MSI has officially announced its line of GeForce RTX video cards. Images of Gaming X Trio had already leaked, but now we see that the company will also launch models Aero, Ventus, Duke and Sea Hawk (with hybrid cooling).

The company did not go into details of which GPUs will be available on each line and also did not disclose prices, but said that Gaming Trio and Duke are to offer the best thermal performance of the line, while Sea Hawk brings a simple hybrid solution of install. Ventus and Aero should be the most affordable models.

"Turing is Nvidia's most important innovation in computer graphics in over ten years. It's that desire for innovation that we like to see in AIB partnerships like MSI."
Justin Walker, director of Nvidia's GeForce

MSI announces its line of GeForce RTX video cards

In 21 states, home sellers are not required by law to disclose to buyers whether their home has ever flooded or whether they will be required to purchase flood insurance, according to an analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. The findings are presented in a flood disclosure map of state real estate laws.

“In nearly half the states the deck is stacked against home buyers because sellers get a pass on revealing a property’s flood history,” said Joel Scata, attorney with NRDC. “With flood risks rising throughout the country, this is a problem that Congress has the ability to fix.”
NRDC is an international not-for-profit organization addressing environmental issues that is backed by lawyers, advocates, officials, scientists and corporations.
According to the group’s research, states with the “worst disclosure laws” include Florida, Missouri, New York and New Jersey. Missouri has no provisions requiring a seller to tell a buyer whether a house has ever flooded. New York State has disclosure provisions, but allows sellers to pay a paltry $500 to opt out of informing buyers about flood damages.
The states with the best disclosure laws are Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the NRDC analysis.
Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C. have an array of disclosure requirements, most of which still fail to give a buyer complete knowledge of past flood damage and future flood risks.
Noting that more than 41 million Americans live in flood zones, NRDC is advocating for greater disclosure of flood risks during real estate transactions to encourage prospective homeowners to be more risk adverse when deciding where to live, and whether to take actions to minimize their risks if they do decide to purchase a flood-prone home.
However, such disclosure provisions should not be limited to disclosure requirements imposed on sellers. According to the group, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) should also share information that is available. “Current home owners should have a right-to-know about their property’s past history of flood insurance coverage, damage claims paid, and whether there is a legal requirement to purchase flood insurance because of past owners receipt of federal disaster aid,” the group said.

States with Best, Worst Home Flood Damage Disclosure Laws

CNA’s Emily Hathcoat launched a sales and marketing therapy session that promised tabloid-worthy confessions. Here is how she set the stage:

“If you were to give your marketing and sales teams a relationship score, what would it be? Is it keeping it casual? Just dating? Are you too hot for words? Or are you living on separate planets?”

