Major Banks’ Closure of Regional and Rural Branches Sparks Outrage

In a move that has left communities across Australia in dismay, major banks have continued their trend of closing regional and rural branches, pushing individuals towards a cashless banking system. This unsettling development is raising concerns about discrimination against those who rely on in-person banking services and the urgent need for an alternative solution. Ray said “Don’t get us started on the cyber risk!”

Ray Williams went on to say “banking branches are the backbone of many towns and communities, regional and rural banks have played a vital role in providing essential financial services. The closure of these branches not only disrupts local economies but also leaves many residents without convenient access to banking”.

Many argue that the push towards a cashless society neglects the needs of individuals who are not well-equipped or comfortable with digital transactions. The digital divide in our society is real, and these closures further exacerbate the disparities.

In light of these concerns, there is a growing call for a better alternative—a citizen bank operated by the government through Australia Post. This proposed solution aims to bridge the gap created by the closure of regional and rural banks, ensuring that all Australians, regardless of location or technological proficiency, have access to secure and convenient banking services.

SFF advocates for a government-run citizen bank believe it would be a fair and inclusive way to meet the diverse banking needs of the Australian population. Such an institution could prioritize financial inclusion, community support, and accessibility, providing a lifeline for those affected by the closures of traditional branches.

The closure of regional and rural banks is not just a financial matter but a social and economic issue that deserves immediate attention. It’s time for a constructive dialogue about the future of banking in Australia—one that ensures equal access to financial services for all citizens.

Nominate A Neighbor, Friend, or Relative for “Gratitude and Grin” Award

Reward a random act of kindness. Recognize a selfless act. Appreciate the little things that a neighbor, friend or relative does for you or others. Nominate someone for “Gratitude and Grin” award.

The “Gratitude and Grin” award provides recognition for someone in the community who goes out of their way to help. The award, sponsored by Surf Side Dental Studio of Hingham, includes community recognition and dinner for two at a Hingham-area restaurant.

The public is encouraged to submit nominations to Please include the name of the nominee, a brief description of the random act of kindness, contact information (telephone, email address) for the nominee. Please also include contact information (telephone, email address) for the nominator.

“Highlighting good deeds will help encourage more good deeds,” noted Dr. Robert Geary of Surf Side Dental Studio.

Dr. Teresa Huynh added, “We believe in community involvement and being good neighbors, we look forward to hearing great examples of that.”

Surf Side Dental Studio is located at the intersection of Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset at 344 Rockland St, Hingham, Ma 02043.The dental practice provides a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

Husband and wife team Dr. Robert Geary, a native of Hull, and Dr. Teresa Huynh, also a native of a surfside town, Pompano Beach, Florida focus on complete dental care for the family.

For more information, call (781) 749-6750, or visit

SBI General Insurance adopts Strategic Initiatives to Drive Insurance Awareness and Penetration in Meghalaya

SBI General Insurance, one of the leading General Insurance companies in India, has been identified by IRDAI as the lead insurer (Non-Life) for the state of Meghalaya, to improve insurance awareness & insurance penetration across the state. The initiative is intended to accelerate the implementation process of IRDAI’s mission “Insurance for All by 2047” in the state of Meghalaya through the State Insurance Plan and to ensure last-mile delivery of insurance services to the uninsured population of the state. The proposal by IRDAI is expected to have a significant impact on overall economic growth and financial stability. IRDAI has appointed HDFC Life & Niva Bhupa as Lead Insurers for Life and Health Insurance respectively along with SBIG for Meghalaya.

In order to increase insurance awareness & penetration, the SBI General Insurance Team led by Mr. Anand Pejawar, Dy. Managing Director and Mr. Mrigendra Lal Das, Senior VP & Mr. Piyush Kumar Singh VP and Mr. Alok Mohanty RH visited Shillong and organised a series of activities in Shillong on 23-24 May 2023.

The SBI General Insurance Team met the Chief Secretary Meghalaya, Shri Donald Phillips Wahlang, IAS, and briefed him on the State Insurance Plan for Meghalaya and the initiatives taken by the insurance companies. The Chief Secretary appreciated the Vision of IRDAI to have Insurance for All by 2047. He assured full support of the Government of Meghalaya and its machinery towards the good public cause.

