Category Archives: News

Xbox Cloud Gaming Will Recieve Keyboard And Mouse Support.

As has been hinted before, Xbox Cloud Steaming will add mouse and keyboard support to its streaming service. This comes several years after the addition of mouse and keyboard support to Xbox consoles.

The long-anticipated feature was revealed during a developer focused talk delivered by Morgan Brown, a software engineer at Xbox. During the presentation, Brown outlined how the Xbox Cloud Gaming team plans to reduce latency and assist developers in optimizing their game’s resolution and graphics for streaming. He clarified that mouse and keyboard support for Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming and that developers should work on adding it to their games. “It will light up in streaming once we finish adding it” he stated

Xbox Cloud Gaming supports Xbox games specifically, so you can’t use the service to play PC games, or versions of games, on your phone or computer. However, this this feature does eliminate the need to have a compatible controller in addition to a compatible device, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Membership, and a high speed internet connection. The addition of a mouse and keyboard will also players to play on the cloud from their laptop or computer without an additional peripheral.

No details as to when the feature will arrive, though the encouragement of developers to add keyboard and mouse support to their games indicates that it will come soon.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

The School closure in India

In the last two years , India has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the country with the second longest COVID-19 pandemic-linked school closure in the world–next only to Uganda. According to a United Nations report ,it is an estimated 82 weeks , with some intermittent classes in between . Much has been said ,written and published about the impact of school closure on learning loss. However,there has been very limited discourse on why—inspite of scientific evidence to support re-opening —Indian states continued to remain reluctant to reopen schools . Analysing the root causes of school closure in India is an urgent need to derive lessons and to guide future policy interventions .

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Bane of misinformation

To start with, one of the biggest reasons for continued school closure has been widespread misinformation. Unsubstantiated statements such as ‘the third wave would affect children ‘ and ‘let’s wait for vaccination of kids before reopening schools ‘ were made by influential individuals and amplified on social media . These scared parents and ( incorrectly) linked school reopening with COVID-19 vaccination of children. Occasional reports of children being hospitalised in different parts of the world were on loop on television channels , sensationalising the matter ; while it boosted their target rating point (TRP) ,it harmed hapless children.

Two, the opinion of a small section of privileged parents and self proclaimed representatives of their association — often not fully understanding the complexity of issues — dominated and prevailed in the mainstream discourse. Though surveys had indicated that poor and middle class parents – no matter which part of the country they were from — wanted schools to be open ,they were largely ignored in decision making , which was also influenced by ‘sensational ‘ newspaper reports and high pitched TV debates. Many experts-on-everything appeared on television channels with the argument ‘ let’s err on the side of caution ‘ , as if epidemiological and scientific evidence were of no value .

Every time privileged parents or an ‘expert on everything’ spoke, they deprived children from poor and marginalised backgrounds of their opportunity of and right to education. It needs no reiteration that, in the last two years, already wide educational inequities have only widened further.

Three, the Government’s response, at all levels, to the misinformation was delayed and arguably insufficient. Though science communication increased over a period of time, it did not match the pace of misinformation. Politicians in most States played to the gallery and used the opposition (by a small group of the mostly privileged) to re-open schools as an excuse to delay school reopening.

  • The learnings during the novel coronavirus pandemic have been (wrongly) equated with completion of the syllabus.
  • Continued school closure and a hesitation in reopening academic institutions are the symptoms of a deeper malady in India’s education system.

NIGHTINGALE OF INDIA LATA MANGESHKAR

Lata Mangeshkar whose voice defined not one or two decades but generations across South Asia, died in hospital in Mumbai at the age of 92. She worked with nearly all of INDIA’S famous music directors over a career that spanned more than 70 years.

HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

If we start taking about her accomplishments, the list goes on and on. She started out singing at religious gatherings with her father. She recorded her first song for Bollywood when she was just 13 years old. She won dozens of singing awards including Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1989, Maharashtra Bhusan award and she was also awarded the Bharat Ratna , India’s highest civilian honour , in 2003. The government of France conferred on her its highest civilian award, Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, in 2007.