But first, why initiate a therapy session at the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association (IMCA) annual conference?
“Some people think sales is from Mars and marketing is from Venus. It’s no wonder that these two different, yet as we know, complementary, departments do not see eye -to-eye,” she said.
The relationship is important, Hathcoat added, because when sales and marketing “get along and share objectives, great things can happen.”
Of course, bad things happen, too, which is why there are therapists.
But a positive alignment between marketing and sales promises “potentially the largest opportunity” for proving business performance today, Hathcoat, CNA’s vice president, Corporate Marketing and Advertising, told the IMCA audience.
Now, back to scoring the relationships. Hathcoat’s question was directed at executives from Risk Placement Services (RPS), Westchester and Starr. The “therapists” asked to analyze their sales and marketing relationships were:
  • Chris Crawford has been involved in the insurance business for more than 30 years, working for carriers as well as wholesalers. She’s currently the vice president of human relations for RPS, a managing general agent and specialty insurance wholesaler that is part of Arthur J. Gallagher. Crawford manages a team of national and regional client relationship managers, who are responsible for developing the national client base, forging relationships with prospective clients as well as the main RPS network of retail customers.
  • Steve Hood is the senior vice president in charge of marketing, distribution, and business development for Westchester, an excess and surplus specialty group within Chubb serving the large corporate, middle and small market segments. He has more than 25 years of insurance underwriting, marketing, and sales experience.
  • Lisa Sanders is the regional vice president of the southeast region for Starr Companies, and is responsible for the marketing and sales for three branch offices, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and national, serving brokers across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Sanders has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry.
Love Triangle
Since this was an insurance conference, the therapists’ answers were more suitable for Family Circle than The National Enquirer but what they lacked in salaciousness they made up for in candor and relevance.
Crawford, from RPS, got right to the heart of it: I would have to say that our relationship is really like a love triangle.”
RPS has a marketing team handling communication (including a separate social media, print and email team); a client relations or business development team; and third, a production team that incudes underwriters and brokers.
Crawford called the arrangement an “odd shape” for a wholesaler like RPS but said it has come about because underwriters and brokers value their direct relationships with the retail agents and have long felt they are the marketing arm.
The love triangle is in the throes of a serious makeover.
“In the last two years, we have really restructured and completely changed the face of what client relations looks like for RPS,” she said. There were several reasons for the change. But mainly the firm wanted to put all business development people on one team out in the field to drum up business while keeping underwriters in the office to work.
RPS has grown considerably over the past 20 years, primarily through acquisitions, and now has about 80 locations. One challenge has been that many of the marketing and business development people inherited through mergers knew their markets but knew little about RPS. Crawford said the company needed to train and focus everyone so they all have a “strong understanding” of what RPS does.
“After the extreme makeover, now we are putting an anchor on that triangle. And it’s just a matter of making the alignment all work together,” she said.
Happily Married
At Westchester, there is no love triangle because there are four players, according to Hood. The four are: brokers, “who are the ultimate sales team to buyer of the policy;” a business development team working with brokers with “no underwriting authority, just sales;” an in-house marketing team that is centralized at corporate level; and underwriters who work with brokers and also have also some sales responsibilities.
Hood rated the relationships among the sales and marketing groups at Westchester differently: happily married, friends with benefits, and just dating.
“For sales and marketing within the division, within Westchester, where there’s really good organizational alignment, we are happily married,” he said.
For sales, the business development team and marketing are “pretty friendly and there’s some real value that we get from that centralized marketing unit but we’re not ready to get married, by any means.”
Finally, regarding business development and underwriting within the Westchester division, things that were rocky are smoothing out. When the business development team was first being built, underwriters did not want to date. “But over the last few years, we’ve met and they actually are starting to want to date,” Hood said.
Just Dating
“Just dating” is also how Sanders characterized the relationships at Starr Companies where she is Southeast regional vice president.
Starr has a central marketing unit in the New York headquarters for marketing, branding of printed material and communications which she depends on for coverage highlight sheets, underwriting contact sheets and similar guidance and support.
Sales, however, is structured around production underwriting; there is no business development team at Starr. “It’s separate generalists that go out and market business on behalf of those underwriting groups,” she explained. So most of Starr’s underwriters have a production underwriting role attached to their objectives.
Starr has a “very structured appointment process” for the brokers with whom it does business and the brokers are expected to perform at a certain level to keep their appointment. “That does give us a more focused audience when we go out to see brokers. We’re not an open brokerage to everyone. From a marketing perspective, definitely we’re just dating,” Sanders said.
Common Complaints
There are challenges in every relationship, whether the parties are just dating, divorced or somewhere in-between. Moderator Hathcoat’s inquiring mind wanted to know more:
“Let’s talk about what’s the number one complaint that you have received from either your marketing or your sales counterparts and how do you address that.”
