Cracking the mobile code – Is it good idea to jettison the website?

With the Big App Shopping sale in March this year, Flipkart bid adieu to its mobile website. Fashion major Myntra, which has already shut down its mobile website, is contemplating ditching the browser-based shopping altogether. Having an app is not just de rigueur now, e-commerce firms are actively pushing consumers to their apps and encouraging them to buy through them with attractive discounts and deals. From Amazon’s Appiness Day in November 2014 to Myntra’s Binge Weekend Sale and Snapdeal’s App Fest in February, it’s raining offers on mobile apps.

A large chunk of the e-retailers  say the shift to mobile app is aimed at creating focused marketing, thus reducing unnecessary expenses and providing best-in-class consumer experience. However, there are a number of considerations to take into account before committing investment to either a mobile website or an app.

Though apps are fast becoming the desired way for e-commerce players to interact with consumers, merchants do understand that it is neither easy nor advisable to force their customers to go down that route. According to a study conducted by ICM Research in the UK, a majority of the customers prefer to interact with retailers through their mobile websites and only download an app if they are incentivised to do so or if they are regular shoppers. However, the same consumers are far more likely to complete transactions through the retailers’ mobile app than through the mobile website. While this study was conducted in only one market, it clearly highlights a key trend: it is the consumer who wants the prerogative to decide how and when she wants to use her smartphone to shop.

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Via – Business Standard News

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Government constitutes National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

The Union Government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). The institution will serve as ‘Think Tank’ of the Government-a directional and policy dynamo. NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, this includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.

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via Press Information Bureau

Seven Things You Need To Know About GST Bill

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 19 October 2014. This Bill has faced stringent opposition from states in the past, the main reason why the bill couldn’t be passed by the previous Congress government.

The Bill seeks to rationalise state and central indirect taxes into a harmonised tax structure. Currently, companies pay multiple taxes at the state and central levels, which raises the prices of their products, making them less competitive compared with imports from China and other low-cost locations. The hassle and time wasted in filing myriad taxes also deters entrepreneurs and foreign companies from investing in India.

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via huffingtonpost.in

Everything you need to know: Land swap with Bangladesh

A Standing Committee has urged Parliament to bring a Bill to ratify the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh have a common land boundary of approximately 4,096.7 km. The India-East Pakistan land boundary was determined as per the Radcliffe Award of 1947. Disputes arose out of some provisions in the award.

The Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974, was signed on May 16, 1974, soon after the independence of Bangladesh, to find a solution to the complex nature of border demarcation. While Bangladesh ratified the agreement, India didn’t as it involved seceding territory and indicating these precise areas on the ground. The 1974 agreement provided that India would retain half of Berubari Union No. 12 and in exchange Bangladesh would retain the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves. The Agreement further provided that India would lease in perpetuity to Bangladesh a small area near Dahagram and Angarpota (the “Tin Bigha” corridor) for the purpose of connecting Dahagram and Angarpota with Bangladesh.

Finally the agreement was implemented in entirety, though India did not ratify, with the exception of three issues pertaining to un-demarcated land boundary of approximately 6.1 km in three sectors — Daikhata-56 (West Bengal), Muhuri River-Belonia (Tripura) and Lathitila-Dumabari (Assam); exchange of enclaves; and adverse possessions.

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via Indian Express

Wireless Implant Eliminates Bacteria, Then Dissolves

Researchers at the University of Tufts and University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana successfully delivered an antibiotic treatment to mice with a bacterial infection with what’s considered to be the first resolvable wireless electronic implant.

The wireless implant, made of silk and magnesium, delivered heat to infected tissue in the mice by a remote wireless signal. After the wireless treatment, the device harmlessly dissolved in the mice. This breakthrough research was recently published online the week of November 24-28, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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via Forbes.com

India set to become second-largest internet market

According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million or 30.2 crore by end of 2014, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world.

The Internet user base in the country is further estimated to grow to 35.4 crore by June 2015.

China has the largest user base with more than 60 crore Internet users, while the US has an estimated 27. 9 crore users.

Of the 27.8 crore users, 17.7 crore are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from 2013. This is expected to reach 19.0 crore by December 2014 and 21.6 crore by June 2015.

In rural India, the number of Internet users is expected to reach 11.2 crore by December 2014 and 13.8 crore by June 2015.

Global Terrorism Index 2014

According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization based in Sydney, Australia, the number of deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44 percent increase on the previous year.

The Index defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”.

“Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well,” the report said. 

According to the report, the three main factors behind with terrorism were State sponsored violence, such as extra-judicial killings, “group grievances” and high levels of crime. Levels of school attendance, poverty rates, and most economic factors, however, had no association with terrorism.