MY VOICE IS A GIFT FROM GOD,” she once told an interviewer. Her songs were always filled with emotions and made almost everyone fell in love with her voice . Condolences poured in from entire world on her demise. From Pakistan to Nepal everybody tweeted for her , as it was not just the end of an era but end of many eras. Prime minister Narendra Modi described her death as a ” void in our nation that cannot be filled”.

Mangeshkar never married . She is survived by her four siblings, all accomplished singers and musicians .

the tourism industry

Today’s article aims to ruin yet another thing people like- travelling. Who doesn’t love vacations We get to take a break from our daily monotonous lives and experience different cultures, see the beautiful local architecture, eat local food etc. Not only is it relaxing for the tourist, but also beneficial for the locals. Many countries around the world depend on tourism. It brings in money and supports local economies. In 2019, about 4.2 crore jobs were created by the tourism sector alone in India, which accounts for 8.1 % of the total employment in the country. However, there are two sides to every coin, and the other side is unknown to many.

Let’s start with travelling. Getting to your destination requires some sort of travelling by planes, trains, cars etc. The main problem with the aviation industry is of noise and air pollution. In 2010, the aviation industry carried 2.4 billion passengers and that number is predicted to increase to 16 billion by 2050. It also produces 2% of all human-induced carbon dioxide emissions globally. Choosing to avoid flying and taking a cruise instead? Good luck with that. A week’s worth of travel on a cruise is responsible for depositing about 210,000 gallons of human sewage into the ocean. It is also accompanied by many other problems like air pollution and destruction of coral reefs. If that isn’t enough, they also mistreat their workers. Cruise ship workers suffer many problems like long work hours, terrible pay, and inadequate healthcare.

Now, assuming that you’ve reached your destination, the troubles don’t end there. Often the locals have to go through hell, just so that the tourists can live luxuriously. Although it cannot be denied that the employment bought in by this industry is necessary, people fail to look at the kind of jobs being created. The main kind of employment created is low wage and seasonal, with no hopes of any promotion in them. Tourism is also expensive, and prices tend to be higher in tourist destinations. This means that the locals have to pay exorbitantly high prices for daily products like petrol, vegetables, fruits etc. The governments sadly pay more attention and give more importance to the tourists rather than their people.

Even animals cannot escape the adverse effects of tourism. Wildlife tourism is a multimillion-dollar industry and causes great harm to animals in their natural habitats. Endangered animals are drugged just so people can take photos with them, to flaunt their lifestyles on social media. Scuba diving is an activity enjoyed by many on vacations. Yet, its impact on marine life cannot be ignored. Breakage of coral colonies and tissue damage from direct contact such as walking, touching, kicking, standing, or gear contact and water pollution is common in tourist destinations.

There are many problems with this industry which are overlooked. However, we simply cannot shut all forms of tourism as many countries are dependent on it. The COVID 19 pandemic has shown us how some countries can be negatively impacted if tourism is stopped. So, reform in our methods of travelling is crucial. Some ways by which we can achieve this are:

  1. Minimise waste generation 
  2. Support family-owned and local businesses by buying merchandise and souvenirs from them
  3. Try to find out ways to minimise your impact on wildlife 
  4. Do not travel by cruises. Try trains instead 
  5. If no travel alternatives are available to airplanes, then choose direct flights

Sources : https://www.atag.org/facts-figures.html

https://www.businessinsider.in/transportation/working-on-a-cruise-ship-can-be-brutal-but-two-lawyers-who-rep-cruise-line-workers-explain-why-even-terrible-cruise-ship-jobs-can-be-attractive/articleshow/66797307.cms

Work from home:pros and cons.

