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Grapheme-based flexible screen developed; paves way for foldable electronic devices in future

Researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory of the Cambridge University for the very first time have developed a grapheme-based flexible screen. The advancement is important because it will lead to the development of next-generation high-tech wearable and foldable electronic devices in future. Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic demonstrated a flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels’ electronics.

Graphene-based flexible screen

The novel prototype is an effective matrix electrophoretic display, comparable to the screens used in today’s e-readers, excluding the fact that it is made of flexible plastic as an alternative of glass. The pixel electronics, or backplane of this display comprises a solution-processed graphene electrode, in contrast to conventional displays. It will substitute the sputtered metal electrode layer within Plastic Logic’s conventional devices, which will bring about the product and method benefits.

The newfangled 150 pixel per inch backplane was prepared at low temperatures (less than 100 degrees Celsius) by means of the Plastic Logic’s Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) technology. The prototype will quicken the commercial development of grapheme and is being considered as the first step in the direction of broader application of graphene and graphene-like materials into flexible electronics. The ultra-flexible graphene layer will permit a extensive range of products, involving foldable electronics.

About Graphene

Graphene is a 2D (two-dimensional) material comprising of sheets of carbon atoms. It is amongst the strongest, most lightweight and flexible materials identified, and has the capacity to revolutionize industries from healthcare to electronics. Graphene is more elastic than usual ceramic substitutes like Indium-Tin oxide (ITO) and more transparent than metal films. Graphene can be processed from solution bringing characteristic benefits of using more effective printed and roll-to-roll manufacturing methods. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of Russia won the Nobel Prize 2010 for research on graphene.

“Favouritism” in govt judgments down; India betters its global rank

India’s global ranking in favouritism shown by government officials to powerful corporates has bettered sharply from 94th in the last year to 49th place this year. The Rank nevertheless, still remains far below other key economies. As per a yearly study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), India’s ranking has also bettered notably in terms of public trust in politicians.

Qatar ranked 1st and is followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, UAE, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in top 10. 

The study says, moreover, India has bettered its position with respect to diversion of public funds and uneven payments and bribery at government institutions. In the BRICS block, India’s position is superior than that of Russia (87th), South Africa (104th) and Brazil (108th). But, it rests far below that of China (22nd).

Minsk Agreement (2014): Ukraine and Russia ceasefire agreement inked in Minsk

On September 5 2014, Representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) inked the Minsk Agreement (2014) to stop the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine. The agreement was inked after widespread talks in Minsk, Belarus, under the patronage of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The settlement, which followed numerous earlier efforts to stop fighting in the Donbass, put into action an instantaneous ceasefire.

Earlier at the NATO Wales Summit 2014, NATO leaders and European Union leaders expressed profound attentiveness and also enunciated about dialogue for a ceasefire. NATO leaders and Ukraine considers that rebels are equipped by the Russia.

The Minsk Agreement (2014)

It was drawn-up by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which comprised of representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE. The protocol of the Minsk Agreement consists of 12 points:

  1. Confirm an instant bilateral ceasefire.
  2. Confirm the supervising and confirmation by the OSCE of the ceasefire.
  3. A decentralization of power, via adoption of the law of Ukraine “about local government provisional arrangements in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts” (law on the special status).
  4. Confirm a long-lasting observation of the Ukrainian-Russian border and confirmation by the OSCE with the establishment of security zones in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
  5. To instantly let go all hostages and unlawfully imprisoned persons.
  6. A law on checking the trial and sentence of persons in link with the events that have taken place in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
  7. Resume the comprehensive national dialogue.
  8. To take courses to better the humanitarian condition in Donbass.
  9. Confirm speedy local elections in agreement with the law of Ukraine “about local government provisional arrangements in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts” (law on the special status).
  10. Pull out the unlawful armed groups, military equipment, as well as fighters and armed forces from Ukraine.
  11. To implement the program of economic recovery and reconstruction of Donbass region.
  12. To deliver personal security for the members in the discussions.

Also See: Ukraine Crises in Detail till date

Global Competitiveness List 2014-15: India slides down to 71st rank

Challenging economic environment for most of the last year has pushed India down to 71st position in an yearly Global Competitiveness List 2014-15, released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). India has the lowest position amongst the 5 BRICS Nations. Switzerland is the most competitive economy.

The yearly list, has come at a time when the fresh Modi Government has just completed 100 days in power. Thus it faces faces the test of bettering competitiveness and revitalizing the economy, which is at present growing at half the rate of 2010.

As per the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15 the Top 10 nations are as follows:-

1)   Switzerland

2)   Singapore

3)   United States

4)   Finland

5)   Germany

6)   Japan

7)   Hong Kong SAR

8)   Netherlands

9)   United Kingdom

10)  Sweden

Ranking Amongst the BRICS Nations:-

28) China

53) Russia

56) South Africa

57) Brazil

71) India

The decline in position of India by 11 places to 71st, set against the gains of the ASEAN 5 nations, indicates that the competitiveness divide South and Southeast Asia is becoming more noticeable. India’s downslide in the competitiveness rankings started in 2009, when its economy was still rising at 8.5% (it even grew by 10.3% in 2010).

Bettering competitiveness would bring in enormous profits for India, it would help re-balance the economy and shift the nation up the value chain warranting more solid and stable growth. This would in turn produce more employment opportunities for the India’s speedily rising population.”