August 2019

Daily Current Affairs (15-08-19)


Related Topics: Indian Railways, Left-Wing Extremism


Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal launched CORAS (Commando for Railway Security) of Indian Railways.

CORAS’ first deployment will be in naxal-hit Chattisgarh.

They will also be deployed in areas where railway has major ongoing projects which need security like North Eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir.

The men of CORAS have been trained in the NSG academy and Greyhounds.


To tackle the threats to Railway passengers or establishments, a special task force having trained manpower was required.

Railway is currently carrying out projects, which are strategically and economically important.

Commissioning of CORAS will address challenges to these ongoing projects as well as any challenging situation for Railway travellers.


To develop world level capabilities of specialized responder for any situation pertaining to damage, disturbance, and disruption of train operations, attack/hostage/hijack, and disaster situations in railway areas.

Following the doctrine of graded response, minimum effective force shall be used for providing fool proof security to Indian Railways and its users.

Salient Features

It will be carved out from motivated and willing young staff of RPF/RPSF.

With an average age between 30-35 years, CORAS will always be young and motivated staff.

Very high physical standards are needed to join CORAS.

They will be deployed in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)/Insurgency/Terrorism affected Railway areas.




Related Topics:  CSR, Companies Act

Why in News

The High Level Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), has presented the report to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

About the Committee

It was constituted in October, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Injeti Srinivas, Secretary (Corporate Affairs).

Its mandate was to review the existing CSR framework and make recommendations on strengthening the CSR ecosystem, including monitoring implementation and evaluation of outcomes.


Making CSR expenditure tax deductible

Allowing the carry-forward of unspent balance for a period of 3-5 years

Aligning Schedule 7 of the Companies Act (which outlines the kinds of activities that qualify as CSR) with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Companies having CSR-prescribed amount below ₹50 lakh may be exempted from constituting a CSR Committee

Violation of CSR compliance may be made a civil offence and shifted to the penalty regime.

Balancing local area preferences with national priorities when it comes to CSR

Introducing impact assessment studies for CSR obligations of ₹5 crore or more.

Registration of implementation agencies on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal.

Developing a CSR exchange portal to connect contributors, beneficiaries and agencies

Allowing CSR in social benefit bonds and promoting social impact companies.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

It is referred as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare and to promote positive social and environmental change.

In India, the concept of CSR is governed by clause 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.

The Act is applicable to companies with an annual turnover of 1,000 crore and more, or a net worth of Rs. 500 crore and more, or a net profit of Rs. 5 crore and more.

India is the first country in the world to mandate CSR spending along with a framework to identify potential CSR activities.

The Act encourages companies to spend 2% of their average net profit in the previous three years on CSR activities.


Related Topics:  Ministry of Jal Shakti, Har Ghar Jal

Why in News

Prime Minister announced that the government will launch Jal Jeevan Mission to bring piped water to households and resolved to spend more than ₹3.5 lakh crore in coming years.

About the Mission

The Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.

The newly constituted Jal Shakti Ministry will look at the management of water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner.

The Ministry will work with states to ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’, to all rural households by 2024 under the mission.

It is a movement towards water conservation that will take place at grassroots level and will integrate people from all walks of life.

Need for the Mission

Barely 18 per cent of India’s rural households have access to piped water.

Out of total 17.87 crore rural households, around 3.27 crore are currently getting water through piped connections.

A June 2018 Niti Aayog report grimly forecasts water demand will be twice the present supply and India could lose up to 6 per cent of its GDP.




Related Topics: United Nations, International Relations

Why in News

India has contributed $1 million to the UN Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System.

About SPTF

Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat, established to receive, consolidate, and manage all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way.

SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund.

Funding sources

(i) Voluntary contributions from the Member States.

(ii) Doubling of cost-sharing amounts from the UN entities who are members of the United Nations

development system.

(iii) One per cent levy applied to contributions for UN development related activities earmarked to a

single agency, single programme or project.

Resident Coordinator System

The system encompasses all organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development, regardless of their formal presence in the country.

It aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level.




Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Western Ghats


Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman or Cirrochroa thais as its state butterfly.

Tamil Nadu has become has become the fifth India state after Maharashtra with its Blue Mormon, Uttarakhand with its Common peacock, Karnataka with its Southern birdwings and Kerala with its Malabar banded peacock to declare its state butterfly.

The declaration will boost conservation efforts and will help in channelising government funds towards the protection of these species.

About Tamil Yeoman

It is locally known as Tamil Maravan meaning Tamilian Warrior.

It belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.

It is endemic to the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats.

Why Tamil Yeoman?

Tamil Nadu has total of 32 species of butterflies endemic to the state.

Tamil Yeoman was chosen as state butterfly for its cultural identity linking the state through its name and is abundance in hilly areas.



                 FACTS OF THE DAY

  • NASA has chosen the Lambahraun lava field in Iceland as the site to prepare for the next mission to Mars in 2020.


  • A researcher has discovered a new species of marmoset, a type of primate in the Brazillian Amazon, even as its habitat is facing a flood of ‘developmental’ activities. The new species is distinct from other marmosets in that it has white tails rather than black, which the others have.


  • Jammu and Kashmir administration will host a 3 days Global Investors Summit from October 12 in Srinagar. The summit will provide J&K with an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies and potential.





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