UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 12 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.
12 February 2018
Cyberspace shouldn’t help trigger terror: Prime Minister
Government ignoring plight of children
No compromise on Babri Issue – AIMPLB
India – UAE to deepen strategic ties, counter terror.
Let the chips fall where they may
Does India need to intervene in Maldives?
- Indian interventions in Neighbourhood countries happened till date only on invitation or there was humanitarian crisis. . It was in the case of srilanka or Maldives (operation cactus)
- Indian intervention had a mixed results.
In South Asia, there are two big forces -India and China. Indian hegemony has come in to question. so, Indian concerns in Maldives are related to china rather than restoration of democracy. India fears that Maldives may offer military base to China.
Any military rule will loose public support soon. If India intervenes in meantime, it can be used to push nationalist sentiments.
Hardly a game changer
- Indian expenditure on health care is dismally low.
- Lower 40% of the population has very low coverage.
- Reimbursements as %of medical costs for Government funded insurance programs is very low compared to individual funded insurance programs.
- Out of pocket expenditure is still the major health burden in the country. Medical expenditure incurred by the bottom 40% for hospitalisation was around 14000cr. So, estimates of premium to be paid by Government are expected to be much high.
- Reimbursements as percentage of medical costs is low. It shows higher level of out of pocket expenditure.
- The proportion of hospitalisation cost reimbursed is much higher for insurance schemes directly brought by households than Government. It Clearly shows the need for Government monitoring.
- As Government expenditure on expanding Health infrastructure is very low, dependance on private health care facilities is expected to rise. It needs a greater regulation.
States on health
- Health is a state subject
- Education, nutrition and literacy are directly related to health care outcomes.
- Health issues are no mainstream political issues in india.
- Odisha is able to reduce neonatal mortality rate by increasing access to institutional deliveries
- NITI AAyog has developed health index for analysing comparative performance across the states.
Socialisation of medicine with a reliance on taxation to fund basic programs is the bedrock of good health system.
- Indian derivatives are more traded in international stock exchanges than indian stock exchanges.
- There are many transaction costs on derivatives traded in india. Transaction costs are also high.
- Trade in foreign stock exchanges is denominated in dollars.
- Trading hours are restricted in India.
These are the main reasons for decreasing trade volumes in Indian stock exchanges.
so, India shall address the structural problems rather than imposing restrictions on information sharing with foreign exchanges.
Endgame in Bangladesh
- Political power is evenly distributed more or less between BNP and Awami league.
- BNP boycotted elections in 2014.
- 2001 to 2006 reign of BNP is filled with incidences of violence, corruption and attacks on minorities. It came to an end by the military taking over and forming a care taker Government.
As Ms khaleeda Zia is sentenced to prison on charges of corruption, BNP no longer appears as a formidable electoral challenge to AL. Than, who will take over the position of opposition is a bigger question.