Aadhaar critics say harassed, put under surveillance

Researchers and journalists who have identified loopholes in India’s massive national identity card project have said they have been slapped with criminal cases or harassed by government agencies because of their work.

Last month, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the semi-government body responsible for the national identity project, called Aadhaar, or “Basis”, filed a criminal case against the Tribune newspaper for publishing a story that said access to the card’s database could be bought for Rs 500 ($7.82).

Affordable jewellery rule online sale

When it comes buying jewellery online, customers still hold their purse strings a bit and prefer to go for the affordable price points. No wonder, the largest chunk of diamond-studded jewellery sold online falls in the sub-Rs 10,000 category.

Darwin Week to take on minister’s rubbishing of Theory of Evolution

To remove the “doubts being planted in the minds of the common people” about the theory of evolution, and demonstrate with evidence how humans evolved from apes, scientists from across the country are celebrating ‘Darwin Week’ from Monday. Recent statements by Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh have compelled the scientific community to step out of their laboratories and raise their voices against political interference in the field of science.

FSSAI’s bhog to control quality of ‘prasad’

Food and eatables served at places of worship such as temples, gurdwaras, mosques and churches would soon have to follow stringent quality control norms with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launching the ‘blissful hygienic offering to god (Bhog) scheme. The project aims at mandatory adoption of food safety and hygiene standards in preparation of ‘prasad’ for devotees.

Alert cop foils audacious bank robbery bid

An alert police constable has foiled a daring bank robbery attempt in Jaipur. Had it not been for the vigilant cop, robbers, numbering over a dozen, would have decamped with hundreds of crores of rupees from Axis Bank’s chest branch in Ashok Nagar. Some reports put the cash available at the bank at Rs 925 crore.

Apex body for spectrum management a must

The department of tele­co­mmunications (DoT) is in the process of formulating the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 for which the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued a consultation paper and is currently soliciting responses. This will be the fifth of such policies, the previous ones being in 1994, 1999, broadband policy 2004, and 2012. The proposed policy will have new targets for broadband penetration, rural and urban broadband density and broadband speeds, as specified in the consultation paper.

Tier2 cities shop more online than metros

When it comes to shopping online, tier 2+ cities are growing faster than tier 1 and metros. No wonder, the contribution of sales from these cities have become higher than that from metros in 2017.

In 2017, the growth rate of monthly active shoppers in tier2+ cities was nearly 34 per cent while that in tier 1 and metros was 18 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. Of the 20 million active monthly e-commerce buyers in 2017, 40 per cent were from metros, 19 per cent from tier 1 cities and the largest share of 41 per cent were from tier 2 and cities smaller than them.

Only 0.3% Indians go for holiday abroad

The number of Indians travelling abroad has been going up year after year. But only 0.3 per cent of the population or around 4 million people are undertaking an overseas leisure trip, while close to 8 per cent of the population can afford at le­ast a short-haul destination.

The outbound travel has been steadily growing since 2000 and it has grown from 4.42 million in 2000 to 21.9 million in 2016. But only a small proportion of this are actually holidaying abroad, finds a study by Expedia and CAPA India.

18 retailers account for 33% jewellery demand

Consolidation of jewellery sales in favour of a few large retailers got accelerated after demonetisation. Top 18 jewellers in the country now account for one-third of jewellery demand in the country, finds GFMS.

The consolidation of sales in the industry started a few years back when some retailers got organised and started expanding their presence to become regional and national chains. The top retailers also used hallmarking and sale of assayed jewellery to differentiate themselves in the market.

India moves to stub out tobacco industry rights

The Indian government is pushing the Su­preme Co­u­rt to apply a ra­rely used doctrine that would strip the $11 billion tobacco industry’s legal right to trade, an effort aimed at deterring tobacco companies from challenging tough new regulations. New Delhi has for the first time asked the top court to classify tobacco as “res extra commercium”, a Latin phrase meaning “outside co­mmerce,” according to a review of previously unreported court filing by the health ministry on January 8.