UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 16 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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16 March 2018
Pakistan asks its envoy to return for consultations
As a reflection to growing bilateral tensions between India and Pakistan, Pakistan has asked its envoy to return for consultations. It accuses India of harassment to its diplomats.
Spy incident: 4 Nations slam Russia
UK, USA, France and Germany have slammed Russia for using Nerve gas to kill an agent in UK. After second world war, It is the first time a nerve gas is used on European soil. This unlawful use of force has led to a strong reaction from UK. (prelims – Nerve Gas, Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons)
RBI has recently banned LoU and LoC (Letter of undertaking and letter of comfort) as a knee jerk reaction to Nirav Modi incident. LOU is a low cost instrument by importers and most of the payments of importers to the tune of $84bn happens through them.
As they are banned traders have to depend on much expensive bank Guarantees and Letters of credit. It will impact the competitiveness of exports as raw material imported can become expensive.
RBI need to find a way to improve regulatory environment and healthy functioning of Banking sector rather than taking away financial instruments from bonafide customers.
Rexit and Beyond
President Trump has fired secretary of state Rex Tillerson over foreign policy differences. They had a difference of opinion on Iran Nuclear deal, North Korea etc. He is replaced by an hardliner Mr.Pompeo who is supportive of hawkish stand of Trump.
The strategy of conflict
Points to remember
- Bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have drastically reduced cease fire violations.
- Elections and political posturing in both the countries are related to ceasefire violations.
New Delhi has followed three broad strategies to deal with violence on the Jammu and Kashmir border
- talks over bullets
- Talks and bullets
- Disproportionate bombardment
Talks over bullets – this phase lasted roughly till 2008. Bilateral talks have reduced violence during this phase.
Talks and bullets : This strategy was followed during UPA Government. Though India responded through a strong military action, talks went on simultaneously. It reduced risk of escalation.
Disproportionate bombardment: After initial engagement, NDA Government decided to stop talks and take a hawkish stand. It has a danger to escalate tensions beyond control.
IS active Euthanasia the next step?
Supreme Court of India in Aruna Shanbaug case laid down guidelines for passive euthanasia and later it was upheld by Supreme court constitutional bench. It clearly and unambiguously stated that right to life consists of Right to dignified life and privacy. If this logic of Autonomy, dignity is extended, it is not possible to distinguish between passive and Active Euthanasia.
However, decriminalisation of suicide has to precede active euthanasia.
Arresting the drift
Russia is moving close to China and Pakistan. It is even supporting Pakistan membership to NSG. India need to take steps to avoid drifting of its trusted ally.