e-commerce Current Affairs - 2019

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Indian Railways set to carry E-commerce consignment

The Indian Railways has started its pilot project of allowing e-commerce consignments in non-peak hours. The project was earlier launched by the Eastern Railways for the first time in India when it allowed the Amazon consignments in its EMU local (suburban services)

Regulations

  • The rate chargeable is that of Luggage Rate that is Rs 5,537 per day.
  • The Railways has permitted the usage of the vendor compartment alone to fulfill the consignment. This therefore will not create disruptions to the existing systems.
  • The Railways have fixed the non-peak hours for the transit. It is between 11.00 hours and 16.00 hours.
  • The agreement was signed by Indian Railways and Amazon Group for a period of three months. Sources say that this is just a trial. Upon success, it will be extended to other e-commerce groups as well.

Significance

This will benefit both the railways and the e-commerce industries. The Railways can earn revenue without additional stress or burden on existing system. It helps e-commerce to reduce its transit time. With new rail routes, gauge up gradation, private trains, new tourism connects the railways recently have undergone massive change over. Inclusion of e-commerce into its transit is yet another major transformation being introduced. The purpose of all the new initiatives is to earn additional revenues to the railways sector.

The transformation and up gradation are essential as Railways fetch around 2 lakh crore (2018-19) revenue to the country.

Samarth: Flipkart’s initiative to bring Indigenous Artisans on platform

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart launched Samarth, an initiative to bring Indian artisans, weavers, and makers of handicrafts to its platform. It was launched by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

Walmart-owned Flipkart has partnered with 5 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help artisans use online marketplace to sell their products.

About Samarth Initiative

It will support artisans, weavers and handicraft maker by on-boarding them and helping them in process of selling on internet.

In 1st phase of programme, Flipkart will have access to 35,000 artisans through partnerships with NGOs.

Support Provided: includes product cataloguing, account management, seller support, and warehousing support.

Flipkart is in discussions with 5-10 Indian States, including Himachal Pradesh, with regard to Samarth initiative. Company also plans to eventually sell these products in international market.

Significance:

This initiative could give indigenous communities and their products access to Flipkart’s Indian customer base of over 150 million.

As per some estimates, Flipkart e-commerce will exceed $100 billion by 2022 can potentially create 1 million-plus jobs in coming years.

NOTE: Earlier, Amazon had partnered with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) to sell products made by tribal communities which are now available on its global marketplace.