22nd Sep, 2020


The Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020 (CAROTAR, 2020) to come into force 

The Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020 (CAROTAR, 2020), will come into force from 21st September 2020. 

It was notified on 21st August 2020.

The new rules will make the importer to correctly ascertain the country of origin, properly claim the concessional duty and assist customs authorities in smooth clearance of legitimate imports under FTAs.

Importers will have to ensure that imported goods meet the prescribed ‘rules of origin’ provisions to avail concessional rate of customs duty under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Importers have to prove that imported products have undergone value addition of at least 35% in the countries of origin.

Earlier, merely a country of origin certificate, issued by a notified agency in the country of export was sufficient to avail the benefits of FTAs.

Customs officials suspect that China diverts its supplies to India through ASEAN nations by abusing rules of origin so that it illegally takes advantage of duty-free market.

Major imports to India come from five ASEAN countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

The domestic industry will be protected from misuse of FTAs.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with ASEAN means goods coming from these countries will face zero or less customs/import duties at our borders. 

The name of the document which shows that goods are coming from a particular country is called “Certificate of Origin”. 

Country will be treated as Origin/Originating country through “Rules of Origin”. They vary between country to country and FTA to FTA.


Three cases regarding Rules of origin:

Goods totally produced/manufactured in ASEAN: “Certificate of Origin” will mention that goods originated from ASEAN and they will get preferential/zero duty.

Inputs purchased from China, value addition happened in ASEAN and then goods are reaching into India: Goods will be considered originating from ASEAN, if the value addition in China is less than 60%. 

Some value addition happened in ASEAN, then goods/inputs purchased by China and then entering into India: It will always be treated as goods originating from China and they will not get benefits under ASEAN FTA.


Bamboo shoots can be among cheapest immunity boosters

Recently, focus of more than 25 experts from 11 countries who converged digitally to mark ‘World Bamboo Day’ was on the nutraceutical bamboo shoot.

Bamboo shoots are emerging as high-value and safe edibles.

They are being grown globally along with all other value-added bamboo products.

The protein content in fresh bamboo shoots, considered as nutraceutical, can range between 1.49-4.04%. 

They also contain 17 amino acids, eight of which are essential for the human body.

According to the National Bamboo Mission, India has the highest area (13.96 million hectares) under bamboo and is the second richest country after China in terms of bamboo diversity with 136 species. 

The annual production of bamboo in India is 14.6 million tonnes and the bamboo-rattan industry in the country was worth ₹28,005 crore in 2017.

Bamboo could be among the cheapest immunity boosters for increasing the human body’s resistance to viral attacks.

The bamboo is considered the grass of life in the northeast India.

Bamboo has been a key ingredient in new antimicrobial soaps and hand mists developed by Filipino scientists to fight the novel coronavirus.

The term ‘nutraceutical’ is used to describe medicinally or nutritionally functional foods.

Bamboo shoots are the edible sprouts of the perennial grass.


Vaibhav Summit

Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit will be inaugurated on 2nd October 2020 – the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

It will be followed by online month-long deliberation sessions among researchers.

It is a global summit of Overseas and Resident Indian scientists and academicians.

Areas of discussion: Quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, communications technologies, computational and data sciences and aerospace technologies, etc.


To bring out the comprehensive roadmap to leverage the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for solving emerging challenges;

To reflect in-depth on the collaboration and cooperation instruments with academia and scientists in India;

To create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.

Organisers: Various Science & Technology (S&T) and Academic organisations.


Nandankanan Zoological Park: Odisha

Recently, Nandankanan Zoological Park was in news due to death of two sloth bears.

Nandankanan Zoological Park

It is situated near Bhubaneswar, Odisha. 

It was inaugurated in 1960.

It is the first zoo in India to become a member of the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).

It is recognized as a leading zoo for the breeding of the Indian pangolin and white tiger.

Leopards, mouse deer, lions, ratel and vultures are also bred here.

It was the world’s first captive crocodile breeding centre, where gharials were bred in captivity in 1980.

The State Botanical Garden of Nandankanan is one of the pioneering plant conservation and nature education centres of Odisha.

Sloth Bear

Scientific Name: Melursus ursinus

Also called honey bear, Hindi bhalu.

Habitat: Tropical or subtropical regions of India and Sri Lanka.

Protection Status: (1) Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List; (2) Appendix I in CITES; (3) Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Threats: Habitat loss, poaching for body parts, captured for use in performances and hunted because of their aggressive behavior and destruction of crops.

WAZA is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.


Biotech-KISAN Programme highlighted in Lok Sabha 

Recently, the importance of Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) programme was highlighted in Lok Sabha during ongoing Monsoon session.

The programme helps in taking innovative biotechnologies to the farmers.

Biotech-KISAN programme 

It is a farmer-centric pan-India scheme.

Developed by: Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.

It follows a hub-and-spoke model.

It stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation in farmers and also empowers women farmers.

Aim: To understand the problems of water, soil, seed and market faced by the farmers and provide simple solutions to them.

The programme links available science and technology to the farm by first understanding the problem of the local farmer and then providing scientific solutions to those problems.

Currently, there are a total of eight Biotech-KISAN Hubs in different Agro-climatic Zones.


Samarth Scheme for Textile Sector being implemented

The Samarth-Scheme for Capacity Building in the Textiles Sector was recently in news.

Ministry: The Ministry of Textiles 

Samarth Scheme

It was approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 2017.


To ensure steady supply of skilled manpower in the labour-intensive textile sector;

Provide demand driven, placement oriented skills which shall be compliant to National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF);

To cover the entire value chain of textile, excluding Spinning and Weaving;

Promote skilling and skill upgradation in the traditional sectors of handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture and jute;

Enable provision of sustainable livelihood either by wage or self-employment.