The therapists really opened up.
Starr’s Sanders cited tension between the need to “homogenize” or brand a company and its material in a consistent and legal manner versus the desire to be unique, fresh and “able to change quickly,” especially in an organization focused on sales goals.
“We need to be able to turn on a dime and customize certain things. We don’t want it to be stale. And I can certainly understand that push and pull, in saying we need to look a certain way,” she said.
She noted that top salespeople sometimes see things differently from corporate and may want to “go rogue” or think outside the box.
But she said she also understands the importance of working with a team to make sure things are consistent. “I’ve seen it go the other way, too, where you have something that’s out there that overextends coverage or it speaks to something that you are actually not prepared to offer,” she said. “And then you have to reel that in with brokers and wholesalers and it’s very difficult to do that.”
Crawford said that at RPS some of the complaints were due to there being a lot of new players on teams and resistance by some to letting unfamiliar people have contact with their clients.
The reaction might be something like, “You are not sending a business development person into my client because I know everything best for my client. You’re not going there,” she recalled.
But corporate persisted and the working relationships were changed. RPS restructured its client relations division about 18 months ago by creating several layers of client relations managers: a national team, a field team and a desk team. For example, the national team connects with the largest clients, some with thousands of retailers, to help coordinate efforts and move them towards sales goals.
Once this client relations approach started producing results, the complaints from branches and underwriters shifted from telling client relations to stay away from their clients to asking them what more they could do for them, according to Crawford.
It has been a challenge doing this for 80 locations.
“The way we overcame it was really, truly just communicating. We put the client relations people with the underwriters and the brokers and let them do calls together and work the projects together,” Crawford said.
They would, in turn, then use market communications to develop specific campaigns for the national clients.
“Productions are up. Submissions are up,” she said, and the approach is helping branches meet their goals.
Westchester’s Hood cited two typical complaints that tend to follow one another.
“The first one is, ‘Why do I need you? I don’t know why I need you. You’re expensive,'” he noted. “Then it’s usually followed by, ‘Can I have more of you?'”
He agreed with Crawford that communication resolves most tiffs. “If you understand each other’s goals and if you are talking to each other, the complaints go down and the value starts to get more evident,” he said.
The most effective communication involves proving the value of any effort.
Hood said his team is always looking for ways to “quantify and value” what any sales or marketing unit is delivering to the business. “Because it ultimately comes down to whether you are helping the business grow its top line in a way that grows the bottom line,” he added.
“I’ve sort of trained my team, my business development team, my marketing team to always be thinking, are you adding value? Can you quantify in some way that others can see, whether it’s for underwriting or executives, or other?”
Start from Scratch
Hathcoat redirected the session to the basic question of why alignment and organizational structure are even worth discussing, asking:
“How important is organizational alignment? Where should we start? Should organizational lines be the first place we want to start when you bring this together? Should we start someplace else? Is there another key ingredient to aligning marketing and sales successfully?”
She boiled down the issue: “If you were to start a business from scratch, what would you do?”
“Wow! If I were to start a business from scratch, would it be insurance?” Westchester’s Hood quipped before agreeing to stay insurance-focused.
Business development and marketing both report to Hood and he reports to a chief operating officer who has “tremendous influence” on the underwriting side of the house.
“So we are pretty aligned and can very quickly resolve conflicts by escalating one level up. That doesn’t mean that there are no conflicts, or at times, friction,” he acknowledged.
Hood believes organization alignment is important, while recognizing that it can’t always be done quite the way Westchester does it. But if he were starting from scratch, he would build a similar culture.
“What I would instill into my culture in any kind of organization where there’s not perfect alignment is the mentality that marketing and sales and underwriting all have one important goal and that is to enable sales that generate a profit,” he said.
“Our goal is to enable sales that generate a profit for the company,’ he reiterated. “We all have a role to play in that.”
The culture must answer some basic questions to make it clear what the roles are.
One of the questions is, who is the customer? “I think in some organizations this is still blurry and not always agreed to. Is it the broker? Is it the buyer? I think that’s important,” Hood said.
Another question is, who actually makes the sales? “Is it the underwriter? Is it the business development manager? Is it the marketing person? Through mass media or social media? Who is making the sale? It’s important to understand that,” he stressed.
A third question asks how others support the people who are making the sales. “How do I bring them solutions?” is how Hood put it, adding that sometimes sales people “don’t know what they don’t know” and may need to be educated.
“So, to put it all in one shot, our number one job culturally and our organizational structure is built around enabling profitable sales,” concluded Hood.
Starr’s Sanders agreed “wholeheartedly” with Hood. She stressed the importance of sales planning for the year that includes open dialogue from the beginning with as many people as possible. “Sometimes that happens; often, it does not happen. The buy-in isn’t there at the beginning,” said Sanders, who has worked for several large companies.