The SBI General Team also met Dr Vijay Kumar IAS, ACS(Finance) and discussed the road map to implement State Insurance Plan. He has readily agreed to depute one senior official from the Finance team as the Nodal Officer who would represent the Meghalaya Government in this.

On 23 May, Mr. Pejawar also chaired a State Level Insurance Coordination Committee (SLICC) meeting in the presence of the non – life insurance companies operating in the state of Meghalaya. This has been crafted to align with the SLBC of the Banks for better coordination. A detailed strategy was chalked out for spreading Insurance Awareness & Penetration in the state of Meghalaya. Additionally, unanimously it was agreed to distribute the 11 districts of Meghalaya between the insurance companies (2-3 per district) to streamline the efforts. Regular SLICC meetings will be conducted every quarter to keep track of the progress and discuss if assistance is required from the State Government authorities.

To create awareness among staff members of State Bank of India and Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB) an RRB sponsored by SBI, SBI General Insurance conducted a workshop in Shillong Club to explain the concept and roadmap for Meghalaya State Insurance Plan. The workshop was attended by more than 100 staff members including Mr Amit Kumar, DGM(B&O) Shillong and Ms Tshering Diki, Chairman, Meghalaya Rural Bank.

Furthermore, SBI General Insurance conducted a workshop cum insurance awareness programme for Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) of E- Governance CEC. The workshop was attended by Mr Atul Mohan Head Insurance E-Governance CEC with Mr. Anand Pejawar DMD, Mr M. L. Das, SVP, among others. The agenda of the meeting was to outline a comprehensive plan for implementing grassroots activities in the state, with an aim of creating an enabling environment that promotes and nurtures the growth of the insurance sector and further boosts the economy in Meghalaya.  This was an initiative to promote and spread insurance literacy as a necessary life skill.

Mr. Anand Pejawar, Whole-Time Director & DMD, SBI General Insurance said, “Our partnership with the Government holds immense potential to make a significant impact on nation-building and on the vision of “Insurance for all by 2047”.  We believe that insurance is a powerful tool that empowers individuals and safeguards their future financially. Our commitment, as an insurance Company is to create awareness and ensure access to insurance for every citizen of Meghalaya. To achieve this, we have taken concrete steps in close collaboration with other non – life insurance companies operating in the state to drive insurance awareness in the state by leveraging our expertise and resources.”

He further added “We are confident that our collaboration by forming the SLICC on the state, we will create widespread awareness, enhance financial inclusivity, and contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the state. This will further strengthen our efforts towards governments goal of making Meghalaya a 10-billion-dollar economy. Together, we will build a prosperous future for Meghalaya, where insurance becomes an integral part of its growth and progress.”

Mr. Piyush Singh Head – Rural, Agri & Micro Insurance (SBI General Insurance), Mr. Amit Kumar, DGM (B&O) State Bank of India, Mr. Donald Phillips Wahlang – IAS, Chief Secretary to the Govt. of Meghalaya and State Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. Anand Pejawar – Whole-Time Director (SBI General Insurance), Ms. Tshering Diki – Chairman, RRB Meghalaya, Mr. Mrigendra Lal Das – Head Bancassurance Strategy & Partnerships (SBI General Insurance).


Narendra Modi on inauguration sprees

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has been known to inaugurate a large number of projects and initiatives since he took office in 2014. There are several reasons for this.

One of the main reasons is that the Prime Minister wants to showcase the progress and development of the country under his leadership. By inaugurating a large number of projects, he is demonstrating the government’s commitment to development and progress, and highlighting the achievements of his administration.

Another reason is that inaugurations are high-profile events that attract media attention, and provide the Prime Minister with an opportunity to communicate directly with the public and promote his government’s initiatives and programs. This can help to build support for his administration and boost his popularity among the people.

In addition, the inauguration of new projects and initiatives can also demonstrate the Prime Minister’s personal involvement and leadership in the implementation of the government’s policies. By taking part in these events, he is sending a message to the people that he is personally invested in the success of these initiatives, and is committed to ensuring their implementation.

