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2016 Year in Review

December 31, 2016 • Srinivasu Chakravarthula

2016 was a year with mixed feelings.

Year started on a good note that our cousin Ramya (Daughter of Hema’s uncle) delivered a baby boy Hanish. We went to visit our grand mother at Injaram – lucky that we did that and then Hema and Varshi stayed back at Tanuku.

We have decided to move back to Bangalore and vacated house at Hyderabad and moved things to Bangalore. Yes, finally, we got our land registered (one we bought in Tirupati).

In February, we lost our grand mother at the age of 98. Read our post on loss of our grand mother

In March, Chi. Deepthi and Chi. Chaitanya had their house warming at Madhapur. I left Deque on 31st March, 2016.I have attended Techshare India 2016 – yet another great conference; but this time climate was too hot in New Delhi.

In April, all of us have moved to Bangalore and I started my new job at Informatica.

In June, our darling Varshi started going to school for the first time. She indeed has enjoyed; though every day in the morning she says she would go to school next day, the moment we drop her at school, she smiles and run to her class. Towards end of June, Hema had to admit in the hospital for a couple of days as she was bleeding; By the grace of God and blessings of our Guruji, things went well and doctor did not have to deliver the baby in the 8th month. Thanks to my mother-in-law for timely financial support.

July gave us a blessing in the form our our son on 29th July, 2016. He born with good weight of about 3 kgs and things went well except that we had to put him under photo therapy due to jandees.

August was a shocking month for us with sudden demise of our grand father. This was totally unexpected; we have absolutely missed an opportunity to get his blessings to our son. But we are sure, he blesses all of us from devine aboard. Miss him indeed.

In November, we have also witnessed loss of great singer Dr. Mangalamapalli Bala Murali Krishna.

In December, we did naming ceremony for our son and named him as Sai Shikhar. Now, I’m on my way to Chennai to attend Accessibility Summit Shastra by IIT Chennai.

Happy New Year.

Categories: General • Tags:

Andhra Bank needs to improve its technology – my experience in reset pin of debit card

December 30, 2016 • Srinivasu Chakravarthula

In August this year, I wrote about my experience with Andhra Bank Online services – opening a new savings account and today, I’ll be sharing my experience with reset debit card PIN.

Firstly one needs debit card PIN for many purposes including to reset transaction password on it’s internet banking portal. Unlike many other banks like SBI, HDFC etc., Andhra Bank does not allow users to reset debit card PIN using internet banking. They have only two modes to do it:

  1. Using New PIN option at any Andhra Bank ATM
  2. Visit one of Andhra Bank branches; where they will charge INR 50 to re-issue a PIN
  3. In order to save INR 50 and time of visiting branch, I have opted to reset PIN using their ATM. (Note their ATMs are not accessible to blind users and the branch I have visited have a few steps to get in). Good thing for me is that their ATM at Kaggadasapura has a screen with good contrast and people with low vision (like myself) can easily use.

    The process is that user needs to insert debit card, select option “New PIN”; there will be two options “Generate OTP and OTP Validation”. Select “Generate OTP” that will send a one time password to registered mobile number and debit cards comes out of ATM machine. Once you receive one time password, insert debit card again and select option “OTP Validation”. This will prompt user to enter OTP that was received. Enter the same and then user will be prompted to re-enter the OTP. On successful validation, user will be prompted to type in new PIN followed by re-enter new PIN. That should finish reset debit card PIN. In my case, all the time I see result screen as “Last session was timed out”. By seeing such a message, we would naturally assume reset was not successful.

    I have waited till the branch opens and one of the officials has come to help me reset the PIN, even he has seen same screen; but strange enough that he says “It’s OK about that message but your PIN gets a reset” and he was true; when we did a transaction of balance inquiry using new PIN, it was successful. There is certainly a technical glitch but what made me feel frustrated is that it appears to be a known issue to bank officials. I have escalated to the branch manager.

    Since Andhra Bank is one of the banks that exist for a very long time, they would need to use technologies effectively. Hope things will change soon.

Categories: Experience • Tags:

Thank you 10,000+ Visitors in 2016

December 29, 2016 • Srinivasu Chakravarthula

Through 2016, I felt encouraging to write posts for none other reason but visitor statistics that I’m seeing on my Site Statistics. A big thank you all my 10,000+ visitors who have visited my website in 2016. Thank you for your love and I promise to continue writing in 2017. Here is a quick view of my posts published and visitors count during 2016.

