UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 19 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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19 March 2018
New Delhi and Islamabad are spiralling hatred against each other. Unprofessional treatment to diplomats from either side is violation of Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, Vienna convention on consular relations.
In a plastics world
Plastic is now widely present in the environment. The health impact of various components of plastic – polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate is not well established.
The most efficient way to deal with pollutants is to control the production and distribution of plastics. In this banning single use plastic bags, enforcing solid waste management rules, 2016 is a way forward.
Point to note
European Union vision document 2030 states creation of a circular plastic economy. It involves changing the very nature of plastics from cheap and disposable to durable, reusable and fully recyclable.
A stoppable Juggernaut
In India, voters are by and large secular compared to political parties. Unluckily, secularism in electoral politics is projected as anti Hindu. The real meaning of it is to treat all religions as equals ,lost the significance.
Today, debate of Indian elections is revolving around religion rather than development. but, electoral victory depends of fulfilment of developmental needs of people.
After the drift, the split
TDP – BJP alliance has become the victim of competitive politics in AP. Debate between special category status and alternative special assistance measure has took an emotional turn due to competitive politics in AP.
The skripals in salisbury
The diplomatic stand off after salisbury killings in UK is more a knee Jerk reaction rather than a thought out action. Previously, Chilcot report has clearly exposed misjudgement regarding chemical weapons in Iraq.
So, rather than hasty decisions , UK has to strengthen its regulatory framework to arrest the flow illicit money in to Russia.
No Power of choice for consumers
A decade and a half after the electricity act came, consumers still face a monopoly in power supply. The reasons are
- Electricity act 2003 provides for open access. But states using load dispatch centres is denying open access.
- Cross subsidy surcharges has to end for open access to work. Most of the states have increased surcharges.
- State Governments can impose restrictions on supply of power by the producer outside the state. But, Most of the states liberally interpret this provision to restrict power supply outside the state.
- States are imposing open access charges to compensate state discoms for their long term contracted capacity. It is limiting incentives for open access.
IIP and PMI
IIP stands for Index of industrial production and PMI stands for Purchase managers index.
IIP and PMI are based on monthly surveys. PMI is a private sector survey while IIP is gauged by the Government.
IIP is a measure of output and PMI is a measure of input.
Both the indices provide comprehensive information about formal manufacturing sector. but, both of them do not measure informal sector activity.
The Nikkei India manufacturing PMI is a composite index based on five individual indices with their own weightage.
- new orders
- Suppliers delivery time
- Stock of items purchased.
A score above 50 denotes expansion and below 50 signifies contraction.