Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 November 2020


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 November 2020


Now employer free to reject overqualified applicants

  • The Supreme Court has informed in a judgement that, A prospective employer has discretion not to appoint a candidate who may have a “higher qualification”, but not the one prescribed for the job vacancy.


  • The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Punjab National Bank against an Orissa High Court decision allowing an over-qualified candidate to be appointed as a peon.
  • A Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said courts have limited judicial review over such decisions by employers. Prescription of qualifications for a post is a matter of recruitment policy. Discretion lies with the employer.
  • “It is for the employer to determine and decide the relevancy and suitability of the qualifications for any post, and it is not for the courts to consider and assess,” Justice M.R. Shah, who authored the verdict, pointed out.
  • The apex court said courts allow a “greater latitude” for employers to prescribe the necessary qualification for a post.



East Container Terminal

  • Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of cooperation with India and Japan to jointly upgrade the strategic EastContainer Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port.
  • The objective was to enhance Sri Lanka’s status as a maritime hub.
  • However, the project could not move forward owing to resistance against foreign involvement innational assets.

India’s role:

  • India’s interest in the project has well-known commercial and strategic motives. 
  • The ECT adjoins the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), the SLPA’s joint venture with China Merchants Port Holdings Company that holds an 85% stake. 
  • A deep-water container terminal, the CICT is the busiest at the Colombo Port. 


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Centre for traditional medicine 

  • The World Health Organisation announced that it will set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India.
  • WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement in a video message at an event in which Prime Minister Modi dedicated two future-ready Ayurveda institutions in Jaipur and Jamnagar to the nation via video conferencing on the occasion of the 5th Ayurveda Day.
  • This new centre will support WHO’s efforts to implement the WHO traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 which aims to support countries in developing policies and action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine as part of their journey to universal health coverage and a healthier, fairer and safer world.


New species of vine snakes discovered

  • A team of researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), after extensive sampling across peninsular India, have discovered new species of vine snakes in the region.
  • Vine snakes are known to be among the most common snakes in peninsular India, found even in many peri-urban areas wherever there is some greenery, and in the Western Ghats.
  • These species were superficially similar in their morphology, but separated by geographic or ecological barriers.



High fluoride content in Khordha, Nayagarh groundwater

  • According to a study, Fluoride concentration in groundwater are high in parts of Khordha and Nayagarh districts in Odisha have found. This can be a serious threat to human health.
  • The region in Eastern Ghats comprise deformed metamorphic and igneous rocks, containing fluoride-bearing minerals.

Key highlights:

  • The researchers collected and analysed 22 water samples from tube wells and dug wells. They also analysed samples of rainwater, from each hot spring and from a local river.
  • Rainwater was acidic with low electrical conductivity while groundwater was slightly acidic-to-neutral with low-to-high electrical conductivity.
  • High electrical conductivity indicates salinity in groundwater.
  • A high concentration of fluoride was found in nearly 40 per cent of the groundwater samples. Some samples had more than 3.5 milligrams per litre (mg / l), much above the Bureau of Indian Standard permissible limit of 1 mg / l.
  • Samples with low fluoride concentration show comparatively higher bicarbonate values. The researcher concluded that the accumulation of fluoride in water is not due to evapotranspiration or due to calcite precipitation. Fertilizers are sources of fluoride contamination.

Amur falcons

  • Manipur government has launched an awareness campaign to protect Amur falcons.
  • Amur falcons are the world’s longest travelling bird that covers at least 20,000 km every year, travelling between their breeding and wintering grounds.
  • Northeast India falls in their migration route, while migrating to winter in Southern Africa from Serbia and China.


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