UPSC IAS The Hindu and Indian Express Current Affairs 20 July 2017 highlights are:
The big squeeze on civil society
( the state must respect the articulation of the politics of voice and not just the politics of the vote. )
Art 19 of the constitution provides for the democratic right to protest a part of the freedom of expression. It also provides for right to form associations and these rights gave an opportunity for the civil society to grow in India.
Historically, across the world civil society grew from crisis of representation. Citizens across the world had shifted from older and traditional forms of representation such as political parties and trade unions to more informal citizen groups and Non governmental organizations. In india, decline of all institutions in 1970 gave rise to mass based grass root movement and activism. Struggle for gender Justice, movement for civil liberties, environment, social rights are spearheaded by civil society. In this way civil society has grew as an alternative to non performing state and unresponsive party system. In a way Judicial activism also a played a role in strengthening of civil society.
Democracy do not just revolve around what happens once in five years(elections) but how rights of the citizens are protected and are allowed to hold power holders accountable. So, civil society can not be conceptualised independent of the state. Democratic state needs a democratic civil society and a democratic civil society needs a democratic state. They mutually reinforce each other.
In the present Government, lack of consultation with civil society, curbing their financial flows is shrinking their space. So, it is essential that state shall see citizens beyond – that is from being voters to voice holders.
BITS and pieces of trade with Israel
(An India – Israel investment treaty would have to reconcile investment protection with the states right to regulate)
India and Israel have a huge potential for bilateral investment flows. It also helps Make in india designs of the Government. But, Bilateral investment treaties of both the countries widely differ from each other. Indian model BITs give priority for state control and regulation and Israel is looking for greater investor protection. These can be elaborated further as
|Investor – state dispute settlement||Investor has to litigate in domestic courts for five years before pursuing a claim under International law.||Israel model gives an investor the choice to submit any investment dispute with a state to International arbitration with in 6months through Negotiation.|
|Definition of asset||It is not provided||It is broad. It covers both FDIs and Portfolio investments.|
|MFN provision||Do not exist under dispute||Exists|
|Tax disputes||Taxation is kept out of the purview of BIT||Taxation is part of the BIT.|
Kanshiram has pictured BSP as a party to represent the interests of all oppressed- gender, cate, religion, ethnicity. Ms Mayawati gave a new direction with her innovative social engineering by stitching Dalit and upper caste alliance. It has eroded its base and it got an identity of a dalit party rather than a party representing vulnerable. This is the reason for ongoing existential crisis of BSP.
President Trump has certified the Iran nuclear deal to congress and also simultaneously imposed sanctions. As Iran is holding to conditionalities of Nuclear deal he has no other choice than to certify the deal. Sanctions are imposed citing Iran’s ballistic program and support for terrorism.
USA stand has become clear that it is shifting back to old position of supporting Sunni bloc and Israel. The shift designed by Obama administration is no longer been followed.
However, Iran today is an important regional power and its role is essential in stabilizing Iraq and Syria. So, USA shall work towards stabilizing west Asia rather than fueling a conflict.
Think Beyond loan waivers
Following facts need to be understood to understand the impact of loan waivers.
- The cost of inputs to agriculture have increased along with cost of other services. But farm incomes did not grow as expected.
- The amount of short term institutional loans increases the total cost of inputs. It means part of crop loan is spent on non agricultural purposes too.
- Loans from non institutional sources are rising faster than institutional loans. It points to a development that rural household demand is not rising by increased incomes but by growth in debt.
Loan waiver and challenges
- Many of the farmers have borrowed form non institutional sources. Loan waiver can only address institutional debt.
- Loan waiver provides only a partial relief to the indebted farmers as Half of the farmers borrowing is for non agricultural purposes.
- Agricultural laborers worst effected due to rural distress are not covered under loan waivers.
- Loan waivers suffer from inclusion and exclusion errors.
- Loan waivers diver the capital expenditure away from agriculture. It can have a long term negative impact on agricultural income.
- It kills financial discipline of banking sector.
So, a long term solution to agrarian distress and indebtedness is to raise income from agricultural activities and enhance access to non farm sources of income. Added to this, remunerative price for farm produce is essential.
- SC wonders whether privacy could be an absolute right.
- China shows zero tolerance to sovereignty threats.