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Rain-loving snake discovered in Mizoram; SC to hear plea against Delhi HC verdict quashing IAS, IPS cadre allocation – Current Affairs

The new snake species have been discovered in the Northeastern state of Mizoram.

May 13, 2019 18:06 IST
Rain-loving snake discovered in Mizoram

Story 1-Researchers discover ‘rain-loving’ snake in Mizoram

A group of researchers have unearthed a new ‘rain loving’ snake species from Mizoram in North-east India. The researchers have named the specie “Smithophis Atemporalis.”

Significance

The finding is significant because such a discovery has been made for the first time after almost 150 years. The discovery has not only revealed a new reptile species but also a whole new genus after a gap of 150 years.

The Discovery: Key Highlights

The discovery brings focus on the vibrant and largely explored biodiversity of the Northeast, which is facing the threat of extinction.

The new snake species have been discovered in the Northeastern state of Mizoram.

The species is reported to be a non-venomous kind and strictly aquatic. The maximum recorded size of the new species is about 655 mm or 2.5 feet.

As per the findings, the new species is inoffensive in nature and it can be found in various localities of Mizoram. Researchers, however, feel that it may have a wider distribution.

• The species is reported to feed on frogs, lizards and it also lays eggs.

• Locally, the species is referred to as “Ruahlawmrul,” a rain-loving snake, as the activity of the snake increases during the rainy season.

Background

The discovery is a result of more than six years of collaboration between scientists from leading Indian and international institutes.

With this, the Smithophis species have now been classified into two species, one being Smithophis bicolor, which is found in Khasi and Garo Hills of Meghalaya and the new species Smithophis Atemporalis, which is only known to be found in Meghalaya as of now.

The name Smithophis comes from an eminent British herpetologist, Malcom Aurthur Smith, who is known for his contribution in the taxonomy of Indian reptiles in his authoritative ‘Fauna of British India’ series.

Story 2- SC to hear plea against Delhi HC verdict quashing IAS, IPS cadre allocation

The Supreme Court on May 13, 2019 agreed to hear the centre’s plea challenging the verdict of Delhi High Court, which quashed the cadre allocation of IAS, IPS officers from the 2018 batch. The plea will be heard on May 17.

The matter was mentioned under urgent listing before a bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna.

Key Highlights

The Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court bench that the Delhi high court had asked the central government to do the whole exercise again.

Mehta told the top court that those officers selected under the cadre in 2018 batch have undergone training and were supposed to start joining their respective cadres from May 10.

The plea comes after the Delhi High Court quashed the Centre’s cadre allocations of IAS and IPS officers of 2018 batch under the new policy and ordered fresh cadre allocation.

The high court bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli accepted the submission of the officers, who had approached the court challenging the process.

The bench had stated that cadre allocation is a matter that would affect the career of officers for all times to come.

The bench noted that the re-allocation of cadres by the authorities should not take much time as it is done electronically. The bench noted that the authorities already possess the requisite data in this regard.