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With Festivals knocking at door, E-Commerce Portals are booming with Diwali Sales

Snapdeal in its first sale of Unbox Diwali sold over 11 million products from its online market

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Online Shopping (representational Image), Wikimedia

October 16, 2016: To avoid the burden on the pocket and to ease the selection process, the online shopping portals come with various offers and also a stiff competition in the market among various e-commerce companies varying from Unbox Diwali of Snapdeal, Big Billion Days of Flipkart to Great Indian Festival of Amazon. It’s time to take a sneak peak of all the sales to stay updated.

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The first leg of the Great Indian Festival sale which lasted for 5 days from Oct 1 to Oct 5, Amazon sold 15 million total units in categories ranging from Mobile and Electronics, Large appliances, Fashion etc. Within the first 12 hours of the sale, the company received around 1 billion page views. The sales figure went up to seven times from last year’s figure. Also, Customers from 90% pin codes across the country ordered at least 1 item from Amazon.in, mentioned bgr.in report.

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Looking at the figures of Flipkart, it says it has sold 15.5 million units across platforms including Myntra and Jabong. A Flipkart spokesperson said, “Total units sold include only physical goods and does not include virtual membership and low-cost items like churan, hing, candy, detergent bar and eggs.” According to the bgr.in report, Flipkart also claims to have witnessed 1 Lakh customers crossing Rs. 50,000 shopping cart during the festival which lasted for 5 days from Oct 2 to Oct 6. The Flipkart spokesperson informed, “Ninety-nine percent (99%) of all our units were above Rs. 200 selling price/ 95% above Rs. 300 selling price.”

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Talking about the another major e-commerce site, Snapdeal in its first sale of Unbox Diwali sold over 11 million products from its online market. The company had a kick start with almost 7,00,000 concurrent users flocking to the online portal within the initial five minutes of the sale. Snapdeal also witnessed a nine times increase in its sale as compared to last year.

Seeing the tremendous explosion in the success of the sales, the companies have come with another version of the sales. With more offers and choices. To increase the sale, the second edition of Unbox Diwali Sale which is scheduled to go on for 3 days from Oct 12 to 14, Snapdeal will offer 10% discount on all payments made using a State Bank of India (SBI). Also a beautiful discount of Rs. 10,000 is being availed on the recently launched Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus for customers making the purchase using an American Express card.

– prepared by Chesta Ahuja of NewsGram.

 

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Indians Anxious Over Digital Payment Frauds Amidst Pandemic: Survey

More and more Indians are worried now about online payment frauds

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Online Crimes and frauds worry Indians amidst lockdown. Pixabay

Almost half of the Indian consumers are more concerned about digital payments fraud now than when COVID-19 first emerged, said a survey on Wednesday.

Nearly one third have been recent victims of card or digital payments fraud or know someone among their immediate family or friends who has, said the study conducted by YouGov and US-based electronic payments company ACI Worldwide.

Vulnerability to fraud remains the biggest consumer concern when it comes to digital transactions (54 per cent), followed by risk of failed transactions (42 per cent).

Insufficient internet connectivity and concerns about data privacy were also cited as significant concerns, by 38 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively.

When asked about digital payment fraud risks, fake apps and websites are the biggest, according to 52 per cent of respondents, followed by compromised password/credential information (43 per cent) and spyware/malware (39 per cent).

Card cloning is the most common concern when it comes to debit or credit card fraud, with 1 in 3 seeing this as the biggest risk.

Approximately 1 in 5 cited stolen/lost cards or eCommerce/mobile channel fraud as their top card fraud threat.

Payment frauds
Online Payment frauds concern Indians more than ever. Pixabay

When using digital payment methods, 28 percent of respondents are also now exercising greater caution.

If impacted by fraud, about 60 per cent of respondents would first call their bank to block their account, indicating that — during this time of heightened awareness — consumers consider their bank the first line of defence.

“The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provides another opportunity for fraudsters to dupe unsuspecting consumers,” Kaushik Roy, Vice President & Country Leader – South Asia, ACI Worldwide, said in a statement.

