Congratulations! 57% of You Are Functionally Literate

Here are the results of the World Literacy Day Survey. Find out how functionally literate you are.

It was World Literacy Day yesterday and we had asked you to answer a survey to test your functional literacy. We stick to our promises at Bayside, so here are the answers to yesterday’s survey. We’re glad to say that most people fared really well. On average, 57% of you got all the answers right!

1. Is it legal to sleep in public places?

It is a common sight to see people sleep at Marine Drive and the various railway stations. Irrespective of the increasing number of people sleeping on pavements and in gardens, taking a nap in a public place is an offence. The police can wake you up, even though sleep is a fundamental right!


46% of responders got this question right. 34% need to watch where they doze off.

2. At what level of income do you become liable to pay taxes in India?

With great power comes great responsibility, and in this country, that responsibility starts at 2.5 lakhs.


The survey showed that 25% of you who think that the tax bracket starts at 1 lakh are too generous, while the remaining 14% need to open up their wallets a little more.

According to the website of the Finance Minister, you’re only liable to pay income tax if your salary exceeds 2.5 lakhs per year. To know more, check this out.

3. Is paying service charge compulsory at restaurants and cafes?

Contrary to what most people think, service charge is not the same as service tax. While the latter is levied by the government, service charge is what you pay the restaurant for its services.


59% of readers think that it is compulsory to pay this charge, while 35% think otherwise.

However, if a phrase such as “Service charge applicable” appears in fine print in a corner of the menu, it must be paid. If the percentage of this charge is not mentioned, you have the right to ask for it, just like this Mumbai-based lawyer did.

Service charge negates the need for a tip; before tipping your waiter, check if this charge has already been included in your bill.

4. When rickshaw and taxi drivers refuse passengers, are they breaking a law?

The pain of getting rejected by Mumbai’s rickshaw drivers may not be as painful as being rejected by the love of your life. But it sure stings, especially when five of them give you empty stares in a row.


What is upsetting is that more than 79% of us are informed about the fact, and yet we choose not to act against it. As for the 15% who answered ‘no’, jaago grahak jaago!

5. Can an ATM be used to transfer money?

The respondents seemed divided about this question. Considering that most of us use ATM cards on a daily basis, it comes as a surprise that 44% of people didn’t know that you can use an ATM to transfer money from one account to another.


All you need to know is the account number of the recipient. Congratulations to 43% of you who have saved your time by going to the ATM rather than spending hours at the bank!

6. Is it legal to smoke cigarettes near cigarette shops?

Smoking cigarettes in public is an offence. 29% of respondents who think they can get away with it near tapris should be ready to shell out 300 rupees every time they smoke.


We’re glad to know that 51% of you know where to smoke legally, although we’d like to know how many of you actually follow this law.

6. Does “Best before X/Y/Z date” and “Expires on X/Y/Z” mean the same thing on products like a packet of chips?

Though this may seem like mere word play, there is a significant difference between these two phrases. “Best before” indicates the number of days or months that a product will remain fresh for. The expiry date tells us when a product will become dangerous to consume.


Majority of readers (62%) got this right; we are shocked to see that 34% fail to differentiate between these two phrases. We hope that this percentage of readers hasn’t thrown away too many products that could still be consumed. Or worse, are booking appointments with doctors.

8. I’ve just graduated and do a part time job. I don’t pay taxes, because I don’t fall under the tax bracket. Do I still need a PAN card?

Primarily, a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card is needed only if you pay income tax. But it is also used when you run up transactions larger than 25,000 rupees, when you buy stocks, and when you buy or sell property. It is also commonly used as proof of identity.


88% of you said ‘yes’, and are well-informed. The 8% who said ‘no’ should find out the procedure to apply for it, ASAP.

9. Texting while driving is worse than drinking while driving

Though it may seem unbelievable, texting while driving has led to more accidents than driving drunk.


65% of you agree with us, while an alarming 26% of you think this is harmless. We hope you weren’t filling up this survey while being behind the wheel.

Needless to say, both texting and drinking should not accompany driving.

10. Are you allowed to demand that shopkeepers sell their products to you at a price below the MRP?

We’re sure that a lot of shopkeepers are making a huge profit, because 52% of you think that MRP is non-negotiable.


Maximum Retail Price (MRP) is the maximum amount that you can be charged. It is not the final price, and you can bargain!

11. It is not illegal to reveal who you voted for after you cast your vote during elections.

During election time, we all find ourselves debating about politics. Sometimes, we mention who we voted for in passing, but you could be fined for this!


51% are still secretive about who they vote for, but the 44% that said ‘true’ need to keep the kitty in the bag.

On average, 10% of respondents didn’t know the answers across all questions. We hope you can call yourself functionally literate after reading this!

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