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My Notes 21-september-2017 21-09-2017
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21 September 2017



States of the opposition

Indian party system has evolved over years and appears have completed a circle. It is true to an extent but not completely.

Indian party system in the initial days is described as a congressional system by Rajni Kothari. This is a one party dominant system and is accommodative of pluralism. Subsequently, coalition politics have punctured one party dominance but respect for pluralism and democratic values have continued. existing intra party diversity has become inter party diversity. Representation of diverse identities also have increased.

Today, BJP dominated Indian politics are centred around Hindutva infused nationalism, turning elections in to a referendum on national leadership, framing the electoral competition in all India terms rather than engage with the state level issues. In first two, opposition has no stronger point. But, in case of third, a coalition of regional parties can be a challenge to BJP in politics.

Added to this, congress system is based on democratic values of pluralism . But  BJP centred one party dominant system appears to be going against to it. So, narrative of opposition shall be to vote for development and democracy.


A time for strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships are better than alliances as they offer necessary flexibility in relationships.

  1. They allow for flexibility to continue political engagement and economic cooperation with their common adversary.
  2. They avoid entrapment of  being dragged in to a partners dispute and potentially in to a conflict.
  3. 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.

  1. 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

  1. Japan is the only country India allowed to invest in infrastructure in North east.
  2. There is a joint infrastructure project development - Asia - Africa Growth corridor.
  3. Japan and India agreed to have annual summits and 2+ 2 format for defence and foreign ministers meeting.
  4. India is buying ShinMaywa Amphibious ships from Japan.
  5. 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. 


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