Consumer Issues
Using Netbanking & ECS Smartly
Netbanking is safe and easy for everyone, especially women and senior citizens, explained Abhay Datar at a Moneylife Foundation event
 
With technological advances in financial transactions, like using Internet banking facility or electronic clearing system (ECS), life has become much easier, provided you follow some basic rules and take precautions, said Abhay Datar, a retired banker and consumer activist. He was speaking at Moneylife Foundation workshop on “Understanding ECS, Direct Debits, Online Banking and ATMs”. He explained what consumers should do if they have been defrauded.
 
Mr Datar, who retired from Bank of Baroda as its IT manager, explained the process for obtaining login ID, password and transaction password by filling the appropriate forms from the bank branch, where the customer has her account. “After receiving the login credentials, at the first login, the system would prompt you to change the password. Since it is for your own safety, do change the password at first login, and then, after regular intervals,” Mr Datar advised.
 
According to Mr Datar, using the virtual keyboard for login into netbanking is a better way to keep your credentials secure. He then informed the audience about various safety features like one-time password (OTP), transaction limits and timeout for completing transactions.
 
Mr Datar, who is also a managing committee member of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), then spoke about using the ECS facility of banks. He said, “The ECS credit is for receiving various credits to our account, such as dividend and interest; whereas ECS debit is used for paying telephone, mobile, electricity bills, insurance premium, and SIP of mutual funds. In both the cases, we have to fill up a form and register these with our bank, which may charge Rs100 as one-time fee,” he said. Mr Datar explained the logic behind the MICR code, allotted by the Reserve Bank of India and bank account numbers. 
 
Explaining the benefits of using ECS facility, Mr Datar said, “In ECS debit form, we can define maximum debit limit thereby restricting funds outflow. As far as SIP and insurance premium are concerned, the amount is fixed and does not change every time. For utility payments, we can define the maximum debit limit. The best way to define this limit while availing ECS is to check our previous bills, find out the bill with the maximum amount, keep some buffer and set the limit.”

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Stephen Hawking, Russian billionaire to build interstellar spaceships

Hawking and Milner made the joint announcement at a press conference held at One World Observatory in New York City on Tuesday, Xinhua reported

 

World-renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking on Tuesday teamed up with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a $100 million effort to make tiny spaceships capable of interstellar space travel.
 
Hawking and Milner made the joint announcement at a press conference held at One World Observatory in New York City on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
 
The project, dubbed "Breakthrough Starshot," is a research and engineering programme that aims to build laser beam propelled "nanocrafts" that can travel at 20 percent of lightspeed -- more than 1,000 times faster than current fastest spacecraft.
 
According to Milner, once the "nanocrafts" are built, they could reach Alpha Centauri, a star 4.37 light-years away, approximately 20 years in a fly-by mission.
 
Alpha Centauri is one of the closest star systems to the solar system and the current fastest spacecraft would have to spend 30,000 years to get there.
 
The "nanocrafts" are gram-scale robotic spacecrafts consisting of two main parts: a computer CPU sized "StarChip" and a "Lightsail" made with metamaterials no more than a few hundred atoms thick.
 
Although weighing just a few grams, the "StarChip" is a fully functional space probe, which carries various equipment including cameras, navigation and communication.
 
"The 'StarChip' can be mass-produced at the cost of an iPhone," Milner said.
 
The "nanocrafts" can then be propelled into space by a powerful laser beam, which according to Avi Loeb, a theoretical physicist and panelist at the news conference, will carry a power of 100 gigawatt.
 
"This is the power needed to lift off a space shuttle," Loeb said.
 
Milner and the scientists believe that with the rising power and falling costs of lasers, the entire process is practical within a couple of years.
 
"Fifteen years ago, it would not have made sense to make this investment. Now we have looked at the numbers, and it does," Milner said.
 
The project was part of the Breakthrough Initiatives first launched in July 2015 by Hawking and Milner, including a series of research plans to scan the 100 galaxies closest to the Milky Way in search for aliens. "Starshot" is its newest endeavor.
 
Hawking believes that human's innate sense to transcend limits is the driving force behind the project. "Gravity pins us to the ground, but I just flew to America."
 
While one cannot hear the joking tone through Hawking's voice synthesizer, his humour had been easily received.
 
What the scientists are looking for is not just reaching Alpha Centauri, but what can be learned during the efforts.
 
"A lot of science will be learned by the process of going through this, making this happen," said panelist Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut. 
 
"There is big task ahead, there's a big leap in getting something of a micro size to go at some percentage of the speed of light. That will have all kinds of reverberations."
 
Tuesday also marked the 55th anniversary of the first human space flight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
 

 

"Today we commit to this next great leap into the cosmos because we are human and our nature is to fly," Hawking said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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SC wants private airlines on less lucrative routes in Himachal, northeast

The court was hearing a petition by national carrier Air India challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court's December 7, 2015 order asking it to commence flights on a trial basis connecting Shimla and Delhi

 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the government policy allowing private airlines to fly to lucrative destinations without putting them under the obligation of catering to less economical routes like Himachal Pradesh and the northeast.
 
"If you are giving a private operator (permission) to fly to Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, can't you ask them to fly to Himachal Pradesh, northeastern states, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands," asked the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi.
 
Describing as "bluff" the government's position that it has framed the guidelines and was strictly adhering to them, the bench mockingly observed that the economic interest of private operators was being taken care of without any concern for air routes like Himachal Pradesh and the northeastern states.
 
Describing it as "largesse" to the private airlines without "insisting on corresponding obligations to cater to less lucrative routes", the court said: "We will go into the system."
 
The court also mentioned a petition by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy questioning the agreement between India and the UAE allegedly permitting Etihad Airways to carry 36,670 more passengers over and above the permitted number of 13,330 passengers per week.
 
The agreement between India and Abu Dhabi was signed in April 2013 and another agreement between Jet Airways and Etihad was signed in December 2013. Swamy had in 2013 challenged the Jet-Etihad deal and its approval by the government.
 
As Additional Solicitor General P.S. Patwalia, appearing for Air India, told the court that Shimla was a small airport with all its accompanied difficulties, the court said it was not going to be carried away by all this and it would bring out some more skeletons.
 
Reminding Patwalia that in the course of the last hearing on March 15, 2016, he had said, "we will do something", the court said: "We thought you will come back and tell us that this group will operate flights" to Shimla airport.
 
With the court leaving no doubt about its intentions, Patwalia said he has "understood the sentiments of the court" and would convey the same to the right quarters as the court directed the next hearing on April 21.
 
The court was hearing a petition by national carrier Air India challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court's December 7, 2015 order asking it to commence flights on a trial basis connecting Shimla and Delhi.
 
The national carrier had earlier told the court that a flight connecting Shimla with Delhi was not economical as there were 12-15 one-way passengers only.
 
The apex court had on December 16, 2015, ordered status quo, thereby putting on hold the December 7 high court direction to Air India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Param

1 year ago

what's next? asking dominos to promise 30-min delivery even to a village 50 km from the food joint?

why not let businesses run with pre-defined rules that do not change on whims of individuals or institutions?

if connecting unconnected cities was a pre-requisite for any airline to operate, why does it need a court order to enforce it?

Param

1 year ago

what's next? asking dominos to promise 30-min delivery even to a village 50 km from the food joint?

why not let businesses run with pre-defined rules that do not change on whims of individuals or institutions?

if connecting unconnected cities was a pre-requisite for any airline to operate, why does it need a court order to enforce it?

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