The pandemic sweeping the world, COVID-19, has rendered a large proportion of the workforce unable to commute to work, as to mitigate the spread of the virus. This has resulted in both employers and employees seeking alternative work arrangements, especially in a fast-paced metropolitan like Hong Kong. Due to the pandemic, most if not all workers experienced work from home (WFH). Hence WFH has become a policy priority for most governments. In doing so, the policies must be made keeping in mind the practicality for both employers and employees. However, this current situation provides unique insight into how well working from home works, and may play a vital role in future policies that reshape the current structure of working hours, possibly allowing for more flexibility. Using an exploratory framework and a SWOT analysis, this study investigates the continuing experience of the employer and employees face in Hong Kong. A critical insight and related recommendations have been developed for future policy decisions. It will also critically investigate if this work arrangement will remain as a transitory element responding to the exceptional circumstances, or whether it could be a permanent arrangement.

As appealing as remote work is to employees, it wouldn’t be such a strong trend if employers didn’t also recognize benefits from their side of the desk. Companies with work-from-anywhere policies can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, according to recent research at Harvard Business School.1 Telecommuting workers with very complex jobs who don’t require a lot of collaboration or social support can perform better than their office-based counterparts, according to another study.2 Also, in the event of a natural or manmade disaster, a distributed workforce is in a better position to keep operations running, even if some of the group goes offline.null

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • For employers, working from home can boost productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, while employees enjoy perks like flexibility and the lack of a commute.
  • To work effectively from home, you’ll need to make sure you have the technology you require, a separate workspace, internet service that meets your needs, a workable schedule you can stick to, and ways to connect with others.
  • Top fields for remote work include IT and healthcare; positions include customer service reps, sales reps, project managers, and more.
  • A variety of top firms, including CVS Health, Dell and Salesforce, offer remote work opportunities, but it’s also important to be aware of scams.

Advantages for Employees:

  • Travel time to and from the office will be saved.
  • They can spend more time with family. This is beneficial for many especially for parents of young children.
  • Even in modern times, women are expected to take care of home and children. With this responsibility, several women are forced to leave their jobs. The rise in WFH culture is a boon for them. With this more women can join in jobs again.
  • The location will not be a barrier. Employees can get a job, even if the office is located in another city.
  • If they want to get to know their office and colleagues better, they can attend the office at regular intervals like once a week.

Disadvantages for Employees:

  • The line between work and home will be blurred. In general, employees leave work tensions at office and come home to relax. But this opportunity will be lost and it may cause anxiety. If work and personal life are not balanced well, work will extend to longer hours. This can create WFH burnout.
  • Employees have to set up a work environment at home, which will incur extra expense. Even then, some people may not focus on work due to the lack of a professional atmosphere.
  • Some companies are giving so much work just because their employees are working from home.
  • Teamwork is a bit difficult while working from home.
  • Working from home from a long periods of time can hamper social and interpersonal skills.
  • Continuously staying at home may make some people feel isolated.
  • For some people, setting up office space at home may not be an option due to lack of extra space in the home.
  • Some jobs may require employees to be online during work hours and the continuous power supply may not be available to many.
  • It can be difficult to establish connections with new colleagues because the opportunity to meet and talk with them during coffee breaks will be lost.

Advantages for Companies:

  • Less expense for office maintenance.
  • Can hire talented people, even if they reside in another city.
  • Employees may not ask for much leaves.

Disadvantages for Companies:

  • Training new staff can be tough with all the employees working from home.
  • Have to deal with WFH specific challenges like information security and hacking of video calls etc.
  • It’s difficult to monitor work from home employees.
  • It’s hard to establish connections among employees.

Conclusion:

Even though work from home culture is on the rise due to COVID-19 situation, work from home opportunities will increase in number to adapt to the changing times. With time, companies and employees will take steps to reduce the disadvantages.

Child labour

Child labour refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives them of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. In villages, it is a common sight to see children of poor families working in fields or elsewhere to contribute to the family income. Such children are deprived of opportunities of education and are also prone to health risks.

In a sense, child labour is open exploitation as it deprives children of education and pushes them into exploitative situations. The side-effects of working at a young age are: risks of contracting occupational diseases like skin diseases, diseases of the lungs, weak eyesight, TB etc.; vulnerability to sexual exploitation at the workplace; deprived of education. They grow up unable to avail development opportunities and end up as unskilled workers for the rest of their lives.