Also Read: Don’t Let Lockdown Diminish The Spirit of World Cocktail day

“However, it is encouraging that consumers are showing heightened awareness of digital payments fraud and a willingness to adapt behaviours,” he added.

The online survey carried out between April 21-27 involved over 1,000 adults. (IANS)

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What is the Future of US-India Relations? Here’s the Answer

The US presidential elections and future of India-US relations

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Given the love fests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston, Texas, in which Trump participated in September of 2019, and Trump's 'Namaste Trump' event hosted by Modi in India in February of this year, it might be assumed that the future for US-India relations is a splendid one. Wikimedia Commons

BY FRANK F. ISLAM

As the coronavirus pandemic dominates global news in the United States, progress toward the next presidential election scheduled to be held on November 3 moves slowly forward. President Donald Trump had no real opposition in the Republican party and is running for re-election. And it has now become apparent that former Vice President Joe Biden will be his opponent as the Democratic candidate for president.

What would a Trump victory bode for the future of US-India relations? What would a Biden victory bode? Let me answer each of those questions in turn.

Given the love fests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, Texas, in which Trump participated in September of 2019, and Trump’s ‘Namaste Trump’ event hosted by Modi in India in February of this year, it might be assumed that the future for US-India relations is a splendid one. This would be an incorrect assumption.

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Both of these events were more symbolic than substantive. Trump’s participation in them undoubtedly helped to persuade some — perhaps many — Indian American Modi supporters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 to cast their ballots for Trump in 2020. Trump’s campaign team took steps to ensure this by holding an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in which a group of prominent Indian Americans announced their plans to work for his re-election and to mobilize Indian Americans on his behalf.

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It is essential that India and the US develop a strategic relationship that enables them to become those indispensable partners. Wikimedia Commons

To understand the future potential of India’s relations with the US. with Trump as president, however, it is necessary to look beyond these political moves and to examine the present state of those relations and Trump’s personal style.

In a word, the best way to characterize the current relations between the US and India is “functional”. The relationship was relatively good for the first two years of Trump’s presidency. In fact, near the end of 2018, Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, was quoted in the media s saying: “This has been a landmark year for US-India ties as we build out stronger relationships across the board.”

Then, in 2019, the relations went off the track in the first half of the year after the US and India got into a tit-for-tat tariff war after the US terminated India’s Generalized System of Preferences which allowed India to send certain goods to the US duty-free. There have been continuing efforts to structure a “modest” trade deal since then. It was thought there might be some type of deal done in September of 2019 while Modi was in the US by year’s end, and then during Trump’s India visit. But, as of today, there is still no deal.

This inability to get any meaningful trade agreement in place speaks volumes about India’s potential future relations with India with Trump as president. So, too does Trump’s style.

Trump’s campaign slogans this time around are “Keep America Great” and “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump is not a policy wonk and most of his effort will go toward “America First”. This involves making the US more isolated by withdrawing from international agreements, restructuring trade agreements, emphasizing building walls to stop immigrants at the border, using tariffs to block trade with countries who are taking away American jobs, and confronting businesses who are allegedlly stealing American trade secrets.

This perspective suggests what India can expect for its relations with the US if it has to deal with Trump for a second term as president. The relations will stay functional at best. As I have said before, that’s because the words partnership, cooperation and collaboration are not in Trump’s vocabulary. Nationalism, isolationism and protectionism are.

Joe Biden stands in stark contrast to President Trump both professionally and personally. Biden is a strategic thinker and doer with a solid eight-year track record of leadership experience as Vice-President in forging alliances that have made a difference around the world and he has also been a long-standing friend of India.

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To understand the future potential of India’s relations with the US. with Trump as president, however, it is necessary to look beyond these political moves and to examine the present state of those relations and Trump’s personal style. Wikimedia Commons

He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leading advocate for the Congressional passage of the Indo-US civic nuclear deal in 2005. At a dinner convened 10 years later in 2015 by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Vice President Biden discussed the tremendous joint progress that had been made by the two countries in the past and declared “We are on the cusp of a sea change decade.”

