UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 21 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.
21 October 2107
Most pollution linked deaths occur in India
India is ranked number one globally on the toll taken by pollution. Total 2.5 million deaths in India are linked to pollution according to the study conducted by lancet. Air pollution followed by water pollution are the major culprits.
Government plans to boost rural employment
Experts have a suggested a cluster approach, where villages with similar socio economic conditions should be clubbed and every village should have a gram vikas prerak (village development motivator)
France wants India to buy more Rafales
Unravelling of the Iran deal
Nuclear deal (JCPOA) has successfully pushed Iran away from ambitions of nuclear bomb for decades. As per the agreement Iran ended certain activities
- fordow enrichment facility is converted in to a research centre.
- Dismantling of Arak heavy water research reactor.
- Reducing number of operational centrifuges to 4060 at Nathan’s for 10 Years.
- Restricting enrichment level to 3.6% for 15 years.
- Limiting low enriched uranium stocks to 300kg.
As per the agreement, relief was limited to secondary sanctions. USA also has enacted a Iran nuclear agreement review act . It mandates president to certify to congress that Iran is adhering to the agreement for every 90 days. Added to this, JCPOA is also al political commitment and was not ratified by the congress. JCPOA also became art of the UNSC resolution 2231.
Trump by not certifying the deal has threw ball in to the court of congress. In either way deal was broke as Iran is not ready to renegotiate.
This will have a serious impact on
- USA – Europe relations.
- West Asia rivalry between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel
- Credibility of USA diplomacy.
A flood of Questions
India shall sort out several issues before it steps in to interlinking of rivers.
- Water shall be brought under concurrent list. Water sharing across the states need to be negotiated and streamlined.
- India has to develop a comprehensive water accounting. It need to be connected to economic production.
- Government shall give greater attention to its more crop per drop.
Back to the ballot
In any democracy, fairness of elections, vibrancy of democratic elections , sharing power among social groups are essential for political stability. Weak election commission, concentration of power in few social groups, narrow parochial interests of the leaders (Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga) are the major reasons for political instability.
Continuous dead lock in Darjeeling is affecting its economy and livelihood of millions living there, centre and state shall work out a solution to break the impasse. Reconciliation is more important and imposing cases on Bimal Gurung (GJM) will not serve any purpose. Meaningfully empowering Gorkhaland territorial administration and development of the region can provide a long lasting solution.