Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2017

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Windows 8 in India (Win 7 v/s Win 8)

Microsoft unveils Windows 8 in India

Microsoft launched the latest version of its Operating System (OS) Windows 8 in India.

Windows 8 is designed to work across PCs, tablets as well as for smart phones.

image Some KEY Differences b/w WINDOWS 7 and WINDOWS 8 (Features that make WINDOWS 8 better than WINDOWS 7):

1. Metro interface:

A Touch-centric, Tiles-based User Interface. The most fundamental difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is the main interface. The Metro interface is the default home screen for Windows 8. The  Metro interface features a series of colorful tiles, each offering access to a discrete application and live information. Thus, one can see his/her emails in inbox without having to open an application.

2. Windows Store:

This is an online shop-front which is full of Windows apps – each designed to run on x86 Windows PCs, laptops and tablets, as well as ARM tablets and smartphones.

3. Easy cloud integration

Cloud integration is made central to Windows 8. Thus a potential to sync data to SkyDrive – there’s a SkyDrive app as well as the ability to save data to and from our cloud storage. Office 2013 apps have SkyDrive capabilities included, too.

4. Support for both x86 PCs and ARM tablets

What is ARM?

ARM (formerly Advanced RISC Machine, which was formerly Acorn RISC Machine) is a Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) developed by British company ARM Holdings.

As of 2009, ARM processors are used in nearly 90% of all embedded 32-bit RISC processors which are used extensively in consumer electronics, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablets, mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers.

Till now, Windows only supported x86-based Intel and AMD PCs but now with Windows 8, which will support devices running on ARM architecture.

5. Charms

‘Charms’ is a new implementation of the traditional Windows start bar. The Charms, or the Charms bar as its often called, refers to an opaque overlay that appears on the right side of the screen (or, on a multi-screen PC, the primary screen) when summoned. Its purpose is to provide quick access to several commonly-needed features, including search, sharing, the Start screen, hardware devices, and settings.

On an ordinary non-touch PC, charms are accessed by dragging the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen, to the same spot as the old Windows start button. On a tablet, you swipe from the right side of the screen to bring up charms.

6. Snap Multi-tasking

‘Snap multitasking” is designed to make it easy to run two apps in Windows 8 side-by-side, to resize them, and to switch between them.

7. Two Touch Keyboards

Windows 8 also contains two soft keyboards: an “enhanced” traditional keyboard, plus a new thumbs keyboard for non-touch typists.

8. Better Copy Experience

Windows 8 also introduces the ability to perform all current copy operations into a single dialog box, instead of requiring you to perform file copying in separate dialog boxes for each app.

9. Better multiple monitor support

Better Multi-Monitor support in Windows 8. With Windows 8 we can now have the Start Screen on one monitor and the desktop in another, or choose to have the Windows 8 Desktop and taskbar on both screens. We can also put a different background on each screen if you have multiple monitors.

10. Native USB 3.0 Support

New USB 3.0 ports operate at speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

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National Policy on Electronics 2012

‘National Policy on Electronics’ (NPE) cleared by the Government

The Union Cabinet cleared the National Policy on Electronics 2012.

Objective: By 2020, make the Indian domestic electronic hardware manufacturing segment into a $ 400 billion industry.

  • Government will create an ecosystem for a globally competitive ESDM (Electronic System and Design and Manufacturing) sector in India
  • To achieve a turnover of about $400 billion by 2020.
  • Investment of about $100 billion
  • The government will facilitate the provision of fiscal incentives for investment, setting up of electronic manufacturing clusters, preferential market access to domestically manufactured electronic products, setting up of semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities, industry friendly and stable tax regime.
  • Employment generation (around 28 million new jobs at various levels).
  • A high level Empowered committee has been constituted to identify and shortlist technology and investors for setting up 2 semiconductor wafer manufacturing fabrication facilities (electronic chip making plants).
  • Govt had earlier already approved a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured electronic goods.

The two schemes already approved by the Government which are linked to National Electronics Policy 2012 are:-

  1. Modified Special Incentive Package scheme.
  2. Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) scheme. 

What if the Government doesn’t takes the initiative at this stage?

  • If the government doesn’t takes this initiative, then it is estimated that at the current rate of growth, domestic production can ply to a demand of $100 billion by 2020 as against the now target demand of $400 billion.
  • The rest of the demand would have to be met by imports.
  • Thus, there would be an a demand-supply gap of almost $300 billion (=$400bn – $100bn)  by 2020.
  • It is also feared that if situation is rectified, by 2020, the Indian electronics’ import may exceed Indian oil imports.
  • Due to the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with several countries, the import of electronics hardware in India from these countries is allowed either at zero duty or at a duty which is lower than the normal duty rate. Thus, it puts Indian domestic manufacturers at a disadvantageous position.

* Indian domestic production in 2008—09 was worth about $20 billion.

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