Mobile number: What’s changing and what’s not

India’s telecom regulator Trai has announced that there will be no change in the mobile numbering scheme being followed currently. Issuing a clarification, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said that it has suggested only minor addition in the dialing pattern. Here’s all that may change and not change based on Trai’s recommendations …

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Trai has not recommended 11-digit numbering scheme for mobiles

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Trai has not recommended 11-digit numbering scheme for mobiles

In a statement, Trai said that it has categorically rejected moving to 11-digit numbering scheme for mobiles.

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India will continue to follow 10-digit numbering for mobile phones

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India will continue to follow 10-digit numbering for mobile phones

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What may change

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What may change

Trai has recommended adding ‘0’ while dialing mobile numbers from landlines

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Why this change

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Why this change

Trai says that this change in dialing pattern will generate 2544 million additional numbering resources for mobile services to cater to future requirements.

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What's similar

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What’s similar

In the current numbering scheme, adding ‘0’ to the number is mandatory while making inter-SDCA (short distance charging area) calls from a fixed line number to fixed line number. Adding ‘0’ is also must when calls are made from a mobile number to any fixed-line number

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What is not changing

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What is not changing

Trai in its recommendations has said that there needs to be no change in dialing plan for fixed-to-fixed, mobile-to-fixed, and mobile-to-mobile calls.

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What telecom companies say

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What telecom companies say

During the course of the consultation, most of the telecom operators opposed 11-digit numbering for mobile numbers. According to them, an 11-digit numbering scheme would lead to massive configuration modifications including software and hardware. This means an additional cost for telcos. For customers, it would cause and confusion and inconvenience.

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15 top window and split AC models that people are buying online

Youth tied to tree, burnt alive in UP’s Pratapgarh

Representative Image

PRAYAGRAJ: The brutal killing of a 22-year-old youth, who was tied to a tree and set ablaze in Bhujaini village under Fatanpur police station of Pratapgarh district, sparked off massive violence late on Monday night. Ambika Prasad Patel (22), a resident of Bhujaini village, was tied to a tree and set afire by the family of a woman with whom he was allegedly having an affair late on Monday evening.
The news of the youth’s killing spread like wildfire in the area and soon a crowd assembled and indulged in violence and arson when police arrived to pacify the agitators. The mob of infuriated locals attacked and chased away the policemen, went berserk and torched a police response vehicle (PRV) and a patrolling jeep.
On being alerted, senior police officials came along with additional police force from five neighbouring police stations, dispersed the agitators and the situation was brought under control.
Senior police officials, including IG Prayagraj range K P Singh and SP Pratapgarh Abhishek Singh are camping in the village to defuse the tension.
‘Old enmity main reason behind crime’
SP Abhishek Singh told TOI on Tuesday, “Investigations into the killing revealed old enmity as prime reason behind the incident. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the killing. The situation is under control and police teams are conducting raids to catch other accused offenders.”
The victim’s father, Ranvijay Patel lodged a complaint against Harishankar Patel, Subham Patel, Ram Milan and others after which police registered an FIR against them under Sections 302 and 201 of IPC. Hari Shankar Patel and Shubham Patel were arrested.
The trouble started on March 1, 2020 when Harishankar Patel, had lodged an FIR against Ambika Prasad Patel at Fatanpur police station under Sections 354 (A), 354 (B), 354 (C) and Section 67 of IT Act accusing him of passing lewd remarks on his daughter and uploading her vulgar pictures on social media. Ambika Prasad was arrested and he secured bail on April 1, 2020.