Bar Chart Showing number of Visitors

Pie Chart showing number of posts

Looking forward to seeing you all again in 2017. I’ll be writing yet another post this year that talks about how our journey was in 2016.

Categories: General, Vasu Dairy • Tags:

Making financial planning for future

December 29, 2016 • Srinivasu Chakravarthula

With growing expenses, it’s important we make as much savings as possible for the future; at the same time, we should ensure our current life is smooth and we do not need to sacrifice for usual needs. I am not an expert in this area but here are few things I’m practicing myself.

Savings for self and spouse: Public Provident Fund (PPF) at a Nationalized bank or Post office would be good. Locking period of PPF account is 15 years (there is a provision of partial withdrawal at 10 years). Consider we deposit INR 5000 a month, it will become INR 9,00,000 in 15 years (5000 INR * 12 months * 15 years). This amount I have mentioned here is excluding the interest paid by bank. There will be exemption under Income Tax Act upto 1,50,000 INR per year. I have opened this account at State Bank of India and have been experienced that interest is paid on 31st March, every year.

For daughters: I found Sukanya Samridhi Yojna is an useful investment. This account can be opened for girls below the age of 10 years. Interest rae is 8.6%. Amount in this account can be withdrawn till 50% at the age of 18 years of child and 100% at the age of 21 years. In case child get s married between 18 to 21 years, then 100% of the amount can be drawn. This account can be deposited with minimum of 1000 INR and maximum of 1,50,000 per year. Parents can avail tax exemption under this account.

For sonsExcept insurance schemes, there are no special schemes for boys so what I learnt from a relative (Hema’s uncle) is that we can open a PPF account in Child’s name. Features of this account is same as individual PPF account.

Planning annual expensesSomething like school fee etc., would be annual expenses. One of the ideas I liked and started investing in is Fixed Deposit under Income Tax Savings scheme. These Fixed deposits are locked for 5 years and comes with tax benefit. So every year, we may deposit about 50,000 to 1,00,000 so when kids turn 5 years, we will start having these fixed deposits get matured every year. It would be good to make an arrangements that these funds get matured in the month of April so that we can use for school fee, little vacation and other expenses.

Please feel free to add any other ideas that you may have.

Categories: General • Tags:

My one month of cashless life!

December 28, 2016 • Srinivasu Chakravarthula

After announcement of demonetization in India on 8th November, 2016 by The Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, people were rushed to banks for exchanging old currency of 500 INR and 1000 INR. Due to non-availability of new currency notes, banks had to create their own rules in each branch thus there was some inconvenience to the customers. But a few steps both by the government and citizens could have made the situation a bit better.

What government could have done is ensure that ATMs are operational at the earliest possible. It’s almost 2 months and still most of the ATMs are not operational. When cash is available round the clock, consumers will only avail the facility, when they really need it. Now that ATMs are operational only once a while, consumers had to visit banks and withdraw money at high value even though they do not really need them. They do it so that they do not need to visit bank again and again.

What citizens can do is use alternate mode of payments such as eWallets, online banking, debit / credit cards as much as possible. It’s OK to visit bank and get allowed 24,000/- but use it only when it is absolutely needed.

Here is how I have managed with less cash for a month:

  • All my payments including electricity, mobile, internet are paid automatically as I have set standing instruction on my online bank account
  • Purchase groceries at a store that accept cards
  • Our medical shop does not have a machine to accept card payment so we transfer amount to their bank account using Instant Money Transfer option
  • Book all our travel through online and pay for local commute through eWallets. Where we cannot use eWallets for commute, we will try and see if we can transfer to their bank account

Only places where we still use cash is while buying flowers at a small cart vendor and fruits at a small shop. I am hopeful soon these things would also go digital.

I know, it’s easyfor people who are educated and in urban areas. But some simplified solutions can be implimented in rural areas too. For example, WhatsApp is being used heavily even by people living in rural area too. So let’s consider having a simple app for merchants which will only have a few fields such as Enter customer’s mobile number / Aadhar number, enter amount and a button to sent a One time password to customer; on next screen, customer can enter the One time password and transaction comletes. This does not really require a lot of education. Once a week or so, merchant can visit bank and update their passbook.

I think digital money would be more secure and easy to use. It’s about the change of mindset.

Good luck!

Categories: General • Tags: ,