Important: Top 5 Emerging Banking Trends in 2017 You Must Know

Source: livemint.com

The year 2016 was a turbulent and path-bearer one for the banks, stock markets and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Institutions). First the Brexit announcement in the middle of the year and then the dual co-incidence of Donald Trump’s victory followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization scheme – have affected the banking industry to a certain extent for sure.

In November, once the Demonetisation decision of the old notes of higher denominations of 500 and 1000 INR was announced, people immediately went frenzy. The banks were instantly flooded with the currency notes of 500 and 1000 INR as both currency notes ceased to remain a legal tender anymore.

These two notes constituted around 85% of the nation’s currency in circulation, so after the demonetization decision, a nation-wide cash crunch situation ensued. It was further aggravated due to long queues at banks branches and ATMs followed by the limit on cash withdrawals from bank accounts.

Banks are overburdened with liquid cash now and they have to put them for investment purposes and productive uses. Some major banking trends are ready to take place in the coming days. However, the scene will actually become crystal clear only after the union budget 2017.

Upcoming Banking Trends 2017

  • Entry of Payment Banks: Many new banks are expected to launch in the coming year. Around 10 small finance banks and eight payment banks will be launched very soon in 2017. Airtel Payments bank has already started its operation in Rajasthan, and it will soon begin its nation-wide operation too. Currently, it offers 7.25% interest rate on saving accounts (against normal 4% offered by other banks).
  • More Loans and Advances: With the banks obtaining an enormous pool of surplus money in the form of deposits, there is no doubt that the New Year will see a sharp rise in loans and advances by the private and public sector banks. Though private sector banks are more liberal towards offering loans, but after demonetization, public sector banks will also start giving more loans to customers with fewer paper works, formalities and processing time.
  • Promotion of Electronic wallets: For transaction purposes, people will now get their electronic wallets linked to bank accounts for smoother transactions. Mobile apps and e-wallets like paytm and freecharge will get a massive boost in 2017. People will keep lesser cash in their pockets and may pay more via paytm and other apps.
  • The Merger of SBI and associates: Next year, India’s largest bank – the SBI (State Bank of India) and its five associates might merge for easier banking operation and more flexibility. This will empower the SBI and its associates to take greater risk and offer more loans to customers.
  • Changing Trends in Microfinance Industry: India’s Rs. 60,000 plus microfinance industry will get a complete makeover soon. These micro financial institutions mostly do their transactions on a cash basis but after the Modi’s demonetisaion announcement they will move towards cheque and bank transfer for transaction purposes. Advancement of loans and their repayments are also expected to go paperless. MFIs are shifting towards offering payment via mobile apps and bank transfer. This will keep the customers in the loop and prevent further bad debt and cheating.

Though people are expected to be largely benefitted by such expected banking trends in 2017, but only the time will reveal the actual benefits of these banking trends for customers in reality.

Digital Locker: Features & Utility at a Glance

 

The government of India is all set to digitalize the country, and promote the same throughout India. Initiating the concept of a digital locker in India is one of such initiatives. It was launched with a purpose to offer a secure platform to Indians to store and access their valuable documents on an electronic repository offered by the government of India.

The basic objective of the scheme is to make the country digitally literate and let the people keep their important documents and papers on an electronic medium. The government of India had also integrated the scheme with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways so that more and more people can take advantage of the digital locker system by storing the digital version of their driving license and other vehicle documents on the DigiLocker. They can then easily roam throughout India carrying a soft copy of the same with themselves when driving.

Until now, more than 2 million have already registered with the DigiLocker as its registered users. However, in comparison to country’s humongous population, the figure is actually very less. So creating awareness of the people about Digital Locker is the need of the hour.