India to take on China in electronics production

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NEW DELHI: The government is taking China headon in the area of electronics manufacturing as it boosts efforts to attract local production of mobile phones and ancillaries, while creating fresh investments and jobs. The scheme is aimed at attracting large international manufacturers, while also empowering homegrown companies to emerge stronger and gain scale globally.
A production-linked scheme, which will give incentives worth Rs 50,000 crore on incremental output in the area of electronics manufacturing, is likely to help global companies such as Taiwanese Foxconn and Wistron (that manufacture iPhone and other products for Apple), South Korean Samsung, and homegrown players like Lava, Karbonn, Micromax, and Intex.
IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said India wants to attract the top five global mobile manufacturing companies and also promote five local firms, and these would be identified through a screening process.
Global phone companies with at least Rs 10,000 crore consolidated revenue in 2019-20 and selling handsets priced over Rs 15,000 a unit will be eligible for the incentive scheme, according to the guidelines issued by the government. Domestic companies need a minimum revenue of Rs 100 crore in 2019-20 to apply for the scheme and there is no cap on the price of handsets to be sold by them.
Prasad said India is the second-largest mobile manufacturing country in the world (behind China), and is aiming to lead the category globally. The government had notified three schemes on April 1 for the promotion of electronics manufacturing. These plans were Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors, modified electronics manufacturing clusters, and production-linked incentive for large-scale manufacturing. The minister said the government hopes to create 15-20 lakh direct and indirect jobs over few years on account of additional business. The schemes are estimated to take mobile production to Rs 8 lakh crore in value terms.

UP: Yr on, cops solve case of headless, armless body

MEERUT: When UP police found 19-year-old Ekta Jaswal’s body in a field last June, the arms — one with a tattoo of her name and another with that of the man she loved — had been severed to conceal her identity. She had also been decapitated, her clothes removed, to leave no clues about the BCom graduate from Ludhiana. But after a year-long chase, an investigation that spanned various states and six arrests, police have cracked the murder mystery that shook two towns — one in Punjab, the other in UP. At the heart of it lay a tale of love and deception and the sinister rage of a man who first called himself Aman but turned out to be Saqib.
On Tuesday, as Mohammad Saqib was being escorted to the lock-up by police after being arrested, the cold-blooded lover made a last-ditch attempt to flee but was shot in the leg and caught. “He had calculated every move, leaving no clues until we stumbled upon an interesting lead during our investigation,” said Meerut SSP Ajay Sahani.

On June 13 last year, the girl’s dismembered body was dug up from a field near Lohia village in Daurala region after a farmer spotted a dog carrying something that resembled a human arm. “There was no way to identify the victim. So we decided to trace mobile numbers in the area that were functional to look for clues,” said the SSP. The cops found something odd — one of the cell numbers was registered in Ludhiana instead of UP.
A team was sent to Ludhiana to go through the missing persons reports there. There was one that caught their eye — the daughter of a family that ran a thriving taxi business had disappeared in May, and family jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh had been stolen. Cops met the family which informed them that they suspected their daughter had eloped with her lover. But that she was still alive; she was constantly uploading her photos on social media. Except that it wasn’t her.
“Saqib was using her phone to do that,” said Sahani. The last photo he updated using Ekta’s account was just a week ago.
It had been an unlikely match from the start — Ekta, a well-educated, independent woman who aspired to get a government job, and Saqib, a school dropout who worked as an assistant at a shop that sold talismans in Ludhiana. Ekta, then working as an event manager, met Saqib at the shop. He introduced himself as Aman. It was early 2019 and their love blossomed.
“Saqib then took her to his home in Meerut where the girl realised for the first time that he belonged to a different faith. They had a fight following which Saqib spiked her drink and murdered her. Five of his kin, including his father, brother and sister-in-law, have also been arrested,” Sahani said.

Live: PM, Oz PM hold India-Oz virtual summit

Pakistan today surpassed China after recording 4,688 new cases during the last 24 hours to take the tally to 85,246.

China with 84,160 patients has been placed at 18th position, one step lower than Pakistan, according to the data of Johns Hopkins University. The Ministry of National Health Services today said till now Pakistan has witnessed the deaths of 1,770 patients with Covid-19, including 82 in the last 24 hours. Read more

Live: 47 more Maha Police personnel test positive

Indonesia reports 684 new coronavirus infections, 35 deaths

The total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country now is 28,233, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto. Yurianto announced 35 new deaths related to Covid-19, taking the total to 1,698, while 8,406 people have recovered.

