The Ministry of Science & Technology, on January 2, 2021, released the draft ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy’ for public comments. The draft policy is open to comments from stakeholders till January 25, 2021. Part of the Government of India’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision, the current draft has been formulated following stakeholder consultations, the first of which was held in May, 2020.
The Central Government of India, on January 6, 2021, notified the Customs Authority for Advance Rulings Regulations, 2021, under which the Customs Authority is empowered to hear and determine all applications and petitions . The Authority shall have all the powers of a civil court, namely discovery and inspections, enforcing attendance of any party, issuing commissions and compelling production books of accounts and other records. Currently, two Customs Authority for Advance Rulings (CAAR), viz CAAR, Delhi and CAAR, Mumbai have been notified.
Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has revised its report on Non-Personal Data Governance Framework based on suggestions received on the earlier Report and released its revised Report for a second round of public feedback/suggestion. Views/comments/suggestions on the revised Report can be submitted till January 27, 2021. The original report was released in September 2020 for public consultation earlier.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released the Toys (Quality Control) Second Amendment Order, 2020 for standardization and quality adherence of toys, especially the production and sale of indigenous toys. The order, effective from 1st January, 2021, exempts goods manufactured and sold by artisans registered with Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and products registered as Geographical Indications, from following ‘Indian Toy Standards’ & compulsory use of Standard Mark licence from Bureau of Indian Standards.
India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade signed an MoU with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to increase IP co-operation between the two countries, by inter alia facilitating exchange of information about best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP, including the process of examination and registration of various IP on December 2, 2020. Both sides will next draw up a Biennial Work Plan to implement the MoU.