Too often there is too little understanding of why a company has chosen the direction it wants to go. The marketing folks may not be included early and don’t understand what’s going on. “Then there is the frustration of trying to create something after the fact without being a part of it from its inception,” she said. “I see that happening over and over again.”
She said that at Starr, she has been able to include more people from the beginning. “The planning process includes so many more people in that process so that people see where you are trying to go and you are not trying to explain that at the back,” she said.
Crawford agreed with them both. “[B]ringing all of the pieces together when you are actually planning to start something out is crucial” and “nothing works if you don’t have shared goals and you don’t communicate those shared goals,” she said.
As someone who has been dealing with a rebranding, she has a heightened appreciation for what marketing communications can do for branding. If she were starting from scratch, she would start there. “It’s huge, it’s everything,” she said.
“Everyone has to be shouting the same message or otherwise, the customer doesn’t understand who you are,” she said. “I think if everyone is in alignment for the planning, and communicating and sharing your goals, your whole process of branding or rebranding is going to make you more successful.”
What Success Looks Like
When the marketing and sales stars align, what does success look like? Hathcoat asked the panelists to describe one of their successes in integrating marketing and sales.
Crawford offered a real situation she said was probably not unique to RPS. “It’s a story that could happen to any marketing entity. But in our case, in particular, it made people feel really good. And we got some credence out of it,” she said.
It all happened last fourth quarter in the workers’ compensation market when there was a shake-up, with some players dropping out. Immediately, the RPS field team, those working the state territories, recognized it as an opportunity, saying “Oh my gosh, there’s so much work comp business out there. How can we get our hands on it?”
As a wholesaler, RPS can’t go direct to buyers. Crawford described the sales process this way: “We have to go to a retailer and we have to beg them to bring the business to us. We can’t touch it ourselves; we just have to tell somebody to touch it.”
She acknowledged that a company like hers with 1,700 employees and 80 locations can sometimes move slowly. It could take weeks to green-light a marketing email. But with the field offices clamoring to do something right away, this time was different. “Can we please just punch it out there as quick as possible?” was what marketing communications heard. They knew what they wanted to say and they knew where to send it.
All the points of the “love triangle” came together: marketing communications, client relations and production.
“Our team immediately connected with the work comp practice leaders all across the country. Our team is in connection with the production team and saying, ‘We are going to knock this one out of the park,'” she recalled.
Within a few weeks, workers compensation business was up more than a million dollars.
“Some of that might happen anyway because the business was lost in the marketplace,” Crawford said. “Could we capitalize on it without that coordinated effort? I don’t think so.”
Saturation Campaign
Hood’s success story revolved around what he called a saturation campaign.
“Some people call it carpet bombing. But it’s an example of where marketing, sales and underwriting are really aligned,” he said. “When they are really aligned it works very, very well. It involves picking a product line and deciding you are going to go into a region of the country. And you are going to increase the flow, the business flow, in that region.”
The goal of a saturation campaign is to dramatically increase the amount of business that gets booked, not just submissions. It begins with getting underwriting to agree to send underwriters into the region to travel with the business development team. “There is a synchronizing that goes on there. Who are the target brokers? Who is going to go out and travel with the business development people over a two week period?”
Meanwhile, marketing is working on a message for product fliers and email campaigns, perhaps with a gift card incentive for brokers for new business.
The marketing effort is synchronized with the visits out in the field so that emails arrive right before the underwriter, then the business development person arrives. After the visits are completed, marketing follows up with more communications.
“Those are by far the most successful short-term impact campaigns that I’ve seen done in my time,” he said.
Starr’s Sanders offered a lesson from a previous employer selling a product she said is not easy to sell, accident and health insurance. Selling it in a property/casualty environment only adds to the difficulty.
Her team began with a regional sales campaign and then grew it to a national sales campaign where they regularly tracked submission activity and business development team leaders, where they went and whom they spoke to.
She likened the challenge to switching from workers’ compensation, which is bought, to insurance products that must be sold. “[W]hen you get into something different, is that the reason you are not selling it? Is it that you need to train them? Role play?”
It became evident that the most pressing need was indeed product training for those individuals so they could answer questions, “making sure that people understand how to get out of the weeds” when pitching the product.
So as part of the campaign, her team created marketing pieces with specific talking points to help them educate clients and advance the process to the point where they could refer people to underwriters.
The result was a 35 percent jump in new business for a line that was very profitable for the carrier.
One other lesson Sanders learned: Don’t expect a thank you.
“[W]ho gets the credit Grammy on something like that?” she asked.
She has learned not to expect immediate or wider recognition for marketing’s contribution, although she knows the value of thanking people she works with for their efforts.
“You are pleased that the business did well and that’s the report card,” she said. “But don’t necessarily think you are going to get an immediate response on the marketing end. Sometimes it takes a while, a year or so, before you really see the benefits.”
According to Hathcoat, that’s a thing about relationships. “You have to take a moment to thank your partner and thank the folks that you are with,” she said.