India-China standoff: Several objectives at play

NEW DELHI: There is a larger dynamic at work in the India-China confrontation in Ladakh, one where India faces a pushback for trying to use the communist giant’s new post-Covid vulnerabilities to reduce its ability to flex muscle on the regional and global stage.
The Chinese intrusions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in east Ladakh reflect “salami tactics” it has used to expand territorial and strategic space, not the least looking to wear down an opponent psychologically. But it may also be a recognition that India is seeking to rework an equation that has allowed China to use the unsettled border and Pakistan to keep India off balance.
The LAC face-off may be resolved yet as the Chinese side has toned down its rhetoric but a strategic tussle is on. The Modi government’s moves to scrutinise Chinese investments is effectively a means to curb it. Pitching India as a welcoming destination to investors looking to leave China and being a part of a global effort to seek an investigation into the origin of coronavirus are not casual moves.
The strategic asymmetry is not going to change in a hurry even though China’s image has taken a massive blow. The Chinese leadership is adept at managing internal challenges and using the country’s huge reserves to sustain the economy. Its lending programmes will continue to lure poor countries and short-sighted leaders and its expansion in the South China Sea may not be easy to roll back.
The Indian resolve to stand its ground in east Ladakh clearly indicates that China will need to ultimately pull back. This may need some trade-offs, but India’s position is clear enough — China can use the element of surprise to get into Indian territory, but there will be no give or acceptance of a unilateral reordering of the LAC.
The Doklam experience has not been lost on China as India had moved into Bhutanese territory — disputed by Beijing — to stall a road being built by the PLA. The discussion on China’s reinforcements after the stand-off ended ignores that the area has been under its influence for long. What is significant is that a threat to India’s north-east was foiled.
The decision to nullify Article 370 was a bold move intended to end an ambiguity that has for decades given Pakistan and its mentor a handle to needle India. The chinks in the Chinese armour offer India a chance to further loosen the pincer grip, and China’s blowback is only to be anticipated.

Lt Generals to talk in bid to break LAC deadlock

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NEW DELHI: India and China will hold a top-level military meeting on June 6 in a bid to resolve the troop confrontation in eastern Ladakh, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday, while finally admitting that Chinese soldiers were present in “a sizeable number” in the high-altitude region.
Defence sources said the June 6 meeting is set to be raised to the level of lieutenant generals from the two armies, in a clear indication that the several rounds of talks between rival colonels, brigadiers and major generals have failed to break the deadlock in the month-long military stalemate.
Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen Y K Joshi visited Ladakh on Tuesday morning to review the operational situation with the Leh-based 14 Corps commander Lt-Gen Harinder Singh and other top officers. “Another meeting between major generals was held on Tuesday but it remained inconclusive. So, Lt Gen Singh is now likely to meet with his Chinese counterpart on June 6,” said a source.
The defence minister had confirmed last week that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had “come a little further than they used to earlier” to make the “situation different” this time from earlier military face-offs.
On Tuesday, in an interview to a television channel, Singh said the PLA soldiers were present in “achhi khasi sankhya” (sizeable number) but were being matched by Indian troops who had taken all necessary counter-measures.
Without going into either the number of PLA troops involved or how deep their intrusions were across the LAC, he said military and diplomatic talks were underway to resolve the confrontation like the earlier ones, including the 73-day Dokalm face-off in June-August 2017.
Indian and Chinese troops have been engaging in frequent scuffles and face-offs due to “differing perceptions” of the LAC and their respective “claim lines” for a long time. “I think China also needs to think about this very seriously so that we can fully resolve this dispute,” Singh said.
As reported by TOI earlier, PLA troops intruded around 1-3 km into what India considers to be its territory in eastern Ladakh early last month. This was primarily to oppose India building feeder link roads and bridges in the “finger areas” (mountainous spurs) on the northern bank of Pangong Tso and near the Galwan river after completing the strategically crucial 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie road, which provides access to the Depsang area and Galwan Valley while ending near the Karakoram Pass.
Since then, the tense eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation at the four-five locations in the Galwan Valley region (patrolling points 14-15 and Gogra post), Pangong Tso (Finger 4-5 area) and Demchok has continued, with both sides reinforcing their positions with additional troops and heavy weapons within their territories as a formidable show of strength.
The PLA troops at the face-off sites, for instance, are backed by well over 5,000 soldiers as well as artillery guns and armoured vehicles amassed within Chinese territory across the LAC. India has more than matched the PLA build-up by moving forward troops of the Leh-based 3 Infantry Division (each division has 10,000-12,000 soldiers) into their ‘operational alert areas’, with several battalions (each has 800 soldiers) also being moved into Ladakh from other areas, as was first reported by TOI on May 24.