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Early in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in July of 2019, in laying out his foreign policy vision, Biden stated that the US had to reach out to India and other Asian partners to strengthen ties with them. The items on Biden’s foreign policy agenda for strengthening which are of importance for India include climate change, nuclear proliferation and cyberwarfare.

During his vice presidency, Biden worked side by side with President Barack Obama to do things that would contribute to achieving Obama’s vision stated in 2010 of India and America being “indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of our time.” In 2020, those challenges are even greater than they were a decade ago.

That is why it is so essential that India and the US develop a strategic relationship that enables them to become those indispensable partners. That can happen if Biden assumes the presidency on January 20, 2021. It cannot happen if Donald Trump remains as president for a second term.

Also Read- Apple to Display COVID-19 Testing Sites on Maps

The results of this upcoming election in the US matter greatly for the future of the United States. They matter greatly for the future of India-US relations as well. Time and the American electorate will tell what that future will be. (IANS)

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Social Distancing and Lockdown are The Strongest Vaccine: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Bennett University organized an International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future

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"We do not anticipate the worst kind of situation in India like other developed countries, but still we have prepared the whole country for the worst situation," said Vardhan. Wikimedia Commons

By Kanan Parmar

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised on Social Distancing saying, “Social Distancing and lockdown are the strongest vaccine against COVID-19 at the moment,” during an International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the International Conference on COVID-19: Fallout and Future organized by Bennett University on April 9, 2020.

Dr. Vardhan spoke about how India has taken all the necessary steps to prevent coronavirus in India and also gives the latest updates on COVID-19 news.

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The minister said that more than a lakh people were trained and educated about the COVID-19 pandemic. These included aviation crew, airport staff, healthcare professionals, etc.  Over 2,500 Indians have been evacuated from various countries. There have been dedicated ICU beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

The health minister highlighted that the even bigger challenge than containing COVID-19 is to stop the spread of misinformation. The minister said, “Anyone who wants authentic information about coronavirus should go through the website of Ministry of Health and Welfare to obtain information.”

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The Health Minister advises that N95 masks are to be used only by healthcare professionals. Pixabay

He also thanked healthcare professionals saying, “I would like to thank all the COVID-19 warriors to fight this war against coronavirus.”

The health minister advises that N95 and surgical masks aren’t to be worn by all citizens but only medical staff due to the shortage. The basic necessity is to cover your mouth using any cloth or cotton mask which can also be homemade.

Talking about the positive aspects, Health Minster Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise. Most of the medical equipments used to be imported but now with the help of Ministry of Textiles, we have found manufactures in India.”

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“We are in constant touch with the World Health Organization and the WHO has appreciated the efforts taken by the Government of India and Ministry of Health to contain coronavirus,” said Dr. Vardhan.

Many other professionals were present in the conference. These include. Dr. David Nabarro, the special envoy for WHO, Mr. Arvind Virmani, an economic advisor, Mr. Subash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary of India,Gurcharan Das, Prof. Wenjuan ZhangProf. Beatrice GallelliEoghan SweeneyIrene Jay Liu, a data journalist, Prof. Rasmus Nielsen, Prof. Ashish Kumar Jha and many more.

Other presenters talked about the economic, social and political impacts of the pandemic.

Health conference
Dr. David Nabarro is an international civil servant and diplomat.

Dr. David Nabarro, the special envoy for the World Health Organization said that all the information given by WHO is based on researches done by scientists and doctors.

Health conference
Mr. Gurcharan is an Indian author.

Gurcharan Das, an Indian author said, “Biggest failure of the government is not testing enough.” He also said that the Modi government is in a ‘Dharam sankat’ and faced a challenge on whether to lift the lockdown or not.

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Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg has served as the Economic Affairs Secretary and Finance Secretary of India.

Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary of India believes that there should be a partial lockdown in India.

Also Read- Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Citizens to Help Financially Poor People

Ms. Beatrice Gallelli tells us about what went wrong in Italy and also talks about the North-South equality in Italy which lead to the increase in coronavirus cases.

Eoghan Sweeney talks about the spread of misinformation during the times of an epidemic or pandemic.