Current Affairs: 4 April 2017

Dawit Isaak chosen for 2017 World Press Freedom Prize

  • Dawit Isaak a journalist who was arrested in Eritrea in 2001, and whose case has been championed for years by human rights organizations and international governments, will receive the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
  • He was a co-founder of the first independent newspaper in Eritrea when he was arrested in a security crackdown that followed the September 11 attacks in the United States, and a call for democratic dialogue at home. 
  • He had returned to the small Horn of Africa nation, tucked along the Red Sea between Sudan and Ethiopia, after living in Sweden for years.
  • The $25,000 Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in 1986 in front of the offices of his El Espectador newspaper in Bogotá. 
  • It is awarded each year to an individual or organization that has persevered to protect press freedoms under adversity.
  • The Prize will be awarded during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, which will be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.
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MS Dhoni officially turns Gulf Oil India CEO

  • Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has worn many hats over the years, worn another feather in his cap today. 
  • The ‘Captain Cool’ has been appointed as the CEO of Gulf Oil India for a day. 
  • The former Indian captain was named as the brand ambassador of Gulf Oil back in 2011 and since then has shared a good bond with it. 
  • To take this relationship a step forward, the company decided to appoint him as CEO for a day

First bio-gas bus in Kolkata with flat Re 1 fare

  • A city-based company has claimed to have launched the first bio-gas fuelled bus in Kolkata keeping a flat fare of just Re 1.
  • All buses will have a flat fare of Re 1 irrespective of the distance, even in excess of 40 km
  • Presently, the lowest fare in a Kolkata bus is Rs 6.
  • The first bus will run a distance of 17 km between Ultadanga and Garia in the southern fringes of the city and Phoenix India will run the bio-gas service from its Corporate Social Responsibility fund.

Indian Government Withdraws FAME Subsidies For Mild Hybrids

  • The Central Government has effectively withdrawn the subsidies that have been provided to mild hybrid diesel cars under the FAME scheme. 
  • The FAME or ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles’ was introduced in 2015 and offered discounts of up to Rs 29,000 for two wheelers and up to Rs 1.38 lakh for four wheelers. 
  • The change in policy will affect the prices of two Maruti Suzuki vehicles in India, the Ertiga and the Ciaz. Incidentally, the Ciaz was just recently moved to the Nexa chain of premium dealerships.
  • The overall benefit given under the FAME scheme was approximately Rs 66 Crore. 
  • According to the Department of Heavy Industries, almost Rs 40 Crore of the funds allotted, which is close to 60% of the total allotments were directed towards the mild hybrid cars while the more eco-friendly (but more expensive) full electric cars got only about 14% of the total subsidy offered. 

IISc India’s best educational institution in HRD ministry’s NIRF rankings

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has emerged at the top of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) that rates Indian higher educational institutes on the basis of their performance.
  • the ranking based on five broad parameters—teaching, learning and resources (0.30 weightage); research and professional practices (0.30 weightage); graduation outcomes (0.20 weightage), outreach and inclusivity (0.10 weightage) and perception (0.10 weightage).
  • The second edition of the rankings, compiled by the ministry of human resource development, lists seven Indian Institutes of Technology among the top 10—
  1. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore
  2. Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  3. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  4. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  5. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
  6. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  7. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  8. Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
  9. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee 
  10. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
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