Live: No major impact of Cyclone Nisarga in Guj

After a wait of 72 hours, Cyclone Nisarga made a thumping landfall at Shriwardhan-Dive Agar in Raigad district, hitting coastal Maharashtra with full fury. Due to the impact of the gusting winds, many trees and electric poles fell down in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. As per the India Meteorological Department, the landfall process started around 12.30pm near Alibaug, 95km from the capital city. Stay with TOI for all updates.

Live: Heavy rain in Mumbai, trees uprooted as Nisarga makes landfall

Indian Coast Guard mobilises eight teams

Indian Coast Guard Region (West) has mobilised eight disaster relief teams in Maharashtra to respond to any humanitarian assistance and disaster relief due to cyclone Nisarga. The teams have been stationed at the coastal areas of Dahanu, Mumbai, Murud, Janjira, and Ratnagiri. (ANI)

Cyclone live: Power disruption in 4 Maha districts

Extremely heavy rainfall is very likely to occur at isolated places in Raigad, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik districts and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Thane, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Ahmednagar, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara districts in Maharashtra during the next two-and-half hours: IMD

Children’s jewellery in india

Indians love jewellery for its opulence and symbolism, and if there’s one area of the jewellery business that lies totally untapped, it’s the children’s jewellery market. Don’t we start buying jewellery for children as soon as they are born, but there’s more to the world of children’s jewellery than bracelets and charms.
So, why is children’s jewellery not huge in India? We got in touch with the some biggies of the Indian jewellery market to get the answer to this question and also find out what is trending in this specialised area.
According to Abhineet Boochra, Director – Sangeeta Boochra & Silver Centrre, there are not many companies selling children’s jewellery In india and it is not even an organized market. The label is one of the very few companies that got into this ahead of the market and have been selling children’s jewellery for many years now, for age ranging from 3 months to 15 years.

nazariya

(Bead and chain white gold bracelet from Candere by Kalyan Jewellers)
Boochra suggests that Indian consumers mostly buy nazariya (protection charm), stud earrings, anklets, bangles, bracelets, small pendants, and toys like a bell or a car, and that’s the reason for the industry being so limited.

But, Boochra feels that with the increasing influence of social media, children of growing age have also become direct consumers of jewellery as they are aware of the products available online for their age group and they put their choice in front of their parents, which is an interesting change observed lately.

Children’s jewellery is no longer just about that classic feel, it needs to be very much on trend, whether it’s the metal colour, the theme or character of the season. “Children are very much in touch with current trends so the jewellery needs to be relevant. Currently, our best sellers are enamel stud earrings and bracelets,” says Boochra.

UT00518-YG0000_1_lar

(Ganesha infant bracelet from CaratLane)

Another, very important factor that dominates this market is the fact that people are always on a lookout for a thoughtful gift for a newborn or to celebrate a child’s birthday as it’s a very big occasion in India.

Speaking of the trends dominating the market right now, Boochra suggests that white and rose gold options are a hit with children. “Baby brooches is a big market with different enamel or pink shade or a light blue and a violet, off green. This technique involves meenakari work on fine jewellery,” adds the jeweller.

Kids are fast becoming a decisive bunch when it comes to jewellery. Megha Malik from Resa Fine Jewellery feels there aren’t many options for three to eight-year-old demographic so the demand for stylish, inspirational, high-quality jewellery for kids is strong. “I feel the key to fulfilling the demand in this area is great product at the right price. The most popular styles are our offering of bangles; they are well-priced and can fit a wide range of children during their growth and development,” says Megha.

