UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 24 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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24 February 2018
Police search Kejriwal house for CCTV footage ongoing fight between political and Bureaucratic establishment in Delhi has paralysed the governance. Added to this, it has demoralised employees and made them insecure. Finally, away out has to be found to re establish a working communication between political and permanent executive.
US tightens H1B approval process, IT firms worried
H1B application needs more technical scrutiny and fresh documents from applicants. A company has to produce the necessary evidence that employee performs a niche job for which workforce is not available in USA.
Government behind delay in posting of HC Judges : SC
SC accused Government for its failure to clear timely appointment of High court Judges.
Concerned about new Indian tariffs, says USA official. –
India raised tariffs in recent budget to give a boost to Make in India initiative. USA has raised objections to the same.
Leaders break ground on Afghanistan section of TAPI
TAPI pipeline running between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is expected to carry gas from Turkmenistan in to energy starving south Asia.
Virtue of reticence
In a democracy, Military has to be under the control of elected leadership. It helps armed forces in two ways.
- It ensures the Trust of the people that it is not Partisan.
- Institutionally, discipline can be ensured.
Army Chief Rawat unwarranted comments on demographic change in North East from migration and India’s relations with Pakistan and China is a transgression in to political space. It is condemnable and it can damage institution itself.
Canary in coal Mine
Indian Government recently opened coal blocks for privatisations reversing coal mines nationalisation act passed by Indira Gandhi Government. It can help India to reduce Indian dependance on imported coal. It can boost energy security in india.
Grid Stability is Key
Indian Government has launched Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan to install solar power pumps in agriculture fields. The objective is to install 1 million solar pumps by 2021. It na decrease farmers dependency on grid power and any surplus generated by them can be exported to grid for a revenue. It can form an additional income to farmers.
There are few challenges in this
- Grid stability is the key. As solar power generated is unpredictable, stabilising the grid to demand and production is the major challenge.
- Costs of solar power and installation costs of solar power can be prohibitive
Solution in the long run is to develop a storage mechanism for energy.
Adopting a wait and watch approach
Iran and India relations are going through a rough path and are more impacted by International developments.
Prime Minister Modi though have declared Iran as a golden Gate for central Asia and Afghanistan, uncertainties of sanctions and trust between the countries are the major drawbacks to take relations forward.