UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 12 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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09 March 2018
12 March 2018
India commits $1.4bn for solar energy world wide
Prime Minister Modi at the founding conference of international solar alliance in Delhi has pledged $1.4bn to provide financial cover to 27 projects in 15 countries. He also stated that India will start a solar technology mission with international focus which will cover all Government technical and educational institutions.
10 point action plan is announced to make solar power more affordable and to raise the share of solar power.
India has a target to generate 175 GW of energy from renewable sources. In this 100Gw is supposed to be solar energy.
Limits on Xis tenure goes as NPC backs statue changes
China entered in to a new era of transition with Xi becoming a leader for life time in China.
Communist party of China has accepted for removing term limits on Xi’s presidency.
Why Xi is a powerful leader?
- He is the general secretary of communist party of China.
- He is the head of central military commission
- He is expected to be the head of National supervisory commission – soon to be established institution to fight corruption.
Mr xi jingping though on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era is introduced in to the constitution. It is xi who got the respect after Mao and Deng.
1,765 lawmakers face criminal charges
Centre has submitted list of legislators facing criminal charges. Supreme Court has already suggested for special courts to trial politicians with criminal charges.
The Acharya Envoys who propagate Indian culture
Govt of India has appointed spiritual Guru’s to Indian missions abroad. Their job is to propagate Indian culture abroad.
M&A rebound is a good sign for Indo-Japan ties
The previous two mega investments of Japan in india are disasters. They are diachii sankyo investment in Ranbaxy Laboratories and Docomo in Tata communications. Now, Nippon Steel is coming in to India with Arcelor Mittal to take over Essar steel. As free and open Indo-Pacific is core of Japan’s foreign policy India shall look at Japanese investments more carefully.
A welcome quietus
Freedom of religion is an undisputed fundamental right. Similar is the case with Individual choice on marriage. Supreme court of india finally ends unjustified restrictions on Hadiya’s personal freedoms.
Under a humane constitution
Supreme Court judgement on Passive euthanasia must compel more debate on technological self determination.
Judgement of supreme court of India in common cause case on passive Euthanasia is an extension of its judgement on right to privacy. It centres around human dignity, choice, personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
As per the above, a citizen has a preference to go through a treatment he prefer to have. Forcing a treatment on an individual is depriving of his choice, right to autonomy and bodily integrity. Unaccepted physical interference also goes against human dignity. so, an individual can not be subjected to technological intervention with out their consent.
This logic can be extended to all technological interventions a citizen is experiencing. There has to be a self determination to individuals on to what extent one can allow technology in his/her life. It means
- Individuals shall have a right to engage technology on their own terms.
- Right to opt in to or opt out of such systems with out suffering for it.
- Right not to be subjected to technological intervention with out being given meaningful choice.
On Judicial legislation
Supreme Court of India has laid out clear guidelines on how Euthanasia shall be put in to practice. It can be criticised as a judicial overreach in to legislative sphere. In this context, south African constitutional device of suspended declaration of invalidity can be followed. According to this, constitutional court of South Africa is empowered to declare a legal provision unconstitutional, but also give the legislature some breathing space to remedy the defect before the Judgement actually comes in to force.
Similarly, supreme court of India in matters of legislative Vaccum can issue Guidelines and suspend their operation for few days allowing the legislature to make a law. If it do not, judicial Guidelines comes in to force.
A breakthrough and a Gamble
Though North Korea has offered itself to talks it has one price condition – regime security. so, what does it mean a security Guarantee is not yet defined. Does it include just Non aggression and a peace agreement with South Korea or does it extend to US withdrawal from peninsula/ break of an alliance between South Korea and USA is a question.
Added to this, China and Japan has huge stakes in Korean peace process. China is the largest trade partner of North Korea. Its involvement is essential in the event of fall out of talks to enforce sanctions.
Bifurcation and blame
- 14th finance commission did not recommend any abolition of special category status to states. It is not with in its scope of recommendations.
- Finance commission do not make any distinction between special category and other states in its allocations.
- Finance commissions job is to assess the revenue and cost liabilities of the states and make recommendations to offset these liabilities through tax devolutions and grants.
- Asymmetric arrangements in financial devolution will weaken federalism in the long run.