Top 6 Facts of DigiLocker That you must know

  •  DigiLocker scheme was launched by Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India a few months back.
  • Important documents such as University Degrees, Driving License and Marksheets could be saved electronically on DigiLocker.
  • Maharashtra is the state with a maximum number of users using Digital Locker facility.
  • A user can use up to 10MB space to store his personal documents in it. The Government is in talk with the Google and other IT firms to enhance the limit up to 1GB space in the near future.
  • Many educational bodies including CBSE and other state boards are planning to release results online to promote the use of digital lockers.
  • Aadhaar card is mandatory to use the enhanced features of the digital locker facility. However, some reports suggest that basic work can be done on digital locker without Aadhaar card too.

Why Too Many People Not Using Digital Locker Facility

Everything has its reasons. For the first time ever India is going digital and there is no doubt that many people will have some doubts about it before accepting it as a part of life. Similar things happened in the late 90s when the computer was making its entry into human life – many people vehemently opposed the idea then.

The government should come forward and let the people of the nation know its advantages and disadvantages. The whole concept of digital locker needs some more clarity too.

  • Most of the people are not fully sure whether they require Aadhaar Card only to get access to the facility or can it be accessed through other valid photo Id cards as well.
  • Privacy is a major concern. What will happen if someone hacks into your digital locker and tamper with your documents?
  • Not everybody has a computer to access to the DigiLocker facility.
  • It’s still not clear that how a user can link his state government locker to that of central government locker and vice versa.
  • The government’s DigiLocker website is still in its Beta version now.

Whatsoever, the digitalization process has already begun in India and it’s just a matter of time when the concept of the digital locker will become a talk of the city and villages considering its enormous advantages and massive benefits.

Top 6 Reasons Why Weighted Blankets are Healthy for You

 

We are well aware of the utility of blankets in winter season. But people mostly use them to stay warm. However, in the last few years, the use of weighted blankets has become an essential part of our lives. Weighted blankets will not only keep you warm but also pacify your moods to a large extent.

What’s more special is the fact that weighted blankets are equally beneficial for every one of us. Whether you are a child, middle aged man or an old person, weighted blanket acts as a panacea to cure your psychological pains while protecting you from chilly winter too.

It has also proved to be extremely helpful to correct the mental imbalances in children who are affected due to autism, sensory disorders and other mental problems. These blankets actually provide deep pressure touch receptor from head to toe letting the body loose free. It makes a person feel secured, relaxed and tension free.

Benefits of using bulky and thick blankets at a glance

  1. It distributes weights evenly through the plastic poly pellets throughout the blanket prompting a good 8-hour sleep for the person using such a blanket.
  2. Thick blankets act as a boon for the Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) children to sleep well while enhancing their concentration levels.
  3. Thick blankets don’t have toxic Hypo–allergenic materials so it’s completely safe for everyone to use. It can be washed and air dry as well unlike other blankets.
  4. People with high level of anxiety and increased blood pressure find thick blankets as one of the easiest remedies to stay calm and cool. Once a person rests on the blanket, he tends to feel much relaxed and rejuvenated in the morning.
  5. The extra thickness on the blanket prompts the brain to release neurotransmitters such as Serotonin and Dopamine which correct a person’s mood and soothes his minds.
  6. The use of weighted blankets inserts a greater pressure to the joints, muscles and ligaments letting the central nervous system to function better. The therapeutic usage of such blankets is now recommended by doctors also across many places.

How It Works?

According to the latest research, a good sleep is essential to improve people’s productivity and duration of sleep. Therefore, weighted blankets help a person to cure his or her insomnia easily without any extra medicines.

The National Institute of Mental Health, has recently stated that more than 35 million adults in the US are suffering from anxiety disorder and other mental disturbances. Be it on the issue of a relationship, normal life, and ability to stay take things positively while keeping oneself calm and cool is the need of the hour. That’s when the role of thick blankets comes to play. You can use such blankets alongside meditation and yoga to derive greater advantages.

This winter, make thick blankets a part of your life. With constant use of Wi-Fi, modem and other digital gadgets we become an easy prey of stress, tension and enhanced level of anxiety. Therefore, a solid 8-hour slumber is necessary, and a use of thick blankets helps us in achieving the same.