Aligning Sales and Marketing to Go from ‘Just Dating’ to ‘Happily Married’

Avneet is a diligent investor who makes all his investment decisions with utmost care. Of late, he has noticed that many costs associated with investments are eating into his returns. Avneet wants to know what are the costs he should be aware of and how he can avoid losing money.

To start with, Avneet must realise that considering the costs related to his investments are integral to the decision making process. This is because costs incurred as
and commissions eat into the final returns. Over the long term, this can have a significant impact on the value of his investments.
He must remember that costs he bears include those where he makes a direct payment and also those that are inbuilt into investments such as mutual fund expenses. The other cost that is likely to be overlooked is the penalties imposed on investments. Charges on delayed payments or early withdrawals from investments also impact the returns.
He must not let the investments’ performance alone dictate his attitude to costs. What may seem like a small charge when investment returns are good may be a big drain when performance dips. Avneet must consider all the visible and invisible costs carefully and make sure they are justified before committing. Withdrawing later may be difficult and expensive.
High cost can be justified only if the investment is consistently generating much higher returns. Avneet can avoid penalties by automating the operational aspects and making sure that his portfolio has adequate provision for his liquidity needs so he does not have to exit an investment by paying high charges. Additionally, he must question every time he is adviced to sell an investment he is holding and invest in a new one, as churning also translates into higher costs.
Avneet must use service providers who link the fees to transactions and not charge an annual fee or flat fees. Flat charges work well only if the number of transactions are high enough to apportion the costs. Hence, being aware of the impact of costs on his investments and assessing the costs related to each investment before committing will ensure that his money works in his interest.

(The content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL). Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of
Q1. If there are deductions that are not reflected in your form 16 , can you claim them while filing your return?
1No you cannot
2Yes , it can be claimed if you are eligible for the same
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Hidden costs to consider before making an investment decision

The minimum amount required to open the
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
), a government backed scheme targeted towards a
girl child
and her financial needs, has been reduced.

According to PTI, the Sukanya Samriddhi Account can now be opened with a minimum deposit of Rs 250 which was Rs 1,000 earlier. Also, in subsequent years, the minimum of Rs 250 needs to be deposited each year as against Rs 1,000 earlier. A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the ongoing financial year.
How to open a SSY accountA Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened in any authorised post office branch or branches of commercial banks. Generally, you can open a Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana in banks where you can open a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account.
The account opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, will remain operative for 21 years from the date of its opening or till the marriage of the girl after she turns 18.
To know about important watch outs before investing in it, click here.
Operating the accountA depositor can open and operate only one account in the name of the girl child under the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2016. To meet the requirement of her higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of up to 50 per cent of the balance is allowed after she turns 18.One can't open two accounts for one girl. Deposits in the account can be made till the completion of 15 years, from the date of the opening of the account. For a 9-year-old, deposits have to continue till the child turns 24. Between the ages of 24 and 30 (when the account matures), the account keeps earning interest on the balance.
Interest rate earned The government fixes interest rates on a quarterly basis based on the G-sec yields. The interest rate spread that the SSY enjoys over the G-sec rate of comparable maturity is 75 basis points.
The interest rate since its launch is as follows:
From April 1, 2014: 9.1%
From April 1, 2015: 9.2%
From April 1, 2016 -June 30, 2016: 8.6%
From July 1, 2016 -September 30, 2016: 8.6%
From October 1, 2016-December 31, 2016: 8.5%
From July 1, 2017- December 31, 2017: 8.3%
From January 1, 2018 - March 31, 2018 : 8.1%
From April 1, 2018 -June 30, 2018: 8.1%
From July 1, 2018 -September 30, 2018: 8.1%
Interest at the rate, to be notified by the government, compounded yearly will be credited to the account. The interest will be calculated for the calendar month on the lowest balance in an account on the deposits made between the close of the 10th day and the end of the month.
To know more about SSY, click
here and to know How to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account, click here.  

Minimum investment limits lowered in Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

A report recently said that
Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts
) are being converted into a regular savings accounts for those have exceeded their withdrawal limits.

