India-EFTA Trade Pact (TEPA)


  • Second full-fledged FTA for India (after UAE).
  • Aims for tariff reduction, increased market access, and simpler customs procedures.


  • India
  • EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland


  • Promote investment & exports (IT, audio-visual, skilled professionals)
  • Increase FDI by EFTA states: $100 billion in 15 years
  • Includes human rights & sustainable development commitment

Potential Benefits for India:

  • Tariff reduction on most industrial goods exports.
  • Increased trade and investment (EFTA investment already at $10.7 billion).
  • Job creation (target of 1 million jobs in 15 years).
  • Access to EFTA markets for Indian products.
  • Boost for services sector (IT, skilled professionals).

Challenges for India:

  • Limited benefit for exports to Switzerland (already mostly zero-tariff).
  • Key agricultural products excluded from the deal.
  • Potential for further trade deficit (India imports heavily from EFTA, especially gold).
  • Joint Venture areas may not offer significant competition for India.

Way Ahead:

  • Deeper FTAs needed to achieve $2 trillion export target by 2030.
  • Measures required to ensure India fully benefits from trade agreements.




Nuclear Waste Generation and Management

Nuclear Waste:

  • Radioactive byproduct of nuclear reactors, fuel processing, hospitals, research.
  • Solid, liquid, or gas forms with varying radioactivity levels.
  • Includes long-lived radioactive elements like uranium and plutonium.


  • Handling spent fuel: highly radioactive and hot, requiring underwater storage for decades.
  • Liquid waste treatment: short-lived radionuclides may be discharged (e.g., Fukushima).
  • High-level waste disposal: vitrified (converted to glass) for storage.

Spent Fuel Storage:

  • Dry cask storage: cooled fuel is placed in sealed steel cylinders for long-term storage.
  • Geological disposal: waste is sealed in containers and buried deep underground.


  • Separates fissile material from spent fuel for reuse.
  • Creates weapons-usable plutonium.

India’s Approach:

  • “Delay and Delay,” “Dilute and Disperse,” “Concentrate and Contain.”
  • Reprocessing facilities in Trombay, Tarapur, and Kalpakkam.
  • Low/intermediate waste managed on-site at power stations.

Way Forward:

  • Construct a deep geological repository for high-level waste disposal in remote locations with no circulating groundwater.



India Needs Legal Framework for Genomics

Genomics Advancements:

  • Sequencing, analysis, and interpretation of genomes at a large scale.
  • Improved healthcare decision-making based on genetic information.

India’s Progress:

  • Sequenced 10,000 genomes, providing insights into diseases and population health.
  • Needs a robust framework to keep pace with global efforts.


  • Data Protection:
    • Indian samples analyzed abroad with weak oversight.
    • Fragmented genetic data across organizations hinders public health decisions.
  • Discrimination: Lack of laws to prevent discrimination based on genetic information.
  • Equity and Diversity:
    • Unequal access to healthcare for poor and minorities due to unregulated market forces.
    • Lack of research data from these groups can worsen health disparities.
  • Quality Assurance: Need for mechanisms to ensure the quality and validity of genomic tests.

Benefits of a Legal Framework:

  • Fosters trust and collaboration in research and innovation.
  • Aligns policies with societal needs to maximize healthcare benefits.
  • Enables personalized medicine, disease prevention, and better diagnostics.

India’s Potential:

  • Be a leader in large-scale genomics for public benefit.
  • Improve healthcare outcomes and quality of life for its citizens.

Way Forward:

  • Develop a legal and policy framework for data protection, equity, and quality control.
  • Ensure wider industry participation to accelerate progress.




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