Top 5 Christmas card Video Apps

 

The celebration time has just begun. With hardly a few hours to go before the gala celebration of Merry Xmas, most of the people will be looking forward to a suitable medium to convey their best wishes to near and dear ones. That’s when the role of Christmas video card apps assumes big importance.

It’s apparently impossible to send personal greetings to everyone you know. Obviously, distance gap and time factor won’t let you do so. But using high-quality apps will make feel almost being a part of Christmas celebration even if you are residing at some far-flung places where yuletide is not that much popular. Moreover, you can start using this beautiful Christmas video card app instantly after downloading the same on your smartphone.

  • Jibjab: If you are really looking for a cool Christmas video card app then you can’t miss it out. This app introduces you to a lot of amazing Christmas e-greetings video card such as ‘Twinkle all the way’, ‘Santa’s Twerk Shop’ and ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ among many others. Also the app will let you send several e-greeting to your friends and near and dear ones using a single click. This app works on several OS including the Android and iOS.
  • Twelve (12) Days of Christmas: This is a fun app with lots of animations, original Christmas carols and colorful wallpapers. Another feature of the app is its special function allowing users to easily record their celebration video and audio while singing. A user can also easily share these videos among his friends and family members. The Christmas card video app works best on iOS and Iphones.
  • Red Stamp Card App: With Xmas round the corner, your hands might be itching to send Christmas greeting to your friends and chums. This app empowers you to instantly create greeting cards and customize the same from your Android or iOS. The app also allows you to convey your message to them within a fraction of seconds.
  • NORAD Santa Tracker: This app helps you know more about Santa Claus and related folks associated with Christmas. This app will also let you track Santa’s flight as the countdown for the same has already started. You can also play video games using this app and explore some other interesting Christmas-themed videos. You can download Norad’s Santa tracker for iOS and Android.
  • Elf Adventure Christmas: The Elf Adventureapp introduces you to a new exciting mini game every day unlocking a part of the story with every use. Each of the games will have an objective to awaken a white sleeping man for an exciting chilly winter with lots of snowflakes and cold breeze all around. Guys you can use this Christmas card video app on Android and iOS. It’s available free to download. Don’t miss it.

This holiday season; don’t deprive yourself from all the Christmas fun that you should enjoy with your friends and buddies. Using Christmas card video apps you could actually make it a more wonderful celebration altogether. So what are you waiting for? Download a Christmas card video app now and unlock the happiness for a happy and frenzied Christmas.

Demonetization in Venezuela Vs India

 

The Latin American country, Venezuela, has tried to ape India’s nation-wide note ban decision, but it had backfired badly following which President Nicolas Maduro was forced to postpone the entire decision until January 2 next month. The Venezuelan government took the decision last week on December 12, following which 100-bolivar note was ceased to be a legal tender.

But the sudden decision was bound to have violent repercussion in one of the world’s most violent countries. It led to massive protest across the streets of Caracas and other cities messed up further by violent protests and complete chaos. The decision was abruptly taken leaving the entire nation of around 32-million people in a state of complete shock, anger and despair. However, the government had now postponed the decision as of now to prevent further law and order mess in the country.

The Venezuelan President confirmed that 100-Bolivar bills will remain a legal tender as of now. However, the international borders with neighboring Columbia and Brazil would stay closed to prevent hoarding of Venezuelan cash by black money hoarders.

Maduro further alleged that these mafias are in touch with the US to destabilize the country. Currently, Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate of around 475% according to the IMF. The 100-bolivar demonetization was planned to curb the high prevailing level of inflation in the nation.

The people of Venezuela stood in long lines at banks for hours together to meet a Friday deadline to exchange their 100-Bolivar currency notes. Even when the deadline was extended, people still queued up at Banks out of fear psychosis and to get rid away from the demonetized currency at the earliest. According to government estimates, a lot of shops and shopping malls were looted and several people injured in violent clashes after the Venezuelan government’s sudden demonetization move.

