UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 9 Feb 2018 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.
9th February 2018
SC to handle Ayodhya title dispute as a land issue
Supreme Court of India stated that ramjanmabhoomi and Babri Masjid issue will be treated as a land dispute without any religious connotations.
Khaleda Zia sentenced to five years in Jail fro graft
Khaleda Zia leader of Bangladesh Nationalist party is sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment on corruption charges.
India rejects Maldives offer
Maldives offered to send a special representative to explain the situation of emergency in the country. India rejected the offer on technical grounds. India is not happy with imposition of emergency and it has already objected to the same.
2017 and 2018 are the worst years for ceasefire violations across Loc and International boundary between India and Pakistan. Ceasefire agreement has come in to existence in 2003 and it was the high time for prime minister Vajpayee diplomacy. Today, statesmanship is required on both the side to stop ceasefire violations.
The Zuma Hurdle
President Jacob Zuma faces charges of graft, subversion of political office for personal gain, interfering Judicial process etc. state capture by vested business interests shows the heights of crony capitalism in the country.
African national congress has elected a new leader, Cyril ramaphosa, vice president as its leader. so, 2019 elections will be an acid test for credibility of ANC.
Big discoveries have small origins
All the developed countries provides significant amounts for competitive research grants. These grants are meant to encourage small, independant researchers. Across the world such a research led to creation of huge value. In India Raman spectrometer, sounding rockets re outcomes of such a research.
India shall increase funds for research and need to gradually move towards an investigator driven model for funding research.
Should states have their own flags?
- There are no legal provisions prohibiting it. Prevention of insults to national donors act, 1971 or Emblems and Names (prevention of improper use) act 1950 do not prohibit states having separate flags.
- States having a separate flags is a symbolic identity to their culture and distinctiveness.
- Democracy and Federalism of India has respect for diversity.
On the other side
- Regional identities come in conflict with National identities and it may lead to divided loyalties among people. It will damage India’s cohesion.
- USA and India are different types of federalism. They can not be compared.
Celebrating all social loyalties an individual comes across in life is preparing him for selflessness. It indeed strengthens nationalism. Development of one territorial identity will not erode another identity.
A boost to rural entrepreneurship
The NABARD (amendment) bill, 2017 provides for empowering the central Government to increase the authorised capital of NABARD from rs 5000cr to 30,000cr in consultation with the RBI. Added to this, amendments seek transfer of RBI’s equity of 20,000cr to central Government.
Russian military relations with Pakistan are very minimal – Russian Envoy
Highlights of interview
- Russia is the only country that is producing nuclear energy in India.
- Russian defence exports or engagement is in alignment with Make in India.
- Russia and India both need a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan free from terrorism, crime and drug trafficking.
- Russia defence relationship with Pakistan is very minimal and it need to be seen as an attempt to change regional strategic balance.