It has been observed that in villages especially, representatives of various industries lure children with promises of jobs and wealth and bring them to the city where they are employed as bonded labour in factories. Many children are also employed as household help where they are paid minimum wages and are made to do maximum physical work.

What the law says about child labour

According to Article 23 of the Indian Constitution any type of forced labour is prohibited. Article 24 states that a child under 14 years cannot be employed to perform any hazardous work. Similarly, Article 39 states that “the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused”. In the same manner, Child Labour Act (Prohibition and Regulation) 1986 prohibits children under the age of 14 years to be working in hazardous industries and processes.

Role of panchayat members in mitigating child labour

  • Generate awareness about the ill-effects of child labour,
  • Encourage parents to send their children to school
  • Create an environment where children stop working and get enrolled in schools instead
  • Ensure that children have sufficient facilities available in schools
  • Inform industry owners about the laws prohibiting child labour and the penalties for violating these laws
  • Activate Balwadis and Aanganwadis in the village so that working mothers do not leave the responsibility of younger children on their older siblings
  • Motivate Village Education Committees (VECs) to improve the conditions of schools.

Impact of Covid-19 on global economy

Theme:-

  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) was first identified in Wuhan city of China in December 2019. On 30th January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID19 as a Public Health Emergency of International concern (pandemic). As of 16th April 2021, more than 13 crores 90 lakh people were affected by Covid globally and nearly 30 lakh people died due to the virus.
  • Coronaviruses (CoV) are a group of viruses that affects animals and humans. The first coronavirus that can affect humans is discovered in the 1960s. Before COVID-19, this family of viruses caused the SARS outbreak in China in 2002, the MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
  • COVID-19 is not just affecting the health of the people, but also the economies of many countries. So the topic – ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Global economy‘ is widely discussed.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Global economy:-

  • Many people lost jobs, and the informal sector is badly hit. Unemployment is increasing. This is a huge setback for economies.
  • Due to the consumption slowdown in the world, exports and imports are affected. So, this affects the economies of almost all countries.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that the global economy shrunk by 4.4% in 2020. This is the worst decline after the 1930’s great depression. Many countries are facing a recession.
  • The health care sector hit hard and the expenditure is a big burden on many countries.
  • The movement of people is restricted due to the fears over the further spread of COVID-19, and hence tourism industry has faced huge losses in the initial months of the pandemic. Tourists spend money in the countries they visit, so the loss of this money is affecting the economies of many countries.
  • Due to the low demand for fuel when several countries imposed lockdowns, crude oil prices have dropped. Low crude oil prices are beneficial to oil-importing countries like India and detrimental to the economies of OPEC (Organization of petroleum exporting countries) countries like Saudi Arabia. Now, crude oil prices are improving.
  • According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), China is the biggest exporter and second-biggest importer of merchandise as of 2019. Many industries in other countries are depending on China for many raw goods such as pharmaceutical ingredients, automobile components etc. So, coronavirus has hit global supply chains badly. As many factories in China were closed at the start of the pandemic, production has halted for the dependent companies in other countries. Some companies went for alternatives, which is the costlier option. At present, several countries are trying to be self-sufficient. This is resulting in the dominance of nationalism over globalism.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, hygiene products manufacturing companies are benefitting from this situation.
  • Just like past pandemics, Covid too is coming in waves. At the time when countries are recovering from the first wave, several countries are facing a second wave of Covid and thereby weakening their economic recovery.

Conclusion:-

COVID-19 caused severe damage to the global economy. Nations are trying hard to rebuild their economies and to prevent further downfall. Vaccination drive should be at a faster pace to prevent further loss of lives and also the collapse of economies.

Quad to become Quad plus

Theme

On 12th march 2021, India, the USA, Australia and Japan conducted the first ever summit to discuss regional and global challenges. Till now there were only semi-regular meeting.

What is Quad?

  • India, Australia, the USA & Japan came together to collaborate in relief efforts after the Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami in 2004. This Tsunami core group formed ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)’ in 2007.
  • The primary objective of Quad nations is to ensure a free and open Indo-pacific region, which is increasingly being misused by China to its advantage. Quad nations conducted their largest joint naval exercises in 2020.
  • Quad is informally called ‘Asian NATO‘ since it has the scope to become a powerful coalition just like NATO in Europe and North American countries.