Demonetization in India & Venezuela: A Comparison Study

Interestingly, in the context of India, common people stood by the government’s decision and demonstrated overwhelming support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • In India, 500 & 1000 INR notes constitute around 86% of the currency in circulation, but in Venezuela 100-Bolivar note forms just 48 % of the total currency in circulation.
  • The Indian government gave around 50-day time limit to people to get their 500 & 1000 rupees note exchanged at the banks and post office with the amount of same values at different denominations, but Venezuela gave just 10 days for the people to deposit their demonetized 100-Bolivar notes at Banks. However, the entire decision was postponed later.
  • India demonetized notes of higher denomination of 500 & 1000 INR to tackle the problems of corruption and terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan, but Venezuela took the decision to curb the rising problems of international gangs and drug racketeers who hoard Venezuelan currency notes abroad to sell the same at subsidized rates in Columbia and neighboring areas.
  • The Venezuelan government was forced to postpone the decision since people went on a rampage across streets inciting violence, In India, Modi government didn’t backtrack albeit with considerable inconvenience to people. However, the level of violence in India is far lesser as compared to Venezuela after demonetization move.
  • In India, opposition parties and some of the people termed the move as a good decision coupled with bad execution, but in Venezuela, people are extremely furious with so little deadline given to them to get their demonetized notes exchanged at banks.

Technology Trends For 2017

 

“The old order changeth yielding place to new” ― Alfred Tennyson

Around two-hundred years back, great poet Alfred Tennyson coined the above phrase. He didn’t know how much the world would change in the later days. With each passing year, people are developing improved devices and technological equipments for their own help.

It won’t be wrong to say that people have now become far more luxurious, advanced and busier than before. With 2017 just round the corner, let’s analyze some of the upcoming technology trends that are sure to sweep the rug from under your feet.

  • Smart Home: Over the last few years, smart home concept is gaining ground for its cool user experiences. A customer can now easily manage several home appliances using a single master-remote control.
  • Self-driving Cars: It’s another technological innovation that’s setting the agenda for driver-less vehicles. If selfdriving cars become a reality in the near future than its biggest beneficiaries will be the people who wish to use cars but don’t have enough money to pay to drivers.
  • Increasing use of Phone Apps: Be it online shopping or calling your cab via super cool apps like Ola and Uber, in 2017 we need to get ourselves acquainted with the online mobile usage at the earliest.
  • Synthetic foods to overtake natural ones: A lot of synthetic foods will find their way inside our refrigerators in the next few months. As the clamor for synthetic foods is growing aloud, the food processing technology will grow by leap and bounds soon. Reportedly, synthetic foods will become staple food from next year onwards. Tissue engineering will get a boost to grow food like eggs, meat and dairy.
  • Soft Robots: Forget the metallic robots that we always relate to every time the word crops up. In the next few years, the entire connotation of robot and robotics will get changed. You may actually see robots resembling humans from next year onwards. They will be robots with a human essence. SoftRobotics Gripper has already started the technological innovation in this regard. Use of elector active polymers, elastomer is expected to be used while creating Soft Robotics.
  • Space Management: A giant leap has already been made in the world of volume-space explorations. Low-cost sensors are being developed to help people know how to use their owned space judiciously. The world is becoming compact day by day – probably that’s the reason why scientists and engineers are looking for alternative ways to accommodate more machines and equipments in lesser space.
  • Precision Medicine: Probably you are hearing it for the first time. Precision medicine means “one-size-fits-all” methodology that is based on algorithm and data of patients. In California, the research on the subject has already begun and many doctors are advised by the authorities to initiate proper communication with patients to understand their social, environment and economical context while diagnosing diseases.
  • Drones will be put to good use: Drones which were until now associated with wars will soon be put to good use. Rwanda is developing a first-of-its-kind drone airport to provide medicines and foods to needy and helpless people in rural areas. It could be extremely beneficial to people living inside the war-torn remotest part of the country. These medicines will be cheap, affordable and highly effective.
  • E-transactions: People will probably forget going to bank from next year onwards. Payment via e-wallets, cards and digital transactions is getting more prominence these days. No longer, you need to roam with cash – instead all transactions can be made using the plastic money.