According to Megha, the current trends include bracelets and bangles. “They are more popular these days than brooches, and young parents seem to like white gold and silver pieces. Also, kids have a lot of influence, and they often pick jewellery based on their favourite colour or what they’re interested in at that time,” adds Megha.

Children’s jewellery has well and truly moved on from its traditional beginnings. With the category expanding to cater to increasingly-savvy boys and girls, jewellers are doing their best to embrace what this slice of the market desires.

ambrus (1)

(Kids charm bracelet by Ambrus Jewels)

Jewellery for children has always had a foot – or tiptoe – in the market, starting with traditional items such as christening bangles and commemorative brooches. “These days the category has well and truly evolved and now encompasses charm bracelets, earrings and pearls that cater to budding fashionistas,” feels Arpit Goyal of Ambrus Jewels.

“I have noticed a steady growth in this category over the last few years,” adds Arpit, According to him, studs and adjustable bangles are the top performers, particularly engravable pieces that can be personalised and which give us an opportunity to add sentimental value to a sale.
“There has definitely been more of a demand for sterling silver bracelets and bangles for children. Another trend that is huge in this segment is rose gold. Girls love pink and hence their love for the metal is explainable.” he concludes.
Thumb image courtesy: CaratLane
Disclaimer: Content Produced by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

The age of bejewelled gadgets

Smart and stylish wearable gadgets have become more fashionable than ever. While tech has transformed the world of clothes, now it’s also claiming a spot in jewellery to satisfy the surge of personal adornment. “Innovation and style go hand in hand. Imagine taking a call from your bracelet, a small example of what the future holds,” comments Akanksha Pandey, Jr Fashion Editor, Verve. We may not have a phone bracelet yet, but we can track a lot with a beautiful bauble on our wrist. Let’s explore how the wearable tech is getting a stylish update.
A few years ago in 2014, Intel launched a smart bracelet with high-tech features. The bracelet called MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) featured 18-carat gold finishing and a sapphire glass screen, which displayed notifications from Google, Facebook and a few other apps. While Intel intended on blurring the lines between gadgets and jewellery, it was never able to attain much success with this accessory.
The trend of bejewelled headphones soon gained its momentum in 2016. Pop singer Rihanna also made a case for trendy headgear. She posted a photo of hers online wearing embellished headsets with a crown design by Dolce & Gabbana X Frends. Reportedly, the gadget sold out within 24 hours of her photo going viral.

Rihanna

(Rihanna wearing the Dolce & Gabbana headphones)

Beats by Dre, a popular headphones brand also started offering bling accessories. Their crystal-encrusted headsets have been a big hit among female consumers. They also experimented with 24-carat-gold finish design for male consumers.

Beats by Dre

(Beats by Dre X Swarovski headphones; Image: Crystal Rocked)

While the market of headphones continues to grow, in the last few years a new market has emerged for wireless earphones. As per reports, Apple sold 60 million AirPods (wireless earphones) in 2019. And, now imagine them doubling up as earrings. A Brazil-based jewellery designer, Bia Tambelli designed B-tech charms for AirPods. Made with precious stones, these charms easily fit over the AirPods, adding sparkle to your ears.

Airpod jewellery

(Bia Tambelli B-Tech charms)

Over the last few years, the wearable market has ascended strongly. According to the data of International Data Corporation’s, basic wearable tech dominated the market with a 96.2 % share, up 177% YoY in 2019, while smart wearables accounted for 3.8% of the overall shipments rising by 49.5%.

Interestingly, the smartwatch market also led the watch category with 61.1% share in 2019 ( Inputs by Economic Times). Fossil and Apple were the leading vendors last year. Lagos, an American jewellery company offers unisex jewellery bracelets just for Apple Watches in 18K gold, silver and diamonds.

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(Lagos Smart Caviar Diamond Watch Bracelet)

In the quest for smart jewellery, luxury lifestyle brands also ventured into the market of tech, giving many accessories a stylish update. Tory Burch collaborated with Fitbit and transformed the popular fitness tracker into a stylish piece of jewellery. The collection features pendant necklace, bracelets and wristbands with Tory Burch brand logo.

