1. Indus Water Treaty

The issue in news

Recently The Indus Water Treaty marked its 60 anniversary on 19 September 2020.

Main points

  • The major portion of Indus system basin is shared between India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.
  • Jhelum, Indus, Chenab, Beas,  Sutlej and Ravi together make the Indus water system
  • After the partition of India in 1947  ‘western rivers’ (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) went to Pakistan and ‘eastern rivers’ (Sutlej, Ravi and Beas) were given to India.


  • However 20% water of the western rivers has been allowed for India to be used for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes.6 million acre-feet (MAF) of “permissible storage capacity” were granted to India by IWT on the western rivers but 2-3 MAF of water flows into Pakistan due to poor development projects,.
  • For india It was necessary to get the waters of the ‘eastern rivers’ for the Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan and the Bhakra Dam  India’s food production will be severely hampered and Punjab and Rajasthan would be left dry.
  • The crucial role of a third party was played by The World Bank, in crafting the IWT.


Pakistan’s Responses:

  • Pakistan is quite uncomfortable with the fact that India got  the total flow of 33 million acre-feet on the eastern rivers, while it had to share the waters of western


Perspectives in India:

  • To give a response to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism Quite often there is an uproar in India for abrogating the IWT. Doing so will require a number of politico-diplomatic and hydrological factors to be determined and also a political consensus.
  • Various terror attacks in India could have prompted India to withdraw from the IWT(within the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) . However, India chose not to do so.
  • Currently, there is an urgent need to modify the treaty.
  • Article XII of the IWT says that it “may from time to time be modified” and “by a duly ratified treaty concluded for that purpose between the two governments”.
  • India’s best option, therefore, would be to optimise the provisions of the treaty.



  1. CAROTAR, 2020: Country of Origin Rules

The issue in news

Notified on 21 August 2020.

The Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020

(CAROTAR, 2020), to come into force from 21 September 2020.

A 30-day period was given to the all the stakeholders to get familiarized with it.

Main points

  • With the new strict rules in place, for availing concession on the customs duty under free trade agreements , the importers have to make sure that the imported goods meet criteria for the rules of origin

Reason for Stricter Rule:

  • Rules of origin, under respective FTAs, were not being followed in the true spirit.
  • China was suspected to abuse rules of origin by diverting its supplies to India through Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations, to illegally take advantage of duty-free market access under FTA.
  • Major imports to India come from five ASEAN countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Free Trade Agreement

  • An arrangement between two or more countries or trading blocs agreeing to reduce or eliminate customs tariff and non tariff barriers on substantial trade between them.
  • Both trade in goods and trade in services are covered in it
  • It also covers other areas such as intellectual property rights (IPRs), investment, government procurement and competition policy
  • India has FTAs with countries like Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and ASEAN members.


  1. Free Internet Gadget and Package to Poor Students

The issue in news

both private and government schools in Delhi have been directed by the Delhi High Court to provide gadgets and Internet packages free of cost to poor students for attending online classes.

Main points

  • Any school opting for online mode as a medium of instruction, will have to make sure that students from Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Disadvantaged Group (DG) category also have access to the online mode of education  under Section 12(2) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, unaided Private schools are entitled to claim reimbursement for procuring the gadgets and Internet package from the government


Legal Provisions:

  • Under RTE Act, private unaided institutions and special category schools shall provide free and compulsory education to at least 25% children belonging to DG/EWS category admitted to class I or pre-primary classes. The government will reimburse them for this
  • Article 14 (equality before the law or equal protection of the laws )
  • Article 20 o( no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the offence).
  • Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty).
  • According to the recently released UN Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on Children, almost 24 million children could drop out or not have access to school next year due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

Other Judgments on Right to Internet Access

  • in Faheema Shirin vs the State of Kerala case, 2019 the kerala high court declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • in the Anuradha Bhasin case (2020), the Supreme Court stated that freedom of free speech and expression on the Internet was accepted as a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Trade, occupation or commerce dependent on the Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g).


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