Citizens' Issues
India's fast breeder reactor project to start by September: Officials
With authorities working to complete all tests and ensure regulatory compliances, India's first indigenously designed 500-MW fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam would start nuclear power generation by September, nuclear power officials said.
"We are closely working with Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to complete all tests and ensure regulatory compliances. We hope to start power generation this September," P. Chellapandi, chairman and managing director, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), told IANS.
The project site at Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, around 80 km from here, has been undertaken by BHAVINI, the country's second nuclear power plant operator tasked with operating fast breeder reactors.
"The plant is expected to be commissioned this year. Different processes are expected to be over in one or two months. Thereafter, fuel will have to be loaded into the reactor," Sekhar Basu, a member of Atomic Energy Commission and director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), told IANS.
The prototype fast breeder reactor will use a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide for fuel, called MOX fuel.
Chellapandi said the unit would be connected to the southern grid and start feeding power to the tune of 30 percent of its total capacity.
According to Basu, also a director at Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the second 1,000-MW unit at Kudankulam plant is also expected to be commissioned this year.
The NPCIL has set up two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, around 650 km from here.
Both units are supplied by Russian company Rosatom.
The first unit was connected to the southern grid in December 2014 and is now operating at around 60 percent of its capacity.
Basu said the first unit would be refuelled. One third of fuel pins have to be changed every year.
He said the refuelling process is being prolonged since the second unit is yet to go on stream.
According to NPCIL, the second unit at Kudankulam has achieved a physical progress of 98.23 percent as on May 2015.


China's e-Commerce market is 80 times larger than India's
India’s e-commerce market is intensely competitive, with US giant Amazon establishing its presence in India in 2013 and Alibaba, the Chinese giant, planning to start selling by August this year
Retail e-commerce sales in India are expected to reach $17.5 billion (Rs.105,120 crore) by 2018, from $5.3 billion (Rs 31,800 crore) in 2014, according to data analysed by eMarketer, a digital-research firm, but only two of 10 internet users in India shop online.
India’s e-commerce market is intensely competitive, with US giant Amazon establishing its presence in India in 2013 and Alibaba, the Chinese giant, planning to start selling by August this year. Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce firm, recently raised $550 million (Rs.3,300 crore) at a valuation of $15 billion (Rs.90,000 crore).
Despite having the third-largest internet user base in the world with 200 million users at the end of 2014, India does not feature in the top 10 e-commerce markets in the world, according to an eMarketer report. The reasons centre on low Internet reach, slow internet speeds outside the metropolitan cities and poor customer services.
India’s e-commerce sales in 2014 were $5.3 billion (Rs.31,800 crore) -- 80 times smaller than China’s $426.26 billion (Rs.2,557,760 crore) and 58 times smaller than US’ $305.6 billion (Rs.1,833,900 crore).
“If you look at Japan, China and US, e-commerce became popular as early as 2002-2003. It has taken them about 12-13 years to reach where they have reached. E-commerce really took off in India only in 2012-13. It will take India also that much time to reach there,” Rajnish (he uses only one name), a technology expert, said.
China and the US accounted for more than 55 percent of global internet retail sales in 2014. China’s growth over the next five years will widen the gap between the two countries. China will likely exceed $1 trillion (Rs.6,000,000 crore) in retail ecommerce sales by 2018, accounting for more than 40% of the total worldwide.
Globally, retail sales reached $22.492 trillion (Rs.134,952,000 crore) in 2014 but retail e-commerce sales stood at $1.316 trillion (Rs.7,896,000 crore, 5.9 percent of overall retail sales).
E-commerce sales are expected to increase 89 percent to $2.489 trillion (Rs.14,934,000 crore, 8.8 percent of overall retail sales) in 2018.
Digital-buyer penetration -- a measure of digital reach -- is a major factor in determining the success of retail e-commerce sales. India’s digital-buyer penetration was quite low at 24.4 percent in 2014 as compared to the global average of 41.6 percent.
The UK leads the world with 88% penetration. Ironically, China with 55.2 percent and US with 74.4 perent penetration do not feature in the top five. Indian e-commerce has a long way to go.
“E-commerce in India still has a lot of friction,” Rajnish said. “Till that is solved, it will be hard for penetration to go beyond 30 percent. For example, India has very low credit-card penetration and the cash-on-delivery (COD) model is why Flipkart really took off.”
People above 35 are not very comfortable using their debit card online. PayTm and others solve this problem but there is a lot of friction. 
“I use PayTm for Uber and it is still a process that has friction. ?In US, the return policy is very generous. I bought a coat from Amazon in the Bay area; it ended up being the wrong size. My experience of changing to the correct size was very seamless. When I bought a down jacket in Bangalore, and it ended up being the wrong size, getting the right size was really a painful experience,” said Rajnish.
That view is echoed by Paritosh Sharma, an advisor to tech startups and an entrepreneur with PayUMoney, a digital-payment platform.
“Digital buying has an attached expectation to it. I place the order and it should appear in front of me over the next two or three days. In many cases this does not happen. Also, in a lot of cases (especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities) in India, if you get a product that is not of the exact quality that you ordered, returning it is a major problem. Most people, hence, prefer what’s available in a physical retail store,” Sharma said.
There are two more reasons for low online sales, said Sharma. First, the internet infrastructure in India is poor. If one steps outside city limits, you automatically are shifted from 3G to an Edge (a lower-speed) connection, deterring buyers.
Second, lack of good service and support. While most Indian e-commerce companies are sprucing up their support via phone and digital media, it’s quite haphazard. Most companies still lack processes to ensure customer satisfaction and trust.



