UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 07 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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07 March 2018
Sri Lanka declares state of emergency amid violence
Srilanka declared island wide state of emergency to curb growing anti muslim violence in the central province.
North Korea ready for Talks with US
North Korea has expressed its willingness to talk with USA on denuclearisation. In return, North Korea expects that military threats need to be resolved and regime security need to be guaranteed.
Make the Neighbourhood first again
India is sliding to a situation where it is neither feared nor loved by other South Asian countries.
New Delhi’c connect with South Asia Neighbours is weaker than it has been for a very long time. Most of the SAARC countries are not on idea terms with India.
Maldives : Abdul Gayoom Government has gone out of the way to challenge Modi Government in extending emergency, cracking down on opposition, invitation to china for FTA etc.
Nepal : Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is not the favourite of India.
Pakistan : relations are all time low.
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka : elections are near by and it can raise nationalistic sentiments in these countries and India can be shown as a country arm twisting with them.
- Hard diplomacy of India : India tried to arm twist with Maldives and it responded by moving close to china and declining to participate in Milan Naval exercises. Prime Minister Modi decision to abruptly cancel his visit to Male in 2015 did no good. 2015 Nepal Blockade has pushed KP Sharma Oil Government to move closer to china and signed a trade and transit pact.
- China factor : china has strategic assets in Many south Asian countries. so, unlike in the past it is ready to intervene in political affairs of these countries. Actually, India is placed in a better position to do this. For instance, china brokered political mediation on Rohingya crisis between Bangladesh and Myanmar, today it is involving in Maldives, Afghanistan.
so, the way froward is
- India shall realise its strength in the region is in soft diplomacy rather than hard diplomacy. so, increasing development assistance can be helpful.
- Resolving differences with south Asian countries and reviving SAARC process. There are many learnings for SAARC from ASEAN. Small countries be allowed to lead and there need to be more informal meetings between the leaders to develop a comfort for negotiations.
- India shall collaborate with china on issues where interests of small countries are involved. For instance, BCIM corridor.
After the Tripura set back
Loss of Tripura form left is a clear failure of the party to understand changing political dynamics and aspirations of people. If left politics need to come back in to relevance following steps are necessary.
- Class adversaries are declining in society. Rise of aspirational middle class need to be taken note of.
- Identity politics are gaining strength. For example Tripura, resurgence of Tribal identity of indigenous people has changed election outcome.
so, a curse correction is necessary in left politics to remain as a strong ideological pole in Indian politics. New ways of mobilisation and articulation with new generation of youth is important.
Stocks may be set to experience more volatility than in the last few years.the reason are
- Fundamentals of Indian corporate sector are still weak. Stock market grew ahead of fundamentals.
- Rising interest rates. As economy is improving across the world, monetary policy is expected to be tightened. It decreases liquidity.
- Weak banking sector performance and increasing bank fraud.
- Growing protectionist measures across the world.
It is time to have a debate on proportion representation – Interview with former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi
- Electoral bonds – on positive side, they can change the form, how the political parties are receiving finances. But, secrecy is increased never before.
- Removal of cap on corporate donations : cap existed to avoid quid pro quo. Removal of it can encourage crony capitalism.
- State funding of elections : National electoral fund has to be created and state funding of political parties can be practical as monitoring is easy.
- Simultaneous elections: multiple elections can hamper governance, increase divides between the people. On the other hand, In india vote is an important weapon for poor people. In a federal county, simultaneous elections can blur the judgement of voter between state and national elections.
- Proportional representation : india can try for mixed system as like in Germany.