The report prepared by Ashish Das, an IIT Bombay professor, says, "design anomalies" are prompting bankers to overcharge BSBDA customers in violation of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) extant regulations. "The moment a 5th debit transaction is done by the customer in a month, these banks without explicit and voluntary consent of customers are unilaterally converting the BSBDA into a regular savings account, requiring high minimum balance and associated service charges," the report said.
Although the rules allow banks to convert BSBDA into a regular account or charge a penalty if the withdrawal limits are not met, the objective of the banking regulator for inclusion banking may be hit.
All banks are mandated by RBI to offer such a facility to those looking to open a bank account. However, be aware of the restrictions in the account to avoid financial dejection.
A BSBDA scores over a regular savings account primarily because it does not require a minimum balance (MAB) to be maintained. Not maintaining the required MAB in one's regular savings account, which varies from bank to bank, could attract a penalty, while in BSBDA there is no such compulsion regarding account balances.
Although the BSBDA is a zero-balance savings account, it comes with restrictions.

Although there is no limit on the number of deposits that can be made in a month, the maximum withdrawals per month is limited to just four. This includes withdrawals from ATMs and other modes like RTGS, NEFT, clearing, branch cash withdrawal, online transfer, standing instructions, equated monthly instalments (EMIs) etc. It is, however, left to the banks to decide whether they want to offer additional withdrawals free of cost or to charge a fee.
What do you get in a BSBDAYou don't have to maintain a minimum average monthly balance and no minimum amount is required for opening the account. The interest rate will be the same as that on the regular savings account. RBI rules do not put restrictions on deposits or withdrawals from this type of account, neither does it have any transaction limits.
You, as an account holder, will get the ATM-cum-debit card and the passbook facility. All regular features including deposit and withdrawal of cash at bank branches as well as ATMs, cheque book facility (payable at par or multi-city) and online funds transfer will be available in the account. These facilities will be provided without any charges. BSBDA account holders can open fixed deposits and recurring deposits.
To know more about BSBDA and who should opt for a BSBDA, click

Here are the watch outs

The Reserve Bank of India (
) has made it mandatory to mention the name of the person on the front of the
demand draft
while purchasing it at a bank branch. At present, the DD form only asks for the name of the entity or person in whose favour it is to be prepared.

According to the RBI's notification, "in order to address the concerns arising out of the anonymity provided by payments through demand drafts and its possible misuse for money laundering, RBI has decided that the name of the purchaser be incorporated on the face of the demand draft, pay order, banker's cheques, etc., by the issuing bank. These instructions shall take effect for such instruments issued on or after September 15, 2018."
In the past, RBI has taken several other initiatives to avoid money laundering. Already, any remittance of funds by way of demand draft above Rs 50,000 had to be effected by debit to the customer's account or against cheques and not against cash payment. However, mention of name was not required even there. Now, even for DD above Rs 50,000 the name is required.
RBI's earlier measuresBanks have to ensure that drafts of small amounts are issued by their branches against cash to all customers irrespective of the fact whether they are having accounts with the banks or not. Banks should not refuse to accept small denomination notes from the customers (or non-customers for issuance of the drafts).
RBI has also been taking measures to bring down the incidence of frauds perpetrated through bank drafts built into the draft form itself. All superscriptions about validity of the demand draft need to be provided at the top of the form.
Duplicate draft, in lieu of lost draft, up to and including Rs 5,000 may be issued to the purchaser on the basis of adequate indemnity. Thereafter, banks should issue duplicate demand draft to the customer within a fortnight from the receipt of such request. Further, for the delay beyond this stipulated period, banks were advised to pay interest at the rate applicable for fixed deposit of corresponding maturity in order to compensate the customer for such delay.  

RBI moves to plug money laundering avenue

By Uma Shashikant We were out shopping when the store assistant began to shower disproportionate attention on a fellow shopper, who was simply dressed and quiet in demeanor. She decided quickly, bought a few very high value items and left the store. Piqued, we asked the assistant how he figured among so many shoppers which one was rich. His answer was simple: She did not care to look at or be interested in anyone else in the shop, but focused only on the goods.