Tory Burch Fitbit

(Tory Burch X Fitbit collection)

Michael Kors also experimented with this segment and launched their very own bracelet with a fitness tracker. Their bracelets feature ‘mother of pearl’, which tracks your fitness and also looks pretty on your wrist.

Michael Kors

(Michael Kors Activity Tracker)

Thumb image courtesy: Lagos Jewellery

Disclaimer: Content Produced by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Things to keep in mind while buying jewellery online

The times have changed and the future looks bleak, thanks to an unexpected virus that suddenly upturned the world. Coronavirus has changed the way we look at things and as we struggle to move forward, we are changing our old habits. Most of us have not ordered from our favourite restaurant in days, not visited the gym and not caught up with a friend for coffee. But one thing that has been more or less constant is online shopping, that has been a savior of sorts for all the people locked up at home to protect themselves from the deadly virus. And, as things start to open up with social distancing becoming a norm of sorts, it won’t be surprising to see people not thronging malls but ordering things online – from food, clothes, books to jewellery. While the first three things on the list don’t require so much vigilance before placing the order, jewellery is one thing that needs a lot of research and thought, and if you plan to buy some jewellery to pep you up from the current sadness, here’s a look at some things you need to keep in mind before pressing the place order tab.

check

Be sure of the design

Mrinalini Chandra, a popular Indian couture jewellery designer feels one needs to keep in mind some factors while buying jewellery online. “When buying jewellery online, one must be careful of zooming it enough to know the finish and the colour that you are going to get. In some cases, what you receive may vary from what your ordered because the piece can look different on the screen at times but overall, the designs are more or less the same, and what you see is what you get,” says Chandra.
Check the weight

Mrinalini feels the weight of the piece is something one must also make sure of. “Normally, we do write on the website and a lot of people do that – when you are buying some earrings or something, the weight is mentioned so you can just sort of get an assessment of how heavy would they be,” says the designer.

quality

Be sure of the quality

By the year 2020, the online fine jewellery and fashion jewellery market is expected to capture 10 to 15% of the jewellery market, respectively. And while buying jewellery online can be convenient, it is wise to proceed with caution and make sure your purchase is legitimate and arrives in your hands whole and beautiful.

Megha Malik of RESA Fine Jewellery feels the very first consideration must be the purity of the jewellery. Purity of gold jewellery ranges from 18 carat to 22 carat normally but it can vary.

“The best way to assure purity is to check hallmarking on the jewellery. In case, you are purchasing any diamond or precious stones the quality certificate of the gems/diamonds can ascertain you about the reliability of gems/diamonds,” suggests Megha.

“Labour, wastage ,polish are charged differently based on the type of making of the jewellery. Some making processes cost low and others cost real fortune to the maker. It’s upon the taste of the customer what they want to wear and how much they are ready to spend on the making of a jewellery item,” adds Megha.

return

Credibility is important

There are a whole lot of things to be considered, but one of the most important things has to be the credibility of the online platform and the number of years that they have been in the business. Arpit Goyal of Ambrus Jewels suggests that the buyer should first read the testimonials as they will give him/her an insight on the experience of others. “Next, go through the specifications with a fine tooth comb. If the jewellery is studded with stones, the carat of each must be clearly mentioned in the specifications. Find out whether a certificate in this regard will be provided which must also include other details like the weight of the item. Finally, the return policy of the online store should be scrutinized in detail. Will you get back cash or store credit which you are unlikely to use in future?,” feels Arpit.
“Any consideration of these questions will empower you as a consumer to avoid being duped. After all, the best purchases are never made on a whim, but rather after careful consideration,” explains the jeweller.
Mrinalini agrees with Arpit when she says that in the age of everything being online, you have the possibility of exchanging and returning. “I think one must definitely try that because it’s a lot of fun and you can sit at home and take your time and understand and then order, instead of when you are at the store, it’s sort of like a pressure because you have to make a decision right then. So online shopping, gives you that possibility to think about it and take a final call and in case you don’t like it you have the possibility of sitting at home and getting it exchanged or returned. That is something that saves you that effort, your choices are much more and you can compare maybe pieces from one website to another. Instead of going to the store and having to do that and may be it is not in your city, so something like that is really the best part of having things online,” elaborates the designer.

