UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 06 March 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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06 March 2018
India – China to step up engagement
India and china are expected to increase their engagement through high level meetings.
China already sent an olive branch by not opposing inclusion of Pakistan’s nomination to FATF grey list on terror finance. Added to this, economy strategic dialogue is expected to commence between NITI Aayog and National development and reform commission of China. India is also expected tp participate in Boao summit – China’s equivalent of the world economic forum.
China hikes military budget by 8.1%
In an effort to build modern, world class armed forces china has raised its military budget. Added to this, Prime Minister Li stated that china is focusing on achieving 6,.5% of economic growth this year with a focus on made in China by 2025. It indicates transformation of Chinese economy from a low cost manufacturer ti high cost innovation, technology based economy.
Its time to reimagine South Asia
- South Asia is the least connected region of the world. India – Pakistan rivalry is the major reason for it.
- SAARC process failed to mitigate differences between the countries.
- Across the world examples show that – economic integration and creation of mutual interdependencies will reduce conflicts.
- Free borders and increased trade will increase prosperity of the nations.
India and Pakistan are going through the spells of hyper nationalism that is making economic integration a fallout. India has clearly stated that Talks and terrorism can not go together. Pakistan is demanding for resolution of Kashmir dispute first to find solutions for others.
China can be seen as a part of the solution to reduce hostilities between India and Pakistan. China’s one belt one road initiative can provide a way out for this. China has provided various concessions for India like
- It is ready to rename the china Pakistan economic corridor . CPEC do not recognise Pok to be Pakistan’s sovereign territory.
- India joining OBOR will not change its official position on Kashmir.
Advantages of India joining OBOR are
- It provides direct land access to India to Afghanistan.
- Success of two important projects – TAPI and IPI pipeline can be made possible with CPEC.
- If CPEC is integrated with BCIM corridor, it can create a garland of connectivity and integration for the whole of south Asia.
Opacity in the banking sector
A well informed public can serve as an effective watch dog more effectively than existing baking regulatory bodies. so, making information related to banking sector is essential.
IMD have forecasted for above normal maximum and minimum temperatures across the country during pre monsoon period. So, heat waves and water stress are expected to be normal in this season.Governments must ensure local level interventions to deal with them.
A gathering storm
World Justice project’s rule of law index 2017-18 report assesses every country’s performance in protecting fundamental and other human rights. This year following facts across the world show that an environment for rule of law is decreasing.
- Assault on civil liberties and freedoms has intensified.
- Hardening of attitudes towards minorities
- Deterioration of condition of refugees.
- Majoritarianism, hate crimes
- Mass atrocities
It is not just the erosion of human rights but the normalisation of it is the major concern. Effective engagement with international human rights law is necessary to face the situation.