listed on your grant letter and on their website. So, the one which might get you a reply is:
4. Be relentless and keep calling or mailing them until they reply!

Hope others will be spared the same worry and frustration that I am facing right now.



Popular posts from this blog

Nature gives us no choice...

The breaking news story in the world of sports right now is the one about Serena Williams announcing her pregnancy. And while this is probably good news, it is not something her fans look forward to. I'm sure it must have been a huge decision for her and something that she must be coming to terms with even now as I write this. The pregnancy means that Serena Williams, the best women's tennis player ever in the open era, who is still at her prime and has just won the Australian Open 2017 will now miss the rest of the season this year. How unfair is that! Why does she have to choose between being a mother and playing tennis when her male counterparts just go through parenthood with a breeze. They never ever have to sit out, never have to make such life changing decisions, never have to contemplate and plan their return to tennis after the birth of their child. 
It is just frustrating that the likes of Djokovic and Federer have been at their prime winning titles with fatherhood …

Ten realizations after working in a wet lab

I started working in a biology lab about a year ago and realized quite a few things while I learnt the ropes. Here they are in no particular order. You go through a lot of pipette tips and latex gloves thereby generating a lot of non-biodegradable waste. So yeah, research does not always help the world, sometimes it just generates new trash. You run out of good clothes because almost all of them have bleach stains on them. And of course, that's because you're too lazy to put on a lab coat. You develop a bit of an OCD coz' you're constantly worried that you didn't turn on the shaker, or left your bacteria plate in the incubator for too long or left the gas on, etc. I can actually list a whole page of stuff I worry about long after I've left for home. :PBacterial contamination can ruin your experiments and make you lose a day and sometimes more.Tiny tubes of 40 micro-liters of enzyme cost over USD 200. That sure seems like a lot of money!You have to make media an…

Because I watched Wonder Woman... :D

I am just back from a screening of Wonder Woman and I must say that it is a gorgeous film. It has a good story, stunning visuals, several funny moments and the best part is that it has a female superhero in a movie that's this big! I loved it. I loved how she has a large presence as a very very strong woman. It is truly a joy to watch a female superhero saving the hero, being badass and taking the lead in the fight against evil. 
This movie is shot almost entirely from a woman's perspective. There are many scenes where Wonder Woman is seen perplexed about the ways of men and mankind, she wonders why a woman would wear a tight dress if she can't fight in it, or why she isn't allowed in a council discussing the future course for the "great war". She questions the role of men in life going as far as saying that she's learned that "men are integral to reproduction, but unnecessary for the purposes of pleasure". This was an awesome line and it's…