FDA indicts Snapdeal for selling prescription drugs; Amazon, Flipkart also ‘under’ scanner

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Rx-Drugs

By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a major crackdown on the sale of prescription drugs online, The Maharashtra Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) has come down heavily upon e-commerce website Snapdeal.

As per FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble the FDA sleuths raided Snapdeal’s office in Goregaon, north-west Mumbai, after a specific tip-off was received that prescription drugs like Ascoril cough syrup, Viagra tablets, and other medicines were being sold online.

The official said that Snapdeal.com has been asked to provide details of the people involved, medical stores, companies, their respective documents including agreements, challans, invoices, payment details etc.

The FDA directive mandates Snapdeal to immediately withdraw offers for sale and exhibition of such drugs from its e-commerce sites and delist them, which the company has agreed to comply with.

The FDA has also ordered a search of Snapdeal’s offices and godowns in this connection.

Responding to the allegations, Snapdeal denied findings of any such restricted products at their fulfillment centre by the FDA team. Snapdeal, however, assured help to the FDA sleuths in their investigations.

An official spokesperson of Snapdeal said, “Though we periodically educate sellers on engaging in fair and safe sales on the platform and consequences of selling inappropriate products, at times sellers end up listing such products.”

“Upon being notified of any such products, we delist the products and take appropriate action against such seller. In this case, upon receiving the notice, we have delisted the products and provided all information to the FDA team”, he further added.

The FDA Commissioner also said that Flipkart and Amazon offices will also be investigated to ascertain whether they are also indulging in such activities, for which details are being sought.

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Lockdown Diaries: Online Sales of Gardening Products Shoot Up

Online sales of gardening products hint at home-gardening bloom in lockdown

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Lockdown
Many Indians have turned into gardeners during lockdown. Pixabay

By Siddhi Jain

Two months of lockdown has turned many Indians into avid gardeners. As people explore their green side by growing a variety of plants, sales of gardening products on an e-commerce site seem to have shot up notably in this period.

As per Snapdeal, the overall sale in the gardening category for mid-March and mid-May 2020 is more than double the sale in the same time-frame last year.

“Over the last two months, users have bought seeds to grow a range of vegetables including brinjals, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, chilli, coriander etc. Seeds of everyday-use items like lemon and tomato were the most searched for seeds on Snapdeal. Combo vegetable seeds pack with multiple varieties of seeds priced under Rs 300 was another popular pick amongst Snapdeal shoppers,” the online marketplace told IANSlife.

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People have bought a variety of seeds amid lockdown. Pixabay

What made it to e-carts and search bars?

As kitchen gardens blossomed, so did a collective desire to build immunity against the novel Coronavirus.

Since late April, Moringa (drumstick) seeds remained high in demand for immunity-boosting properties.

For those looking at summer flowers, Roses, Zinnia, Petunia and Marigold have been a top pick, since they grow well in summers.

Enthusiastic gardeners also bought a range of supplies including garden tool kits comprising trowels (‘khurpi’), clippers and weeding forks, green net to save plants from birds, spraying can, and seedling trays, Snapdeal shared.

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Many enthusiastic gardeners also bought a range of supplies including garden tool kits. Pixabay

Apart from greening lawns and balconies, people also bought indoor plants like money plant, areca palm, rubber plant, and fiddle-leaf fig. Succulents were also widely searched and liked but seldom bought due to its high maintenance nature and difficulty to survive Indian weather conditions, the e-commerce platform said.

When it came to pots, plastic pots in a variety of shapes, colour and sizes were in high demand and the popular price range of these were Rs 50-250. Most users bought multi-packs of 4-12 pots. Traditional terracotta pots were also searched for but were not available due to difficulty in transporting the same. Grow bags which are a cheaper alternative to pots were a hit too, Snapdeal said.

“Gardening is a fun and relaxing way to get in touch with nature. In the lockdown period, we saw increased interest from our shoppers in this category, as they spent more time at home. From the nature of buying, we can infer that users are attempting to grow everyday use fruits and vegetables at home. Our sellers also received queries for bulk supplies from those users who intend to grow organic produce for regular commercial sale. Seeing the demand, we have onboarded new sellers in this category to ramp up supplies,” a Snapdeal spokesperson told IANSlife.

Also Read: McDonald’s Reveals Plan to Open More Drive-Thru Restaurants in UK

Regional demand

Seaweed solution bottles were popular gardening picks among the metro audiences to save the trouble of keeping packets of compost. The non-metro audience, on the contrary, continued to buy compost. Cocopeat, which can absorb water for longer than normal soil, was widely bought in north India to beat the sun.

Shoppers from Tier 2 cities bought most of the gardening supplies. Most orders came from Bhopal, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Dehradun, Gurgaon, Jamnagar, Lucknow, Mysore, Ranchi and Raipur.

