UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 18 October 2017 highlights are:
- They allow for flexibility to continue political engagement and economic cooperation with their common adversary.
- They avoid entrapment of being dragged in to a partners dispute and potentially in to a conflict.
- At the same time, strategic partnership provides for regular political and military interactions for a collaborative approach to strategic policies.
India and Japan relations perfectly figure in to the above relationship.
- India will not get deep in to Japan disputes and the same is the case with Japan. A mutual cooperation exists on the wider issues where win win situation exists.
Important developments of India – Japan special strategic and global partnership are
- Japan is the only country India allowed to invest in infrastructure in North east.
- There is a joint infrastructure project development – Asia – Africa Growth corridor.
- Japan and India agreed to have annual summits and 2+ 2 format for defence and foreign ministers meeting.
- India is buying ShinMaywa Amphibious ships from Japan.
- Japan is investing in infrastructure development in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Nuclear deal in danger
Trump’s continuous tirade against Iran nuclear deal appears to be an end to Obama era pragmatism. Nuclear deal was successfully able to stop Iran form developing a nuclear weapon. Added to this, Iran never violated the deal. In these circumstances USA imposing sanctions against Iran, will set a dangerous precedent in international agreements. Iran nuclear deal being multilateral agreement, President shall end his rhetoric.
A big broom
Government effort to release names of shell companies, Name and shame its directors may not yield sufficient results to fight unaccounted money. In the process, there is a possibility of harassing genuine companies or directors.
The best way forward is to arrest systemic shortcomings.
Tax payer rights and obligations
Indian tax administration system shall move from an enforcement to a service based model. Intentions of reforms are good but they are reactive. DTAA, GAAR, transfer price mechanism, implementation of GST all have challenges.
improvement in taxpayers’ service, enhanced use of information and communication technology, exchange of information with other agencies, expansion of tax base, compliance management, etc. Need to be improved to make tax administration Service oriented.
Beyond social Media
In India Geographical indications (Registration and protection) act 1999 has provided for registration of Geographical indications. There is no effective monitoring mechanism for quality compliance of the same. Unlike this in the European regulation clearly provides for monitoring at multiple levels. India also shall have the same.
18 October 2107
US backed forces wrest Raqqa from IS
Islamic state has lost its notional head quarters of its caliphate Raqqa to Syrian democratic forces. It reduces ISIS to only few towns in Syria.
North East Monsoon may set in October end
A normal rainfall is expected as per the estimated of IMD. North East monsoon gives rainfall to coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Tamil Nadu receives highest rainfall under North East Monsoon.
US ploy against Iran: envoy
Ambassador of Iran to India states that
- USA is trying to deprive Iran of Indian energy market. India says that it is trying to diversify its imports so as to get a better bargain.
- Chabahar port is on track and Iran Parliament is expected to ratify the agreement reached between Iran, India and Afghanistan.
65 AYUSH hospitals in three Years.
Prime Minister of India has stated that alternative medicine need to be mainstreamed. His Government is also working to set up an Ayurveda hospital in every district.
President xi set to consolidate authority –
Communist party of china is all set to amend the constitution at the congress to incorporate concepts proposed by the president. It brings him on par with Mao, Deng. Xi’s four comprehensives proposed are
- Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society.
- Comprehensively deepen reform
- Comprehensively govern the nation according to law.
- Comprehensively govern the party strictly.
Making the internet disappear.
Internet has become a life line for many business actions and day to day life activities. These are connected to many rights enshrined in our constitution – freedom of speech, association, freedom of trade etc.
Frequent internet Shutdown by the state is violation of these rights and is an economic loss. According to Supreme Court, states rights infringing action must be proportionate. It means there has to be a balance between fundamental rights of individuals on one hand and the interests of state maintaining law and order on the other hand. Internet shutdown’s fail this test of proportionality.
The way forward is to enhance accountability of officers who makes decisions on internet shutdowns and subjecting them to judicial scrutiny.
Political and Partisan
Speaker office is expected to be impartial and non partisan. In India, speaker office is often criticised for its role in anti defection law. Many a times speaker nurtures political ambitions in his party after his office. it fails him to be non partisan. This climate has to be changed.
Various recommendations are
- Decisions of disqualifications under Anti defection law shall be vested with President of India with a recommendation from election commission.
- Need for re election also skews incentives for the speaker. In Britain, No candidates are fielded by opposition in speaker’s constituency. British Parliament automatically elevates speaker to the House of Lords. The Page committee has recommended that if the Speaker had conducted himself or herself in an impartial and efficient manner during the tenure of his or her office, he or she should be allowed to continue in the next Parliament.
- Speaker should be barred from future political office other than president and Vice President of India.
New Kid on the bloc
There is an increasing trend in the west.
- Growing right leadership cashing on the fears of immigration and employment.
- Young leadership is rising across Europe. – Austria, France, Canada are led by young leaders.
Of faith and Fever
In Tamil Nadu, Government has permitted to distribute a herbal medicine Nilavembu Kudineer for treatment of Dengue. It is neither proven to be effective and no scientific trials are conducted to ascertain its efficacy. State taking such an action can be concluded as a treatment and people may avoid Hospitals.
So, Government’s must not endorse alternative and unproven remedies for dengue. Evidence based medicine has greater transparency and any step away from it can be retrogressive.
The Congress has the ability to adapt, adjust and rejuvenate
- Congress party has made entry in to coalition politics after Shimla declaration. Successful tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee can be cited a s reason for the same. But, it has shrunk space of congress in many of the states.
- India can not be but secular. Ancient civilisations, Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian failed to survive as they failed to absorb and assimilate various elements in to social coalition. Unlike this, India has absorbed them from different pars of the world.
- Law making in no more the exclusive domain of law makers. Civil society is asking for its role. Lok pal legislation is an example for this.