UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 20 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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20 March 2018
Bending the rules
- Neutrino Observatory
- Environment impact assessment
- National green tribunal
- Mathikettan chola national park
- National board for wild life
- Salim ali centre for ornithology and Natural history
Objections of National green tribunal are bypassed to bring a neutrino observatory in Theni District of Tamilnadu. It is very close to mathikettan shola national part in Kerala’s western Ghats – a Bio diversity hotspot.
Added to this, project is approved under category B rather than as category A inspite of being close to national park. In this way, it has avoided prior environmental clearance.
To be fighting fit
The Government must order a comprehensive strategic review of the future threats to India
Indian armed forces are demanding for an higher budget. In this scenario, following observations are essential.
- Asia is developing in to a multi polar system with power asymmetry and china as a hegemony.
- India has threat of two front war.
Steps need to be taken
- Govt shall take a wholistic review of all border guarding forces – Army, Assam rifles, BSF and ITBP. An integrated management of border is essential.
- Measuring military capability need not be only through budget allocations. Military need to transform its resources in to effective war fighting capability.
- Civil military coordination is expected to be far better. There need to be a greater integration between all three services and ministry of defence.
- Military capability need to be enhanced using modern technology – autonomous systems, robotics, AI to enhance military capability.
- India need to develop modern military industrial complex rather than dependant on imports.
First step in a long Journey
National medical commission bill seeks to make structural changes in health care system.
Health care system in india suffers from rural Urban divide, insufficient medical colleges and man power. Bill tries to address these through following measures
- Creation of a Bridge course for AYUSH/non allopathic doctors
- Strengthening of primary health care centres and sub centres.
- It creates quality control for private medical colleges.
Time to move beyond subsidies
India’s export schemes are challenge by USA at WTO. Initially, subsidies and countervailing measures did not apply to India as it was under Annex VII countries. Today, india do not qualify for Annex VII list for the reason that per capita income of india has crossed $1000/annum. India along with the other countries are demanding for relaxation of notes further.
so, it is the time for India to review its export strategy and focus on trade related infrastructure and trade facilitation measures.
A move to equivalence
India and France made an MOU to recognise each other degrees. It helps many of the foreign educated intellectuals to deliver classes and to continue research in india.
India need to make similar agreements with other nations too.
Treaty that backfired
India had three objects from Shimla agreement 1972.
- A lasting solution to Kashmir issue or filing that, an agreement that would constrain Pakistan from involving third parties in discussions about future of Kashmir.
- To make Pakistan to acknowledge the change in balance of power.
- These objectives need to be achieved with out pushing Pakistan to wall and creating an Anti India regime.
In this , following developments changed outcomes of Shimla agreement
- military regime in Pakistan that has killed Zulfikur ali Bhutoo.
- Pakistan becoming Nuclear disturbed the power balance.
Other agencies in News
- Bank boards Bureau