UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 22 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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22 February 2018
Canada will not support separatists. Says Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unambiguously stated that Canada will not support separatist
movement anywhere in the world. It is a categorial rejection of his Government support to
Trust and Relations between centre – state and Bureaucracy and politician are important to run
the administration in a Government. In Delhi, politics appears to have taken a primacy rather
Constitutionally, Delhi is not a complete state and Bureaucracy works under the guidance of Lt.
governor. Till this institutional arrangement is changed, elected Government is expected to work
in this framework. so, friction with centre will derail developmental work and credibility of the
Bureaucracy, by its nature is expected to be neutral. When there are two power centres lines of
responsibility will not be clearly stated. Disrupted unity of command will keep discipline in
Fire and Fury
Syrian regime of Assad is fighting rebels with the support of Iran, Russia and is expected to
have a definite victory. But, having little regard for human rights is a major concern.
As the borders begin to close
Remittances is the money sent by the immigrants to their country of origin. Major sources of this
for India are west Asia, Europe and USA. India in the largest recipient of remittances from the
world. In Kerala, remittances form 1/3rd of state GDP.
Issues in west Asia
1. Fall in oil prices and rising unemployment are economic concerns of Arab countries
2. Political uncertainty and crisis leading to regional instability.
3. Nationalist tendencies in Arab world. Restrictions on immigration.
1. Growth of right Wing
2. General apathy of public towards immigration
3. Increased protectionist tendencies
Issues for India
1. Creating employment opportunities for workforce that is expected to return.
2. Current account deficit challenges need to be addressed.
3. Fall in remittances can worst affect the livelihoods and economy in states like Kerala.
Learning form Cauvery
Water sharing issues need to be depoliticised.
Supreme Court judgement on sharing of Cauvery river water is a win win situation for both the
states. Karnataka got increased allocations and Tamil Nadu got a permanent mechanism for
release of water in the form of Cauvery management board.
Another aspect that need to be realised by the political parties is that politicisation and rising
emotional appeal on water issue do not definitely yield electoral dividends. Electoral outcomes
are shaped by a combination of complex factors. so, water issues need to be depoliticised
through permanent institutional mechanisms to solve the disputes.
Trump’s India connect
President Trump of USA has deep business connection with India. Visit of his son to India is a
mix of business and diplomacy. There is a deep conflict of Interest in this matter. Inspite of this,
India and USA relations are expected to move forward for the following reasons.
1. India and USA have strong military connect and is a major customer to USA. As USA
Government is more interested transactional dealings India is a good buyer for it.
2. Fight against terrorism, concerns of rising china brought them together.
The Israel factor of Syria
Initially, Israel was not deeply involved with Syrian conflict It aimed to fight Hezbollah active in
southern Lebanon and assisting Syrian regime. Here the intention is to create a buffer zone
between Israel and Syrian borders.
Israel also expected that entry of Russia in support of Syrian regime will decrease the
importance elf Iran. This did not happen.
As rebels are losing the ground close to Damascus, they are receding to southern borders close
to Israel with the expectation of support from Israel. It can bring Israel in to direct conflict with