Julian Assange finally speaks about rape allegation

 

He has spent last several years in exile under political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He has recently provided the account of events that have unfolded for the first time

He has said that today six years ago today on 6th December 2010 I was handcuffed and locked into Wandsworth prison by order of the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny.

In his testimony, talking about the allegation of rape, Assange said, “Nice behaviour towards me on the night in question and in the morning made it clear that she actively and enthusiastically wanted me to have sex with her. This is also shown by text messages sent to her friends during the course of the evening I was at her home and during that week which the Swedish police collected from her phone. Although the prosecutor had fought for years to prevent me, public and the courts from seeing them, my lawyers were permitted to see them at the police station and were able to note down a number of them including – On August 20thSW (the girl), while at the police station, wrote that she did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange, but that the police were keen on getting their hands on him and that she was choked when they arrested him.

In his testimony he said that he wasn’t and still has not been charged with any offence

But it is not been until six years later when he was questioned for the first time as he mentioned and said, “The claimed grounds for my arrest and extradition without charge were so that Ny could question me.”

This is why he said he decided to release his response.

Assange was questioned for two days in November regarding rape charges levied on him. During the questioning, Assange said that his Swedish lawyer was excluded from his room, which he said was another breach of his basic right.

On the same day he released his testimony, Assange also released a 19 page detail of events.

He said, “You have subjected me to six years of unlawful politicized detention without charge in prison under house arrest and four and a half years at this (Ecuador) embassy.  You should have asked me these questions six years ago. “Your actions and refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN working group on arbitrary detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal, “ he said.

In the testimony, he also pointed out that the Swedish authorities broke their own rules by leaking my name to a tabloid newspaper. Moreover, he mentioned, “Prosecutor Ny produced more than 40 press releases and press conferences about me. “

Adding on to that, Assange said, “As a result, to this day more than a million websites falsely conflict my name with the word rape.

Julain Assange has been a victim of the atrocities carried on the by the states for he is ready to share the dirty secrets, without worrying about his life, of those who have the power to run this world.

 

Cashless Economy: What about these 600 million people

 

600 million Indians don’t have bank accounts in India.

Even before demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid emphasis on a digital Indian economy. This idea of digital economy has become even more obvious with shifting focus from the problems faced by the poor due to cash crunch to the future that can be through digital economy.

History of cashless economy

The first country to push cashless economy is Denmark along Norway and Sweden. Among others, Australia, UK, South Korea is also pushing for cashless society.

What’s wrong with cashless society?

Today, we live in a world that is highly unequal, especially when it comes to distribution of wealth. A cashless society will further jeopardize this situation for the poor and uneducated who have no access to such knowledge.

In such a scenario, the govt. openly shouting for a cashless society and PM Modi asking party workers to promote this idea seems unrealistic and ill fated when we know that the poor are going to be left behind.

Not only that, BJP has euphemistically ignored the impact of demonetisation on the poor. The deaths that have been caused, the decreasing payment of daily wage labors and loss of livelihoods for many farmers among others has been ignored completely by the ruling political parties.

How can the government that claims to be ‘pro-poor’ talk about a cashless economy when they know that only the literates, affluent and technically learned people will be the true beneficiaries of this idea. While the poor, illiterate, child labours, women labours, daily wage labours and many more will be excluded from its success.