Thumb image courtesy: Mrinalini Chandra


Disclaimer: Content Produced by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council

Facebook’s answer to Zoom is Messenger Rooms

Facebook's answer to Zoom is Messenger Rooms
Video calling apps have taken off like never before and Zoom is one of them that has become the talk of the tech town. Every company has been tweaking its apps to counter Zoom and now Facebook has introduced new features to take on Zoom.

The social media platform announced that it is rolling out new products, including Messenger Room, a tool that will allow 50 people to video call at the same time. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new features in a live stream today.

Messenger Rooms will be rolled out this week in some countries and expand to the rest of the world in the coming weeks. The room creator will have control over who to add and whether to make it open for all. Users will be able to start a room directly from the Messenger or Facebook app. Facebook said that it has plans to bring the rooms feature to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and even Portal. It will not be mandatory to have a Facebook account to join Messenger Rooms.
If your friends or communities create rooms that are open to you, you’ll see them directly on Facebook. “When you’re invited to a room, you can join from your phone or computer — no need to download anything to get started,” the company said in a blog post.

Facebook said that Rooms has been built keeping in mind user privacy. “We built Rooms with privacy and safety top of mind so you can feel comfortable connecting with your friends, family and communities,” the company said in a blog post. Further it said it doesn’t view or listen to users’ calls. “The person who creates the room controls who can join, who sees the room, and if the room is locked or unlocked to new guests.”


Ever since the coronavirus pandemic forced countries into lockdown, people are more reliant on video calling apps. Zoom has more than 300 million users now — up from 10 million in December — whereas apps like Houseparty have gained immense popularity as well. With Messenger Rooms, Facebook plans to take on them.

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This message may crash your iPhone, iPad

If you use an Apple device, here’s an important ‘warning’. A new text bomb is crashing iPhones, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac. This string of characters includes Italian flag emoji and some Sindhi characters.

According to a report by 9to5Mac, users have reported receiving this string of text as notification on their Apple devices. On iPhones, the bug is said to affect those running the latest iOS13.4.1.

As per the report, ‘’When an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch receives a notification with this text string, things get wonky. Sometimes, your device will crash, while other times it completely stops responding to touch input, and much more.’’

As per an update to the report, a patch has already been rolled out to devices running the latest iOS 13.4.5 beta. This reveals that Apple is aware of the issue, and a fix for other devices may be on the way soon.

So far it is not known how and where this text originated. It is being shared across platforms including iMessages, Twitter and more. The report links it to a Telegram group.

Incidentally, a tweet by EverythingApplePro shows that the Italian flag emoji is not a must in this text bomb. Apple devices are crashing even when the message just includes just the Sindhi language characters.

A temporary fix, as per the report, is to disable notifications on Apple device.
If you wondering what to do in case you receive the notification? “Thankfully, if you do receive a message with the text string in it, you can reboot your device and things should be back to normal,” says the report.
To recall, back a similar kind of bug affected Apple devices in 2018. It was found that a Telugu language character corrupted iPhones if it was received in a message, in a document or pasted into a text field. If users got the particular character in a notification on the handset, it could block the iPhone’s entire Springboard (the system software that manages the Home). Apple issued a fix for the same within hours.