Benefits of Quad:

  • Collaboration in defence, maritime security, counterterrorism, and information exchange is highly beneficial to all the Quad nations.
  • Many countries in the world are importing raw materials and goods from China and hence suffered a lot in the pandemic time due to broken supply chains. At present, all the Quad nations have trade relations with China. Quad is a great opportunity to diversify supply chains to reduce dependence on China and to opt for Free Trade Agreements among each other. This kind of economic collaboration is helpful to all the countries involved and also for the global economy.
  • In order to diversify supply chains, Quad nations may help among themselves with the investments to tap the resources. This is very helpful in getting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). For example, at present Australia has the world’s sixth-largest reserves of rare-earth minerals, which is essential to manufacture smartphones, EV batteries and high-powered motors. China supplies almost 60% of the world’s rare earth minerals. The positive thing is that most of Australia’s are untapped and needs investment to extract the minerals. And by this, dependence on China for rare earth minerals will be reduced. This cooperation is a great opportunity for all the Quad nations to increase exports and to improve the economy.
  • Quad meeting in 2020 included New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam too, which is signalling towards the Quad-plus coalition.
  • It was announced that financing for Covid vaccines is the top priority for the latest meeting, which is going to be conducted on 12th March 2021. This cooperation is very beneficial to strengthen global health security.

Conclusion:

Quad is a great opportunity to diversify supply chains and to counterbalance China’s aggression. There is a high possibility that some other countries too will take part in it and it may become Quad plus. Quad has the potential to become a strong coalition like NATO in Europe.

What is heat wave?

Science behind US and Canada’s heat wave.

• Canada is reeling under severe heat wave, which has caused an unprecedented 195 percent risk in sudden fatalities within the past few days.

• In Portland city in Oregon, US temperatures as high as 46 degree celsius were recently registered- just three degree short of the internal core temperatures of a cooked shrimps.

• On June 29, temperature in Portland advanced to 46.7 degree celsius.

• Canada too saw it’s highest temperature ever recorded in the country’s west. In Lytton in British Columbia, temperature soared to over 46 degree celsius last week.

Canada’s heat wave:Toll tops 800

Hundred of deaths were being investigated as heat related in the US states of Oregon and Washington and in Canadian province of British Columbia

• 800 sudden and unexpected deaths have been reported. The abnormal heat wave caused the temperature in the country to rise to 49.5 degree celsius, an all time record. The weather experts have blamed the heat dome effect for the sudden rise in temperature.


• The national oceanic and atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that to understand what causes a heat dome, one should liken the Pacific Ocean to a large swimming pool in which the heater is turned on.

• Once the heater is on, the portions of the pool close to the heating jets will warm up faster & therefore the temperature in that area will be higher. In the same way, the western’s Pacific Ocean’s temperature have increased in the past few decades & are relatively more than the temperature in the eastern Pacific.

• The phenomenon causing the scorching heat is called “heat dome”. Hot air is trapped by high pressure fronts and as it is pushed back to the ground, it heats up even more.

This condition also prevents clouds from forming, allowing for more radiation from the sun to hit the ground.

•This strong change in the ocean temperature from the West to the East is what a team of scientists believe is the reason for the heat dome, which is when the atmosphere traps heat at the surface, which increses the formation of heat wave.

• To compare the reason that the planet Venus is the hottest in the solar system is because its thick cloud cover traps the heat at the surface leading to temperature as high as 471 degree celsius.

Yogasana gets formal recognition as a competitive sport

The Sports Ministry of India formally recognised Yogasana as a competitive sport which will soon be introduced in Khelo India, University level and National Games. This was declared in a conference held by the Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shri ShripadNaik, and the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Kiren Rijjiju in New Delhi on 17 Dec ’20.

While addressing ,Shri Naik traced the origins of Yogasana competitions to the Indian Yoga tradition,where such competitions have been held for centuries. So this is an important attempt to bring the legacy of ancient games in a more organised and sustainable way.