Citizens' Issues
Now, buy cow dung cakes online
Not only clothes and crackers, you can also buy cow dung online this festive season.
 
Online sellers including big players like Big Basket, Shopclues, Amazon and Homeshop18 have introduced the puja samagri (items used during a puja such as camphor, incense sticks etc) online throughout the year including cow dung cakes, which are used in certain Hindu rituals around Diwali and also in havans.
 
Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder of Shopclues, told IANS, "Connecting with the festive theme, we have ensured that our consumers find a great selection of Indian products at Shopclues, especially around puja and navratras time." 
 
"Our conversion rates have almost doubled up for cow dung cakes during this festive season," she added.
 
While some player sells 24 dung cakes in a package, others offer a package of four or 11. Four cow dung cakes cost around Rs.40 but 24 cost Rs.150 with a huge discount.
 
Cow dung cakes are not easily available in urban areas but thanks to e-commerce, it is just-a-click-away product now.
 
Talking about the response Aggarwal said, "We have received a great response especially from metro cities where such products are not easily available. Our festive themed product portfolio has grown threefold during this season."
 
There are also dedicated sites like Vedic Vaani, ePooja store, PujaSamagri and Wheresmypandit which cater to such requirements of users.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Sweden on track to becoming first cashless nation
With widespread use of information technology and rapid decline in cash transactions, Sweden is on its way to becoming the world's first cashless society, says a new study.
 
The widespread and growing popularity of the mobile payment system Swish is helping hasten the day when Sweden replaces cash altogether, said researcher Niklas Arvidsson, industrial technology and management researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
 
"Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries' markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden," Arvidsson said in a statement released by the institute recently. 
 
"Our use of cash is small, and it is decreasing rapidly," Arvidsson noted.
 
In a country where bank cards are routinely used for even the smallest purchases, there are less than 80 billion Swedish Krona (SEK) in circulation (about EUR 8 billion), a sharp decline from just six years ago, when the total in circulation was SEK106 billion.
 
"And out of that amount, only somewhere between 40 and 60 percent is actually in regular circulation," he said. 
 
The rest is socked away in people's homes and bank deposit boxes, or can be found circulating in the underground economy, the study said.
 
The result of collaboration between major Swedish and Danish banks, Swish is a direct payment app that is used for transactions between individuals, in real time. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Call drop penalty takes effect from January 1, industry upset
India's telecom watchdog on Friday said mobile phone operators have to compensate subscribers on call drops from January 1 next year at the rate of a rupee for each such failure -- a decision that has left the industry upset with legal help kept as an option.
 
A notification from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said the calling consumer will get a credit of Re.1 per call drop, limited to three such occurrences per day in a 24-hour cycle. Following that, the mobile operators have to send them an SMS within four hours.
 
The regulator also defined what constituted such a failure.
 
"Call drops means a voice call which, after being successfully established, is interrupted prior to its normal completion - the cause of the early termination being within the network of the service provider."
 
The watchdog said it had examined the representations of telecom operators who maintain that some issues like poor spectrum allocation and difficulties in setting up towers that were beyond their control and contributing to call drops.
 
It said it was for this reason that the authority has kept the compensatory mechanism simple so that the consumers understand the same easily, and the operators are able to implement it as well.
 
But the representative body, Cellular Operators Association of India (COIA) said the watchdog has not defined the cause or the reason for the dropped calls. 
 
"As per the norms, operators need to ensure 90 percent coverage of district headquarters and 30 percent over blocks. There is no regulation to guarantee coverage in buildings," COAI chief Rajan Mathews said, alluding that the industry was adhering to these norms in the best possible manner.
 
"Our first preference is to engage in a dialogue with TRAI to get clarifications over call drop norms, keeping in mind there is time till December 31. But if no proper resolution comes out of the dialogue, we will have to seek legal help to protect our interests," he said.
 
He said this was not the way forward and that operators should be provided the assistance needed to set up telecom towers. "If this is done, I can fix the call drop issue in 90 days," Mathews said, adding the local authorities had made the industry give up 350 towers in Delhi alone.
 
The effective date for call drop compensation comes a day after the watchdog doubled the penalty for poor quality service and said an operator will now be fined up to Rs.1 lakh for the first non-compliance of benchmarks in a quarter compared to Rs.50,000 earlier.
 
It also said the non-compliance, benchmarked on some 15 parameters under technical and customer care categories, in two or more consecutive quarters will result in a penalty up to Rs.1.5 lakh and a fine up to Rs. 2 lakh.
 
If the telecom operators do not meet the benchmarks, companies like Airtel, Reliance and Idea could end up paying around Rs.2.3 crore, Rs.1.9 crore and Rs.80 lakh respectively, taking into account a scenario that only 10 percent of their subscriber base face only one call drop a day.
 
Airtel, Reliance and Idea have 23.29 crore, 10.99 crore and 8.33 crore subscribers respectively.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
 

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