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Amazon Logo is seen at the company logistic center in Lauwin-Planquin, France.

Angry at the reported move of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) to join hands with Amazon and Flipkart for on boarding of traders on their e-commerce portals, a large number of traders on Thursday staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here.

Calling upon Union MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari to reject any such proposed move, traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said it will not accept any kind of government “collusion” with Amazon and Flipkart.


“If the Ministry is so serious, let it create an independent e commerce portal and the traders of the country will support such initiative and will do every bit of it to onboard seven crore traders of the country on such e commerce portal,” CAIT said in a statement.

The MSME Ministry earlier deferred its decision to create a government-owned e-commerce portal for MSME entities.

In a letter to Gadkari on December 9, CAIT drew attention to reports of the ministry initiating a move to join hands with e-commerce companies including Amazon and Flipkart.

The traders were also protesting against the alleged violation of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy by Amazon and Flipkart and said that “it is nothing but a deep rooted conspiracy of Amazon and Flipkart to enter into crony capitalism under the garb of bringing foreign investment which is being used for cash burning in maintaining predatory pricing and deep discounting, controlling inventory, having preferential seller system and exclusivity of products”.

Apart from New Delhi, business leaders from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, among others, participated in the demonstration, CAIT said.


New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. IANS

The traders of All India Mobile Retailers Association and All India Consumer Products Distributors’ Federation also attended the demonstration in large numbers, it added.

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal alleged that Flipkart and Amazon are leading losses of thousands of crores of rupees in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue by artificially lowering the prices and by showing huge losses in their business.

CAIT has already urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to conduct an investigation into these charges of tax avoidance.

The trade body has also urged Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to conduct an investigation into whether there is any violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) or other concerning laws by the e-commerce players.

Also Read: Development of Alzheimer’s Disease Not Totally Linked to Genetics: Study

Announcing the next phase of the national movement against Amazon and Flipkart, Bhartia and Khandelwal said that the families of traders across the country will protest on December 24.

A postcard campaign will be launched across the country from December 15, under which traders will send postcards to leaders including the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister, Commerce Minister and the Chief Ministers of all the states urging for action against these two companies, CAIT said.

On December 27, traders in various cities will go on a day-long token hunger strike, it added. (IANS)


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VOA

Surgeons attached a pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days, and the kidney did what it was supposed to do.

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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