Current Affairs – October, 2013

Latest Current Affairs October, 2013 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of October, 2013 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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‘Great Indian Bustard’ in critically endangered stage

Screenshot_1As per the  2013 ‘Threatened Bird’ list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Great Indian Bustard is  listed under the category of Critically Endangered birds.

The Great Indian Bustard (Scientific name: “Ardeotis nigriceps”) was once widely spotted across 11 Indian states, but now only less than 250 birds are left all across India. The destruction of the habitat is a primary threat to the bird’s endurance. The Great Indian Bustard is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. The Great Indian Bustard lives in short-grass plains and deserts in large arid landscapes.

Key reasons for the decrease in count of the Great Indian Bustard:-
  1. Habitat destruction- The change of land use from grassland to farmland, thus shrinking the bird’s habitat.
  2. Poaching.
  3. Degradation and disturbance in existing grassland habitat
  4. Hunting
  5. Lack of importance for natural grassland conservation in policy, law and PA network due to incorrect perception on ecological value vis-a-vis forests
  6. Lack of protection for many ‘lekking’ and nesting sites
  7. Lack of cooperation between different departments/stakeholders in GIB habitats
  8. Lack of awareness and support from local communities
  9. Livestock overgrazing and feral dogs
  10. Disturbance by photographers — there is now plenty anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that photography of the species causes substantial disturbance

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court had directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to take steps for the recovery of the Great Indian Bustard.

Status of the Great Indian Bustard
  • The Great Indian Bustard is now confined to only eight pockets in 6 Indian states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The largest population  (~50%) can be found in Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan
  •  Great Indian Bustard is the State Bird of Rajasthan.
  • Bird may be already extinct in Madhya Pradesh.

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“Co-operative societies do not come under RTI” – Supreme Court

Supreme Court held in a decision that the Co-operative societies do not fall within the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act. The decision was given while the apex court annulled a Kerala government circular to bring all such societies within the scope of the RTI Act.

What was the contention given by the Supreme Court bench?

The bench held that the Co-operative societies are subject to the control of the statutory authorities like Registrar, Joint Registrar, the Government, etc. but it can’t be said that the State exercises any direct or indirect control over the affairs of the society which is deep and all permeant. The power exercised by the Registrar over the societies is merely supervisory and regulatory. The mere supervision or regulation as such by a statute or otherwise of a body would not make that body a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act.

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