Zarah Nitsa

2 years ago

India has to go long way to catch up with china ecommerce market.


2 years ago

eCommerce has to compete with strong retail sector. The retail sector has the advantage of taking a product on loan if the purchaser is known to the business owner. Further the Government is extending lukewarm support to e commerce business. But with all this with passage of time the e commerce business is bound to grow.

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

I don't agree with the pessimistic tone of this article. e-tailing in India will race ahead. Modi's Digital India and other inititatives (ease of business etc) will certainly speed up the pace.

The other comment is, I had to return an article purchased from Snapdeal and the experience was pleasant and efficient.

I have also had only good experience buying from various online retailers (4+ years) such as flipkart, snapdeal,, infibeam and a host of other smaller orgs.

So a blanket statement that returns are difficult is not correct.

MONEYLIFE IMPACT: RBI seeks reply from BoM for failed ATM transactions
After a Moneylife story, Pune-based Kiran Chaptekar not only received Rs30,000 that he lost in failed ATM transactions, but RBI has asked Bank of Maharashtra for an explanation

Last week, Moneylife story on `Money lost in Bank of Maharashtra ATMs’, had highlighted the plight of a father in Pune, who visited two ATMs to withdraw Rs30,000 for his daughter’s admission but did not receive the cash though the entire amount was debited by the bank from his account.


The story had appeared on 11th June, while the father, Kiran Chaptekar was made to fill forms for recovery of his money. (Read: Money lost in Bank of Maharashtra ATMs). That is, for a good nine days, Chaptekar was kept on the edge, for the money debited was quite large.
By a strange coincidence, the day Moneylife story was published, that is, on 11th June, the same evening at around 5.45pm, Rs30,000 was quietly credited into Chaptekar’s account. He did not receive any transaction alert but found out about this when he visited the bank, that evening. The bank official also told him that, it is mandatory for them to credit the amount within one week and she has met the deadline. 
This is again a Moneylife impact, as it is a result of several stories that were carried since the first one in 2011 that made the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue necessary directions to banks. For this, Pune-based Sharad Phadke, who died recently, also triggered off the alert by invoking Right to Information (RTI) Act.
On 16th June, the Karve Road Branch of Bank of Maharashtra, has been reportedly asked by the RBI to give explanation about the incident involving Chaptekar.  “I received a call from my bank requesting me to visit the Karve Road Branch, where I have my account, and give a statement in writing that my Rs30,000 have been credited within the mandatory one week  period,’’ Chaptekar said.
He was told by the Branch Manager that his written communication is essential as RBI has questioned them on the basis of the Moneylife article and are under pressure as the Bank is getting a bad name.
We appreciate Chaptekar for not taking the matter lying down, as thousands of customers are bearing the brunt of lethargy of banks to credit back the wrongly debited amount, quickly. With technology at their beck and call, banks should be able to credit the amount within seconds and a software to this effect is available. It is being used by several private banks.
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)



A S Bhat

2 years ago

Congratulations Moneylife on bringing latest updates and your campaigns against various fraudulent entities' schemes. You are doing a great job Mrs. vinita deshmukh madam and Mrs sucheta dalal madam. Carry on. I like your articles and a regular reader.


2 years ago

Vinita Deshmukh please find RTI to find out whether money was in divert bin only. Also the the dates when cash was replenished in the two concerned ATMs before and after the non delivery. this will give an idea whether re-credit was automatic or re-credit while satisfying the ATM user but a cover up regarding the cash verification guideline adhered or violated during cash replenishment of ATMs in Bank of Maharashtra

Vijay Chandar

2 years ago

Not sure whether it is a story about a bank's service deficiency or a self congratulatory piece about money life and its contributors. Please restrict yourself to the event and let readers congratulate the site, if they find it worthy.


Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Vijay Chandar 2 years ago

Often we have people asking us whether our efforts lead to any results at all!

When they do, we think it is important to inform people. We are a tiny media outfit and this is a matter of survival.

If it upsets you so much to read this "self congratulation" then humbly request you to unsubscribe.

In any case, you are reading this effort FREE.

Have a good life.


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