Developed Scandinavian countries, Australia and UK among others can afford such a plan for their small number of population as compare to India and almost 100% literacy. But laying too much emphasis on this plan in India and at the same time failing to educate and improve literacy will definitely push further the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

Such a plan is not pro poor, but pro rich and middle class, attractive to the bourgeois and mostly effective and feasible in cities. There are only 800 per million card swiping machines in the country. What’s even sadder is the ignorance of media to educate and debate the impact of this intention. The government is hiding behind big bang schemes to hide its malfunctioning and we people are foolishly standing and enjoying as the world changes in front of our eyes and the poor are thrown aside like a garbage bag.

 

Top Rumors on Demonetisation

Did you know that your 2000 rupee notes were capable of getting charged?

 

Don’t worry if you don’t because the day new 2000 rupee notes came into the market, fake news and rumors have spread like wild-fire. Some said that notes can be charged and some said that they can be tracked meters inside the ground.
Here’s a look at the rumors that shocked many and made many others laugh.
1. The 2000 rupee note has a nano chip
Sweta Singh of Aajtak confirms this news below by describing very nicely how your tacked 2000 rupee notes can be tracked. I wonder if she is foolish to have thought about it or its many of us who believed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E09Ilc7fHIE
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2. That 2000 rupee notes can store solar energy
This was shown by a person who made a prank video lighting a buld with the help of the 2000 rupee note.
Here’s the video link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNsxrWEnkmQ
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3. 2000 rupee note that sheds colour is fake
Unfortunately, the fact is just the opposite of this rumor. Real notes shed some colour and the government has accepted the problem.
4. The new notes are waterproof
See for yourself, what happened when this guy experimented with 2000 rupee note in water.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrhWlZ8OwVU
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5. Mahatma Gandhi no more on the new note
Totally false. People saw the back of the note and thought it’s the front where Gandhi’s picture was absent, but the front is where Gandhi is.

 

6. When withdrawing money from the ATM, people will be marked with indelible ink
The truth is that the indelible ink was for people standing in the bank queues where they kept coming again and again to exchange money. So to solve this problem, indelible ink was to be used.

Indian Express Image
Here is what Twitter has to say on rumors about demonetisation
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It is best to not trust what people in your neighborhood, office and family say about the new notes. You better get the facts checked yourself and not be fooled by fake news.

Here is what Twitter has to say on rumors about demonetisation

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It  is best to not trust what people in your neighborhood, office and family say about the new notes. You better get the facts checked yourself and not be fooled by fake news.

Befikre – A lighthearted entertaining affair with a touch of France

If you have been eagerly waiting to watch Aditya Chopra’s Befikre  like me, you will not be disappointed. As indicated in the promos, the movie begins with scenes of couples making out, and this continues for an entire title song sequence. I personally found it a bit too much of smooching at the beginning of a movie with A/U certificate rating.
The movie beautifully depicts the love story of Indian cultural mindset guy Dharam (Ranveer Singh) and French oriented Indian Shyra (Vaani Kapoor). The movie plays the tale much like Hum tum with defined time period and alternates between various phases. The initial phase is about a live-in relationship between Dharam and Shyra that lasts for 1 year, followed by a break-up phase. The break-up brings in a new phase of friendship between Dharam and Shyra, which eventually translates into love. It is when a decent financial guy enters the life of Shyra, and proposes to her for marriage, does Dharam realize his true love for her. The end of the movie – the way Dharam talks about Shyra in order to break her marriage was over-dramatic. At one instance, Dharam had called Shyra as a slut – which was sort of abrupt – I call it modernized abuse.
As far as acting performance is concerned, Ranveer did a brilliant performance throughout the film. It was evident that he had enjoyed playing his role. Vaani seemed confident too, but looked little nervous in comparison to Ranveer. She actually fumbled at one dialogue during her French tour scenes, but I guess that was intentionally left unedited.
Overall it was a great entertainer, and I enjoyed watching the movie till the end. The movie depicts the state of mind of singles who are confused about love, relationships and marriage, and tells them to have faith, and everything will work.