Friday, September 7, 2018

Benefits of Aadhaar Card


Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique identity number (random number) which is assigned to all Indians (resident as well as nonresident) based on their demographics and biometric data (all 10 fingerprints, two iris scans and facial photograph).

According to UIDAI, "Aadhaar number is devoid of any intelligence and does not profile people based on caste, religion, income, health and geography. The Aadhaar number is a proof of identity, however, it does not confer any right of citizenship or domicile in respect of an Aadhaar number holder.

Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal budgets, increase convenience and promote hassle-free people-centric governance. Aadhaar can be used as a permanent Financial Address and facilitates financial inclusion of the underprivileged and weaker sections of the society and is therefore a tool of distributive justice and equality. The Aadhaar identity platform is one of the key pillars of the ‘Digital India’, wherein every resident of the country is provided with a unique identity. The Aadhaar programme has already achieved several milestones and is by far the largest biometrics based identification system in the world.

Aadhaar identity platform with its inherent features of Uniqueness, Authentication, Financial Address and e-KYC, enables the Government of India to directly reach residents of the country in delivery of various subsidies, benefits and services by using the resident’s Aadhaar number only."

Benefits of Aadhaar therefore can be enumerated as:
Aadhaar based direct benefit transfer.  The benefit transfers may include but not limited to LPG subsidy, fertilizer subsidy (for farmers), MNEGRA.
            Verification of income tax returns through Aadhaar OTP.
            Passport in 10 days.
            Opening of bank account in a few seconds.
            Quick provident fund disbursement.
            Jeevan Pramaan, i.e., life certificates for pensioners.
            Digital locker.
            Getting a new mobile number in seconds.
            For investments (reducing the chances of benami investments).
            Driving license (to avoid a person having multiple driving licenses).
            Voter card linking (to avoid duplication).

A BEAUTIFUL SIDE EFFECT OF AADHAAR NUMBER:
Citizens of India who for some reason might get lost (children, old, mentally challenged or a person who has memory loss after suffering shock) can be brought to an Aadhaar center, and a simple biometric scan will give the entire details of the citizen. This, to my mind, is the best side effect of having an Aadhaar number.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

"Sitting is the new cancer"


“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in an interview in with the LA Times.

Of all things that could be dangerous to your well being, the last thing that could come to your mind would probably be the chair, but Dr. Levine says “The chair is out to kill us.”

I would not hesitate to estimate that in cities we spend almost 60-70% of your productive life sitting, be it sitting for commute (car/bus/airplane), sitting at work, watching television/sitting in front of the screen, or having lunch/dinner or reading a book.

Studies show that exercising regularly in a gym does not completely reverse all the ill effects of prolonged sitting simply because 9 hours of sitting cannot be undone by an hour of exercising.  When you are sitting for prolonged hours, metabolism slows down by over 95% and thus all the chemical and electrical activity of your body comes almost to a standstill.

Prolonged sitting can lead to many things; increased risk of obesity, back pain, spondylitis, increased cardiovascular risk, increased risk of diabetes mellitus (type 2). All of these although life threatening can be easily diagnosed and cured with change in lifestyle, but the most threatening of all the risks of prolonged sitting is cancer, specifically colon cancer.

The exact reason why sitting increases cancer risk is still unknown, but scientists have found a number of biomarkers that are present in higher levels in people who sit for prolonged periods.

"There are several types of cancer that are believed to be caused by inactivity. Christine Friedenreich, an epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada, estimates that 173,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. are due to inactivity, with 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer. The other cancers linked to inactivity are lung (37,200), prostate cancer (30,600 cases), endometrial cancer (12,000 cases), and ovarian cancer (1,800 cases) could also be related to excessive sitting."

The above data shows that colon cancer is second only to breast cancer but since breast cancer is easily diagnosed and mostly at a very early stage, it is no more a killer cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed killer cancer in both men and women. Colon cancer is an "equal opportunity" disease that does not discriminate against gender, race or geographic location. Colon cancer is slowly gaining epidemic status. Colon cancer is a silent killer as there are no specific symptoms for colon cancer and only way out is prevention (i.e., early detection with regular colonoscopies). When a patient develops symptoms, the cancer in all probability is at an advanced/late stage and by the time the surgeon gets a chance to see the patient, s/he has a few months to live.

The most common no-nonsense approach to this would be standing desks.  Recently many corporations are introducing standing desks in their office to de-risk their staff from cancer but my guess is that this (standing desks) will reduce the ill effects of prolonged sitting only to increase another set of problems, viz., varicose veins, low back pain, muscle stiffness and general muscular fatigue.

As more studies starts coming up we might get a better hold on the effects of sitting and our well being till then one might try to take a stroll every 25-30 minutes during work, if you are commuting by public transport prefer to stand, watch television while walking on a treadmill, walk when you are talking on your mobile.

Sitting or standing per se is not dangerous but it is the duration of sitting/standing which can cause irreversible effects on your well being.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Equity Fund Classification by SEBI

Sr.No.
Category of Schemes
Scheme Characteristics
Type of scheme (uniform description of scheme)
1
Multi Cap Fund
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments- 65% of total assets
Multi Cap Fund- An open ended equity scheme investing across large cap, mid cap, small cap stocks
2
Large Cap Fund
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of large cap companies- 80% of total assets
Large Cap Fund- An open ended equity scheme predominantly investing in large cap stocks
3
Large & Mid Cap Fund
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of large cap companies- 35% of total assets
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of mid cap stocks- 35% of total assets
Large & Mid Cap Fund- An open ended equity scheme investing in both large cap and mid cap stocks
4
Mid Cap Fund
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of mid cap companies- 65% of total assets
Mid Cap Fund- An open ended equity scheme predominantly investing in mid cap stocks
5
Small cap Fund
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of small cap companies- 65% of total assets
Small Cap Fund- An open ended equity scheme predominantly investing in small cap stocks
6
Dividend Yield Fund
Scheme should predominantly invest in dividend yielding stocks.
Minimum investment in equity- 65% of total assets

An open ended equity scheme predominantly investing in dividend yielding stocks
7
Value Fund*
Scheme should follow a value investment strategy.
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments - 65% of total assets
An open ended equity scheme following a value investment strategy
Contra Fund*
Scheme should follow a contrarian investment strategy.
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments - 65% of total assets

An open ended equity scheme following contrarian investment strategy
8
Focused Fund
A scheme focused on the number of stocks (maximum 30)
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments - 65% of total assets
An open ended equity scheme investing in maximum 30 stocks (mention where the scheme intends to focus, viz.,
9
Sectoral/ Thematic
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments of a particular sector/ particular theme- 80% of total assets
An open ended equity scheme investing in __ sector (mention the sector)/
An open ended equity scheme following __ theme (mention the theme)
10
ELSS
Minimum investment in equity & equity related instruments - 80% of total assets (in accordance with Equity Linked Saving Scheme, 2005 notified by Ministry of Finance)
An open ended equity linked saving scheme with a statutory lock in of 3 years and tax benefit