- India and UK Free Trade Agreement
- Fortified rice
Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
India and UK conclude fifth round of talks for India-UK Free Trade Agreement
What are Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)?
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are the arrangements between two or more trading alliances that primarily agree to lessen or dispose of customs tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantial trade between them.
Key features of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are as follows:
- The member nations of FTAs explicitly identify the duties and tariffs that are to be imposed on member countries when it comes to imports and exports.
- FTAs typically cover trades in (a) merchandise — such as agricultural or industrial products (b) services — such as banking, construction, trading and so forth (c) intellectual property rights (IPRs) (d) investment (e) government procurement (f) competition policy and so on.
- FTAs additionally, for the most part, provide criterion called the ‘Rules of Origin (RoO)’, required for the determination of product’s country of origin for the imposition of the preferential tariff on International trade. Note: Rules of Origin (RoO) are enforced with the issuance of a Certificate of Origin (CoO) by authorized agencies of the trading partner.
- FTAs act as an exception to the Most Favoured Nation principle adopted by WTO (World Trade Organization).
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Focus: GS II: Health
Why in News?
One Year of Announcement of Rice Fortification. 151 districts in 24 states lifted fortified rice; 6.83 LMT distributed by the States/UTs in Phase II.
What is rice fortification?
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefit with minimal risk to health”.
- The cooking of fortified rice does not require any special procedure.
- After cooking, fortified rice retains the same physical properties and micronutrient levels as it had before cooking.
- Fortified rice will be packed in jute bags with the logo (‘+F’) and the line “Fortified with Iron, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12”.
- Various technologies are available to add micronutrients to regular rice, such as coating, dusting, and ‘extrusion’.
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