UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 21 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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21 February 2018
Coal mining open for private sector
Coal mining was nationalised in 1973 and coal India limited got the monopoly on coal mining in India. Now , to increase coal availability for power generation in the country, Government has opened coal mining for private sector.
AAP MLA’s assaulted me: Dei Chief secy
Delhi chief sexy charged AAP MLAs of assaulting him in the presence of CM. It shows the new low in functioning of elected representatives vis a vis Bureaucracy. Lack of clarity of roles between lt governor and elected Government is a major challenge for governance in Delhi and Puducherry.
Nod likely for unified tribunal bill soon
Govt of India expects that unified tribunal bill for Inter state river disputes will be passed in this budget session. The bill aims to replace multiple tribunals for river water disputes with one single tribunal.
Humanoid Sophia steals the show at world IT congress
Humanoid robot developed by David Hanson is able to address and answer the questions of audience at world IT congress in Hyderabad.
A Deeper Malaldy
Bank Scams recently exposed in India shows the weakness of internal controls and audit process in India. In case of PNB, three levels of Audit failed to detect the malfeasance. so, reforms to increase professionalism and corporate governance are essential in banking sector. so, empowering bank managements and reducing political interference and enforcing strict accountability for lapses are essential.
The value of life
Florida shoot out in USA exposes the weak gun laws in USA. 2nd constitutional amendment provides a right to own a gun and republicans are staunch supporters of gun laws in the country.
In this scenario, National rifle association has a strong support base in congress to derail any reform process to dilute gun laws.
President Obama tried to reform gun laws with stringent background checks and to boost funding for enforcement agencies. Trump administration has reversed these initiatives.
The politics of AI
Artificial intelligence works on date generated by the people. Machines are made to understand behavioural patterns of individuals through data generated by Individuals. It made the data most valuable asset today in the world. Future investments and developments in Artificial intelligence are expected to determine future course of prosperity in the world.
- There is an exploitation of an individual who is the source of data generation. No compensation is paid to him or to his national Government for using data generated from a country. It is often described as data colonialism.
- Monopolies on data capture need to be avoided, Today, five major companies Alphabet, Apple, Amazon , Facebook, Microsoft appears to possess near monopoly on data.
- Job losses are expected to happen in AI era. so, ensuring income security to all is a major challenge before the world Governments today.
For clearer, fairer elections
Judgements of Supreme Court to be remembered
- ADR vs Union of India – supreme court of India adjudged that, every candidate contesting the elections shall declare his assets, educational qualifications and criminal antecedents.
- IN Lok Prahari vs Union of India case as an extension of previous judgement supreme court has adjudged that, a contesting candidate need to disclose the sources of income of self and his associates and Government contracts where candidate or their associates have direct or indirect interests.
Reason sated by supreme court for both the above reforms is – voters need to know about the candidates to make a decisional choice. It is integral to freedom of expression.
- SC Judgements are majorly centred around transparency of individual candidates rather than political parties. In india, political parties have an undue control over its members in representative houses, because of anti defection law. It means political parties play a significant role in agenda setting exercise of Government.
- Electoral bonds introduced by Government is expected to take away the existing disclosure norms or transparency in party funding.
India remains in the best position to help us – Nasheed
Former president of Maldives Nasheed states that
- Rise in the influence of ISIS and land grab by china in Maldives are the major challenges facing the nation.
- India is a net security provider in Indian Ocean region and it shall intervene in Maldives to resolve the political crisis.