A growing body of research says the rich tend to display distinct behaviour that can be mostly characterised as mean. Since much of this behaviour is implicit and subconscious, calling them out or nudging them to correct it can actually make it better. In a world where income inequalities are only rising, and where amassing money is an avowed objective pursued without a tinge of regret, it might make sense to pause and ask if we are turning out to be rich and somewhat soulless.
Paul Piff at the University of California, Berkeley, ran a series of experiments to observe how those who have more money behave in a given situation, compared to those with less. He found that players in a rigged game of Monopoly that awarded them twice the money as their opponent, and let them roll both dices, began to display behaviours that were dominant, loud and aggressive. They moved their coins around the board with a thud, ate more of the free snack, and spoke loudly.
At the end of the game, they attributed their success to their strategy and skill, completely sidestepping the fact that they entered the game with privilege. Researchers explain that the rich tend to rationalise their advantage, and believe that they deserved it. They pursue their self-interest and moralise greed easily. The misuse of power and privilege and growing unethicality in societies is increasingly seen as arising from such attitudes.
Pia Dietz and Eric Knowles studied how social class differences influence how we process information. They confirm the simple perception of our store assistant. Poorer people are more likely to notice, engage with, pay attention to and empathise with other humans, compared to the rich. How relevant others are to our goals and motivation is what drives our interaction with others. With wealth and privilege comes independence. The poor on the other hand view others as potentially rewarding, threatening or worth paying attention to. Dietze and Knowles call this the motivational difference.

The lack of empathy and compassion in the rich as compared to the poor is also well documented. In an experiment, the rich took twice the amount of candies meant for kids as compared to the poor! Micheal Kraus of
Yale University
who specialises in the study of hierarchies, points out that the poor are likely to more accurately judge the emotions of other persons; make more accurate inferences about such emotions; and have higher empathic accuracy as compared to the rich. The rich are not very good at reading emotions of the others and lack empathy and compassion. This deficit stems primarily from their lack of dependence on others.
Wealth also clouds moral judgment and triggers the propensity to cheat or break the law. A study of the attitude of car owners showed that more expensive cars were more likely to block and cross other cars, and less likely to yield to pedestrians who had the right of way. The rich paid lower taxes, and were more prone to evade taxes and hide their wealth; the rich were more likely to adopt questionable accounting and business practices and sidestep ethical practices; and the rich were more likely to use their powers to perpetuate illegal and unlawful activities.
Igor Grossman proposes the idea of wise reasoning, a pragmatic approach to problem solving that is influenced by life experiences and social contexts. It considers the perspectives of others, recognises the likelihood of change, understands how a conflict will unfold and sees the need for compromise and seeks conflict resolution. Grossman’s research shows that the rich have a lower tendency for wise reasoning as compared to the poor.
Privilege can create a sense of entitlement The rich worry more about how other view them, and are likely to consistently blame others for things going wrong. One of the reasons for poor quality personal, family and romantic relationships among the rich as compared to the poor is the former’s inability to apply themselves with flexibility, empathy and open mindedness when faced with uncertainties in personal relationships. The poor seem more willing to compromise or change their positions.
Rich does not equal mean, and that is not what research points out. There are implicit biases that develop as one becomes wealthy, and self-awareness, nudges in the right direction, and greater social engagement with eclectic groups are all steps to keep the negative tendencies in check. Not all rich can be grouped in one stereotypical class either—there are various psychological classifications of the inheritors, the first time rich, the altruists and the firmly grounded wealthy folks.
The moral corrosion that wealth seems to encourage stems from a subconscious sense of entitlement and a distinctly different code of conduct and norm that privilege creates in the mind of the rich. The ancient philosophers and thinkers who bemoaned the pursuit of wealth might have had these corrosive effects in mind when they called upon the rich to donate and give away their wealth; or asked societies to focus on need rather than greed.
While we rejected the socialistic model for its romanticised view of a shared society that did not create the incentives for wealth creation, we are now staring at the income inequalities created by the capitalistic model and its consequences on our morality, ethics and societal harmony.
Many suggest charity as a great way to address this issue. But there is evidence that the poor are more generous than the rich. The intergenerational wealth transfer from the baby boomers that is now underway is seen as the single largest inheritance event that will produce too many privileged rich with possibly the behavioural limitations we just listed.
What will we do with all the money we have is a question we all have to answer with an open heart and mind. Indulging the next generation and passing it on need not be the default option.
(The writer is Chairperson, Centre for Investment Education and Learning.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of

Why poor people tend to be more generous than the rich