Orders for some of these items were placed mostly when deliveries of these products were prohibited and are now being delivered post the lockdown restrictions being removed, the brand said. (IANS)

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Amid Lockdown Netflix, Fortnite, Zoom Entertain & Empower Many

Amazon Web Services driven, Netflix, Disney Plus or Hulu and Zoom keep people busy during the lockdown

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AWS driving Netflix, Fortnite, Zoom entertain and empower millions at home during lockdown. Pixabay

As you stream your favourite movies or TV series on Netflix, Disney Plus or Hulu, or connect with your team via video meet app Zoom, leading Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the backdrop is ensuring seamless, scalable and secure connectivity to help people at home and organisations function while they can’t operate normally at work.

According to AWS CEO Andy Jassy, a lot of things that are allowing humanity to deal with the global health crisis run on top of AWS which is Amazon’s Cloud arm and topped $10 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time in the January-March period.

“We’re just trying to help our customers in various areas. If you look at Netflix, it runs completely on top of AWS. So does Disney Plus. Hulu runs on AWS. Prime Video runs on AWS. All those entertainment pieces have kind of made time go by,” Jassy said during a fireside chat at AWS Online Summit recently.

“Fortnite runs on top of AWS, and so does Sony PlayStation. A lot of other popular games too,” he informed. The popular Battle Royale game Fortnite has gained 350 million registered players, who in April collectively spent over 3.2 billion hours in the game.

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Netflix and other platforms keeping people sane in lockdown. Pixabay

According to Jassy, AWS has its own video-conferencing service in Chime. “But a lot of people use Zoom, and the vast majority of Zoom’s cloud infrastructure runs on AWS and will for the foreseeable future,” he said. Amazon Chime Voice Connector is a service that enables enterprises to migrate their telephony workloads to AWS.

 

If you have kids at home, you also realise they’re all doing e-learning at the moment. “If you just look at companies like Blackboard and Instructure’s Canvas, which run on top of AWS. A lot of the things that are allowing us to deal with the crisis run on top of AWS. So we’re just trying to help our customers in various areas,” Jassy emphasised. AWS today offers 15 purpose-built database engines including relational, key-value, document, in-memory, graph, time series, and ledger databases.

“We have an unmatched number of those purpose-built databases that people are getting real value from and are changing the way they build applications. So (for us), it’s just the way that people are rethinking how they build in this unprecedented era of data growth,” informed Jassy. It is interesting to see how manufacturing and industrial organisations are changing in these Covid-19 times.

“In these industrial organizations, they have all of these assets that function in their facilities and their factories, and they collect really important data. And today they’re largely sending that data, through AWS IoT, to the cloud to store it and to analyze it,” said Jassy. Amazon AWS IoT has done well in terms of completeness benefiting from a robust Cloud IoT and Application Enablement capabilities. Further, AWS has been building its edge capabilities via AWS Greengrass.

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Fortnite has gained 350 million registered players, who in April collectively spent over 3.2 billion hours in the game. Pixabay

AWS has grown into a behemoth in itself, raking in $10 billion in sales in the first quarter this year, with a super annual run rate of more than $40 billion. The cloud computing service logged $10.2 billion in sales in the March quarter, up from $7.7 billion from the year-ago quarter – a growth rate of 33 per cent.

Also Read: Thousands of Australians Get Killed Each Year Due To Heat: Study

According to Amazon, AWS now spans 76 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for nine more Availability Zones and three more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Japan, and Spain. (IANS)

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Amazon Alexa Powered Mi Band 5 to Check Blood Oxygen Saturation

The band will come with NFC support feature in China

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Mi Band 5
A picture of Mi Band 4, prequal to the upcoming Mi Band 5. Wikimedia Commons

Xiaomi is reportedly working on next-generation fitness tracker Mi Band 5 with features like SpO2 detection that checks the blood oxygen saturation along with Amazon Alexa support.

The latest fitness band will also come with NFC support though the feature would be limited to China.

The fitness tracker is likely to feature 1.2-inch OLED display which is bigger than the one on the Mi Band 4 and is expected to come with a bigger battery.

According to Tizen Help, the Mi Band 5 will have a “Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI)”.
This feature will essentially show users how much activity is required to stay healthy and the band will make such suggestions based on the user’s heart rate data.

 Mi Band 5
The fitness tracker in Mi Band 5 is likely to feature 1.2-inch OLED display. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: WhatsApp Beta to Add New QR Code Feature for Easy Contact Sharing

The band may also come with a Women menstrual cycle feature (the one available in Apple Watch). This will allow female users to keep a track on their menstrual cycle.

The smart band will be launched in China first and will be available in other countries later. (IANS)