Apple & Google to ‘use’ your phone to fight Covid

Almost two weeks back two of the world’s biggest tech companies — Apple and Google — announced that they would work together to help in the fight against coronavirus pandemic. The two companies announced their plans of helping governments, health agencies across the world with the help of contact tracing, apps among other things. Now, Apple and Google have outlined their plans in detail and addressed one big worry: that of user privacy. Here we list out 15 things that you need to know about how Apple and Google will use your phone to fight coronavirus:

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The two companies intend to use the power of Bluetooth to help in contact tracing

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The two companies intend to use the power of Bluetooth to help in contact tracing

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Apps made by governments/public health authorities to be available by May

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Apps made by governments/public health authorities to be available by May

Apple and Google will release application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow contact tracing apps from public health authorities to work across Android and iOS devices

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Apps will undergo rigorous checks before they are approved

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Apps will undergo rigorous checks before they are approved

These apps will be approved only if they are “administered in conjunction with public health authorities, meet our privacy requirements, and protect user data,” said Apple and Google.

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The second phase will use smartphone’s operating system (Android and iOS)

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The second phase will use smartphone’s operating system (Android and iOS)

In the next few months Apple and Google plan to have OS level updates to help ensure broad adoption in contact tracing. No apps will be needed when this rolls out.

…Read more

Smartphones are important in slowing down the pandemic

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Smartphones are important in slowing down the pandemic

Phones offer an automated solution that scales to understand when people are exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. “This gives valuable anonymous data to public health authorities to make the best decisions to slow down COVID-19,” the two companies said.

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Contact-tracing from Apple and Google will only be available to be used by apps from public health authorities

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Contact-tracing from Apple and Google will only be available to be used by apps from public health authorities

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The apps approved will have access to Bluetooth beacon data but will retain user privacy and security

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The apps approved will have access to Bluetooth beacon data but will retain user privacy and security

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Apple and Google are working with public health authorities to see how users may be contacted about the available apps

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Apple and Google are working with public health authorities to see how users may be contacted about the available apps

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Apple and Google will highlight contact tracing apps when they become available on their app stores.

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Apple and Google will highlight contact tracing apps when they become available on their app stores.

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Anyone who tests positive for the virus will not be identified by the system to other users, nor to Apple or Google

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Anyone who tests positive for the virus will not be identified by the system to other users, nor to Apple or Google

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No location data will be collected

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No location data will be collected

The two companies specified that, “This system does not collect location data from your device, and does not share the identities of other users to each other, Google or Apple”

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The two companies will not share data with governments and authorities, except in two cases

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The two companies will not share data with governments and authorities, except in two cases

If a user chooses to report a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 to their contact tracing app, only then specific data will be shared. The second case is if a user is notified through their app that they have come into contact with an individual who is positive for COVID-19 then the system will share the day the contact occurred, how long it lasted and the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact. No other information will be shared

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Google and Apple will have the authority to disable the tech being deployed once it’s not needed

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Google and Apple will have the authority to disable the tech being deployed once it’s not needed

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No user will be ‘forced’ to use these apps or technology

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No user will be ‘forced’ to use these apps or technology

“Users have explicit choice whether or not to turn on and use COVID-19 contact-tracing,” Apple and Google representatives said.

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Apple and Google will not monetise the project at all

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Apple and Google will not monetise the project at all

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State Bank of India tells customers to follow these 6 tips while banking online

HS examinees hammer teacher

KALYANI: An invigilator on Monday was hammered on the head by students for reportedly stopping them from copying in the higher secondary exam a few days ago.
A bleeding Joydeb Mondal was taken to Kalyani JNM Hospital, where he received six stitches.
The school authority lodged a complaint.
Mondal is a science teacher at Alaipur Monorama Shikshaniketan. The H S exam of Madanpur Boys’ High School, Shikarpur Vivekananda Boys’ High School and Shikarpur Vivekananda Girls’ High School are being held here.
Mondal was going to school from Madanpur rail station on a cycle around 9.45 am. Near Jamadarpara, a masked youth on a two-wheeler along with another riding pillion hit him with a piece of wood on the head. They were in school uniform of blue pants and white shirt. When Mondal fell on the ground, one of them hit him again on the head.
The locals took a bleeding Mondal to a hospital.
The political science exam was held on March 23. “I had stopped five-six students of Madanpur Boys School from copying,” said Mondal.
Koushik Roy, a teacher of Monorama Shikshaniketan who had taken his colleague to hospital, said: “The miscreants had covered their faces… but they are probably from Madanpur.”