UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 20 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.
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20 February 2018
Centre denies snubbing Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister is not received by the Prime Minister or not accompanied by the chief ministers of various states. It appears as a reaction to Canadian Government support to Khalistan separatists.
However, central Government has denied those reports.
Prime Minister calls for re skilling of work force
Prime Minister addressing world congress on Information technology stated that industry has to focus on re skilling the existing work force in tune with emerging technologies.
New Zealand seeks clarity on India’s military ambitions
New Zealand is looking for clarity on
- Probable military angle to its Act east policy.
- Objectives of Quad.
India and Iran enjoy deep cultural relations and the words of Prime Minister Modi that it is a golden gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia cites its strategic importance for India. Iranian president has rightly appreciated India as a living museum of religious diversity. He also strongly endorsed India stand against terrorism and supported India’s entry in to UNSC.
Other issues that are discussed are
- Chabahar Shahid Behesti port terminal
- Enhancing the trade between the countries through double taxation avoidance agreement
- Banking channels
- Farzad B oil fields allocation for India.
A Nepal-India win-win
- After Jan Andolan there is no stable Government in Nepal.
- Constitution has Come in to existence in 2015 and India did not give a very warm response to it.
- India has given tacit support to Madhesis in their agitation against constitution.
- Nepal considers India imposed an economic blockade in response to its new constitution. It has forced it to make an agreement with Beijing
- In recent elections in Nepal, CPN(UML) has got massive victory and KP Sharma Old has become the Prime Minister.
- Nepal is one of the largest source of remittances to poorest regions of the country such as North Bihar, Eastern UP and Odisha.
Challenges before Nepal
- Stabilisation of Constitution and gaining respect for it from different sections of Society. A sense of feeling of ownership of state shall be brought in Janjati’s and Madhesis.
- Rising employment and post earth Quake reconstruction of Nepal.
- Depoliticising Bureaucracy and Judiciary.
- Implementing connectivity agreements with Nepal and taking relations with India beyond patron-supplicant status.
In Turkey, ruling beyond decree
After coup in Turkey President Erdogan has tightened his control over Government. He jailed his dissenters and his actions against Kurd dominant Southern and Eastern regions can be considered as atrocities on minorities. Peoples democratic party, sympathetic of plight of Kurds is been harassed by the Government.
The efficiencies of direct benefit transfer of fertiliser subsidy should be increasingly visible. Unlike DBT in LPG era, here subsidies are transferred to manufacturers upon authentication of purchase by farmers.