Furthermore, the inauguration of projects can also help to build partnerships and foster collaboration between different sectors and stakeholders. By bringing together representatives from government, industry, and civil society, these events can help to promote dialogue, cooperation, and coordination between different groups and individuals.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why Narendra Modi has inaugurated so many projects and initiatives, including showcasing the progress and development of the country, attracting media attention, demonstrating his personal involvement and leadership, and fostering collaboration between different sectors and stakeholders.

Some of the major projects that he has inaugurated include:

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: This is a financial inclusion initiative aimed at providing access to basic banking services to all citizens, particularly those who are financially excluded.

Make in India: This is an initiative aimed at promoting the country as a manufacturing hub and attracting foreign investment in the country’s manufacturing sector.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan: This is a cleanliness campaign aimed at promoting cleanliness and hygiene across the country.

Digital India: This is a program aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

Skill India: This is an initiative aimed at developing the skills of the country’s youth and making them employable.

Ayushman Bharat: This is a healthcare initiative aimed at providing access to quality and affordable healthcare to all citizens, particularly those who are economically weaker.

Clean Energy: The Indian government has launched several initiatives to promote clean energy, including the National Solar Mission and the National Biofuels Policy.

Housing for All: This is a program aimed at providing affordable housing to all citizens by 2022.

Smart Cities Mission: This is an initiative aimed at developing 100 smart cities across the country that are sustainable, livable, and economically vibrant.

Sagar Mala: This is a program aimed at modernizing India’s ports and improving the country’s maritime infrastructure.

Crimes by China

There are a number of allegations of crimes committed by the Chinese government or its citizens, including human rights violations, intellectual property theft, and cyber attacks.

Human rights violations: China has been accused of widespread human rights violations, including the suppression of political dissent, restrictions on religious freedom, and the mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities. This is particularly evident in the treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region, where reports of forced labor, mass detainment, and other forms of repression have been documented.

Intellectual property theft: China has also been accused of widespread intellectual property theft, particularly in the area of technology. Companies in the United States and other countries have claimed that their trade secrets and other proprietary information have been stolen by Chinese companies and individuals, often with the support or complicity of the Chinese government.

Cyber attacks: In recent years, China has been implicated in a number of high-profile cyber attacks against governments, corporations, and other organizations. These attacks have been aimed at stealing sensitive information, disrupting critical infrastructure, and engaging in other forms of cyber espionage.

It’s important to note that these allegations of crimes committed by China are often disputed by the Chinese government, which has denied many of the claims made against it. Nevertheless, the allegations have strained relations between China and many countries around the world, and have led to increased tensions and scrutiny of the Chinese government and its practices.

In conclusion, while the exact extent and nature of crimes committed by China is a matter of ongoing debate and investigation, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the country has engaged in a range of illegal and unethical activities.

Delhi Mayor Elections

The Delhi mayor elections have been surrounded by controversy in recent times. The election for the post of mayor is conducted by the Delhi Election Commission, and the mayor is elected by the members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The MCD is made up of elected councillors from each ward, who vote to determine the next mayor.

One of the major controversies surrounding the Delhi mayor elections is the allegations of corruption and horse-trading. There have been reports of councillors being offered bribes and other inducements to vote for a particular candidate. This has led to a loss of trust in the electoral process and has cast a shadow over the credibility of the elected mayor.

Another controversy has arisen due to the allegations of political interference in the election. The ruling party has been accused of influencing the outcome of the election by pressuring councillors to vote for their preferred candidate. This has raised questions about the impartiality of the election and has fueled concerns about the lack of transparency in the voting process.

In addition to these controversies, the Delhi mayor elections have also been marred by allegations of vote-rigging. There have been reports of bogus voting, multiple voting, and other forms of electoral fraud. These allegations have further undermined the credibility of the election and have raised questions about the integrity of the voting process.

The controversies surrounding the Delhi mayor elections have led to calls for reforms in the election process. Many believe that measures such as electronic voting, stricter enforcement of electoral laws, and increased transparency in the voting process would help to address these issues and restore the public’s trust in the election.

In conclusion, the Delhi mayor elections have been surrounded by controversy in recent times, with allegations of corruption, political interference, and vote-rigging casting a shadow over the credibility of the elected mayor. To address these issues and restore the public’s trust in the election, there is a need for reforms in the election process that will ensure a fair and transparent voting process.