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Indian designers wish to see Britain’s couple in Indian attire

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 New Delhi: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are set for their maiden visit to India on April 10, and Indian designers are hoping that they add an Indian element to their classy dressing style.

Whether it is about using any indigenous crafts of India, choosing traditional saris or even dresses in Indian weaves, designers would like to see the uber stylish Duchess of Cambridge in something close to the country’s heritage.

In fact, she seemed to have made quite a ‘diplomatically’ impressive decision when she chose to wear an India-born designer’s creation when she had to welcome Indian and Bhutanese expats who live, work and study in Britain to Kensington Palace in London.

British royal couple to attend Bollywood gala in Mumbai

As for Prince William, Indian designers feel he would carry off a tussar tuxedo or a Nehru jacket with panache.

Ace designer Ritu Beri, who was among the first Indians to storm the catwalks of Paris over two decades ago, feels the good looking couple that they are, “she’d love to give them a modern flavour with an Indian touch” in clothes.

“I would definitely dress up Kate in a bright colour but without embroidery. To Prince William, I would give a Nehru jacket,” Beri told IANS.

Rahul Mishra, another name in the Indian fashion Industry who is doing wonders globally and is a regular on the Paris runway, wants to pick some pieces from his recent showcasing in Paris for Kate Middleton.

“I would like to dress the Duchess of Cambridge in beautiful bandhini in the form of western deconstructed kurta kind of look from my recent Paris show,” Mishra told IANS, adding that the idea behind choosing bandhini is because she is coming to India and it’s a very Indian craft”.

Mishra considers Kate “a breath of fresh air as a style icon”.

Designer Samant Chauhan, who works extensively with Bhagalpuri silk in his creations, would like the royal couple to add some silk to their wardrobe in India.

“I would suggest Kate Middleton a Bhagalpuri silk sari with nice jacket style blouse as I feel she is very classy and her personality oozes elegance. For Prince William, a tuxedo in tussar silk fabric in dark brown shade with plain white shirt and nice pocket square will work really well,” Chauhan told IANS.

A long and slim skirt in an ivory or cream with tone on tone hand embroidery can also look great on Kate, says designer Payal Jain.

“This could be highlighted with precious detailing like pearls and shells. It will be subtle and delicate. It can be teamed with a structured silk jacket, just covering the waist. The neck could be diving to allow for a simple pearl strand but, devoid of any embroidery,” she told IANS.

For Prince William, a taste of the local culture would be appropriate, Jain said, adding: “I would dress him in a black cashmere herringbone bandhgala suit. The fabric itself is exquisite and rich and does not need any embellishment. The lining could be vibrant, inspired by the age-old pashmina shawls of India.”

After flying to Mumbai on April 10, the royal couple will travel to New Delhi on April 11. They will be in Assam on April 12 and 13 to visit the Kaziranga National Park and pay tribute to the rural traditions of the communities who live around the park.

The royal couple will travel on April 14 to the neighboring Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and return on April 16 to Agra for a visit to the Taj Mahal, a Unesco World Heritage monument, at the conclusion of their two-nation tour. (IANS)

 

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WhatsApp Announces 20 Teams To Curb Fake News Globally

In India, WhatsApp has partnered with the Digital Empowerment Foundation to train community leaders in several states on how to address misinformation

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WhatsApp selects 20 teams to curb fake news globally, including India. Pixabay

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday announced that it has selected 20 research teams worldwide – including experts from India and those of Indian origin — who will work towards how misinformation spreads and what additional steps the mobile messaging platform could take to curb fake news.

Shakuntala Banaji from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Anushi Agrawal and Nihal Passanha from Bengaluru-based media and arts collective “Maraa” and Ramnath Bhat from LSE have been selected for the paper titled “WhatsApp Vigilantes? WhatsApp messages and mob violence in India”.

The research examines the ways in which WhatsApp users understand and find solutions to the spate of “WhatsApp lynchings” that has killed over 30 people so far.

The Indian government has also directed WhatsApp to take necessary remedial measures to prevent proliferation of fake and, at times, motivated/sensational messages on its platform.

Among others selected were Vineet Kumar from Ranchi-headquartered Cyber Peace Foundation (principal investigator), Amrita Choudhary, President of the Delhi-based non-profit Cyber Café Association of India (CCAOI) and Anand Raje from Cyber Peace Foundation.

They will work as a team on the paper titled “Digital literacy and impact of misinformation on emerging digital societies”.

P.N. Vasanti from Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi woll work withS. Shyam Sundar, The Pennsylvania State University (Principal Investigator) to examine the role of content modality in vulnerability to misinformation, under the topic titled “Seeing is Believing: Is Video Modality More Powerful in Spreading Fake News?”

WhatsApp had issued a call for papers in July this year and received proposals from over 600 research teams around the world.

“Each of the 20 research teams will receive up to $50,000 for their project (for a total of $1 million),” WhatsApp said in a statement.

Lipika Kamra from O.P. Jindal Global University and Philippa Williams from the Queen Mary University of London (Principal Investigator) will examine the role of WhatsApp in everyday political conversations in India, in the context of India’s social media ecosystem.

According to Mrinalini Rao, lead researcher at WhatsApp, the platform cares deeply about the safety of its over 1.5 billion monthly active users globally and over 200 million users in India.

whatsapp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We appreciate the opportunity to learn from these international experts about how we can continue to help address the impact of misinformation,” Rao said.

“These studies will help us build upon recent changes we have made within WhatsApp and support broad education campaigns to help keep people safe,” she added.

The recipients are from countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, the UK and US.

WhatsApp said it is hosting them in California this week so they can hear from product leaders about how it builds its product.

“Given the nature of private messaging – where 90 per cent of the messages sent are between two people and group sizes are strictly limited – our focus remains on educating and empowering users and proactively tackling abuse,” said the company.

WhatsApp recently implemented a “forward label” to inform users when they received a message that was not originally written by their friend or loved one. To tackle abuse, WhatApp has also set a limit on how many forwards can be sent.

In India, WhatsApp has partnered with the Digital Empowerment Foundation to train community leaders in several states on how to address misinformation.

Also Read- Facebook Blocks Accounts Engaged in Malicious Activities

“We are also running ads in several languages — in print, online, and on over 100 radio stations — amounting to the largest public education campaign on misinformation anywhere in the world,” the company noted.

Sayan Banerjee from University of Essex, Srinjoy Bose from University of New South Wales and Robert A. Johns from University of Essex will study “Misinformation in Diverse Societies, Political Behaviour & Good Governance”.

Santosh Vijaykumar from Northumbria University, Arun Nair from Health Systems Research India Initiative and Venkat Chilukuri, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology are part of the team that will study “Misinformation Vulnerabilities among Elderly during Disease Outbreaks”. (IANS)