Amazon's First farm collection Centre to come up in Pune

Amazon Retail India will be soon opening its first farm collection centre in Pune under its farm-to-fork initiative, Amazon will directly purchase vegetables from farmers, who would be paid within 24 hours. The initiative aims to offer the largest selection of fresh fruits and vegetables to customers in two hours.

Crux of the Matter
  • Amazon Fresh will provide complete grocery experience with a host of exciting deals and offers for over 5,000 products.
  • It will engage with farmers and government bodies to develop a sustainable farm-to-fork model by investing in technology.
  • After getting government approval in 2017 Amazon made a $500 million investment in the fresh food retail business in India.
  • Amazon’s rival Flipkart has already signed up local farmers for offering fresh food with the help of Walmart’s best-price wholesale stores.
  • Amazon and Flipkart have also made investments in supply chain delivery start-ups Ninjacart and Shadowfax respectively to scale up last-mile delivery capabilities.
  • A report by Redseer says, currently the online grocery and fresh food market in India constitute only 0.2% of the overall $580 billion retail markets but it is growing at a pace of 55% and is estimated to reach $10.5 billion by 2023.
  • Currently, the grocery and fresh food sales constitutes for 40% of the total purchases made through e-commerce dominated by players like BigBasket and Grofers.
  • Amazon will have convenient two-hour delivery slots from 6 am to midnight with free delivery for orders above Rs 600. and charged delivery for orders below Rs 600.

AmazonFresh is a subsidiary of the American e-commerce company in Seattle, Washington. It is a grocery delivery service currently available in some U.S. states, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Munich, and Tokyo. Amazon Fresh was announced in August 2019 in select areas of Bengaluru and is expected to further expand to Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Using Amazon Fresh, customers can enjoy a complete grocery experience with a host of exciting deals and offers across a selection of over 5,000 fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, ice creams and dry grocery like staples, packaged food, personal care and home care, which are powered by Amazon Prime Now service to get ultra-fast two-hour delivery. More Info

All villages Connected via BharatNet to get free WiFi till March 2020

In a boost to government’s Digital India mission, the central government has decided to provide free WiFi to all villages till March 2020 through the BharatNet broadband service. A digital Village Gurawara was inaugurated in Rewari in Haryana by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 25.

Crux of the Matter
  • CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd is implementing the Digital Village initiative in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • 48,000 villages and 1.3 Lakh gram panchayats have been already given Wi-fi access through Bharatnet.
  • As per a report by Indian Express a total of Rs.20,431 crores has been spent from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for connecting villages under BharatNet.
  • Common service centres act as access points for the delivery of digital services and will now also offer banking services. The number of CSCs in India has increased from about 60,000 in 2014 to 3.60 lakh in 2019. 
  • Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “the target of the government is to convert at least 15% of villages to the digital village in the next four years. The process of empowering villages is on track and day is not far off when rural India will take the lead in shaping the dreams of the country”

A DigiGaon or digital village was conceptualised as a connected village where citizens can avail various e-services of the central government, state governments and private players. These villages are projected to be change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods through community participation and collective action.

The digital village promotes a financially inclusive society by providing banking, insurance and pension services at the doorstep of citizens. In addition, the entire village is WiFi-enabled, so residents are digitally connected. Such villages are also equipped with an LED assembly unit, a sanitary napkin unit, a paper bag-making unit and a rural BPO to promote employment among the youth. More Info

BHIM Goes International; Launched At Singapore FinTech Festival

In a first approach to the international market, a pilot demonstration of the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM UPI) QR-based payments was conducted at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 which was jointly developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) of Singapore.

Crux of the Matter
  • This QR code-based system would allow anyone with a BHIM app to scan the SGQR at NETS terminals for payments in Singapore. It is expected to go live by February 2020.
  • RuPay International card and SBI remittance app were launched last year by PM Narendra Modi.
  • Launching the live demo Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf said, “This is the first time that BHIM app has gone international and it is a huge achievement.”
  • An MoU was signed between the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to work towards access of TPCI dashboard to Business sans Borders (BSB) at the FinTech Festival.
  • The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) already has 70 million traders in India as its members and are connected to BSB through a platform provided by Mastercard GlobalLinker.

BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a mobile payment app developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It is named after B. R. Ambedkar and launched on 30 December 2016, it is intended to facilitate e-payments directly through banks. The app supports all Indian banks which use UPI, which is built over the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) infrastructure and allows the user to instantly transfer money between bank accounts of any two parties. It can be used on all mobile devices. BHIM allows users to send or receive money to or from UPI payment addresses, or to non-UPI based accounts, unlike mobile wallets which hold money. More Info

Sundar Pichai Takes Over as CEO Of Alphabet

The co-founders of Alphabet Larry Page and Sergey Brin have stepped down as CEO and President respectively on December 3; after which the company has announced that Mr Sundar Pichai will be taking over as the CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role as the CEO of Google.

Crux of the Matter
  • The co-founders will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board of directors. This move is seen as the most significant shake-up of leadership at Google since its inception.
  • The duo will continue to control 51% of voting rights on Alphabet’s board. They have termed their new role as being “proud parents” to the company, looking on with close interest and care.
  • The Alphabet was created in October 2015 as part of a corporate restructuring of Google with an intention to explore new areas of interest and development and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries.
  • In a blog post the co-founders wrote, “We’ve never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there’s a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President,”

Pichai Sundararajan is an Indian American business executive, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Alphabet Inc. and it’s subsidiary Google LLC. Pichai began his career as a materials engineer and joined Google as a management executive in 2004. He studied in the US at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining Google in 2004. He rose to become the company’s Product Chief, then Google’s CEO in 2015, as part of the restructuring process that made Alphabet Inc. into Google’s parent company. More Info

Tesla’s Newly Launched ‘Cybertruck’ Gets Historic Bookings

At the launch event in California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had announced the industrial-looking vehicle, Cybertruck made up of stainless steel alloy which is capable to go from 0 to 100km/h in about three seconds has got record bookings of up to nearly 2, 00,000.

Crux of the Matter
  • 42% have ordered the dual-motor option whose price starts at $49,900, 41% have ordered the $69,900 triple-motor option and 17% ordered the single-motor version which starts at $39,900.
  • Tesla’s website allows customers to order the truck for a fully refundable amount of $100. The Production of Triple-motor variant is expected to begin in late 2022.
  • Tesla faced a lot of criticism at the launch event when the windows of the Cybertruck shattered during a demonstration supposed to show their durability.
  • No official date has been given for the vehicle’s release, but it is expected to be ready by end of 2021.

Tesla, Inc. is an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California founded in 2003. The company specializes in electric car manufacturing. It operates multiple production and assembly plants, such as Gigafactory 1 near Reno, Nevada, and its main vehicle manufacturing facility at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. After 10 years in the market, Tesla has ranked as the world’s best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the plug-in segment sale. More Info