UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 14 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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14 March 2018
SC shuts the door on foreign law firms
Supreme court of India has adjudged that
Foreign law firms or foreign lawyers cannot practice law in the country either on the litigation or non litigation side.
It allows for flying in and flying out of foreign lawyers as long as it is casual and not frequent,
Foreign lawyers and firms are not barred from conducting international commercial arbitration but they have to follow the code of conduct applicable to Indian lawyers.
A model protest
A peaceful long protest taken up by the farmers and Tribals in Maharashtra is an example for conducting a protest. It was able to win the hearts of administration, urban dwellers and gain redressal for their problems. Maharashtra Government has promised Immediate implementation of land title allocation under fires rights act and promised to extend loan waiver scheme to all.
Political parties need to understand agricultural distress and need to give a due attention for it.
Fire in the woods
In India, if tourism need to be developed, safety shall be given a priority. Adventure sports like trekking need to have a proper standard practices, regulation for safety. Giving regular information on risks to the people, raining people in escape manoeuvres and standardising communication equipments etc are very important.
An Urgent prescription
India need to encourage public sector capacity for manufacturing medicines. The reasons are
Many times private sector is not willing to come forward to manufacture on compulsory licensing fearing an extensive legal battles.
Essential drugs need to be provided at the cheaper prices. Public sector presence can benchmark the prices of essential drugs.
Most of the Active pharmaceutical ingredients are imported from china today. It can be dangerous in times of emergency. Public sector can push us towards self sufficiency.
India can gain exports for pharmaceutical products produced under compulsory licensing.
The French connections
Emanuel Macron visit to India shows growing strategic convergence between the two countries.
India and France launched a strategic partnership in 1998. In the two decades both sides enlarged co-operation in multiple areas. It is remarkable in defence, space and now it is spread out in to energy.
Defence : India – France have joint Naval exercises Varuna. India is purchasing Rafael aircrafts, Scorpene Submarines etc from France. Both of them are committed to a multipolar world. After India’s nuclear tests France is the first major power to open dialogue . President Jacques Chirac declared that India’s exclusion from the global nuclear order is an anomaly.
Space : France has helped India to build its rocket launch station, liquid engine development etc
Nuclear energy : France promised India of EnR technology essential for India’s nuclear program. Areva is building nuclear reactors in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
Renewable energy : India and France initiated International solar alliance for promoting solar power and are committed to renewable energy.
India and France are coming closer in building smart cities and France is expecting to become an entry point for Indian companies in to Europe.
Other areas that need improvement are in the fields of education and Tourism.