UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 28 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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28 March 2018
Honour killings guillotines liberty
Supreme Court of India has stated that honour killings guillotine individual liberty, freedom of choice and one’s own perception of choice. It has criticised khap elders as patriarchal monarchs.
Talks revived to consider impeachment of CJI
Opposition parties are coming together for impeachment of CJI.
Removal of a supreme court Judge is explained)
Birth pangs of a new federal polity
Federalism is taking a new shape because of following reasons
- Identity politics
- Resentment at the skewed centre state relations.
States are demanding for cultural autonomy. In this growth of sub Nationalism and North South divide is becoming a rallying point.
Centrally sponsored schemes, lack of effective consultation between union and states on trade and economic polices are grievances of the states.
In this scenario, Ambedkar views are
- India is a federal constitution
- The centre has no business in determining good governance in states.
- Provinces are sovereign in their fields as like union is sovereign in its own field.
A game changer for higher education
Higher education has certain funding challenges
- union spends most of its money on few institutions of excellence like IITs and IIMs.
- UGS funds directly go to universities and states have no role to determine priorities.
- Most of the higher education is given by the state universities.
Rashtriya Uchchtar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) – A centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2013 has reformed state higher educational institutions for good. Various reforms are
- Conditional release of funds linked to reforms in key areas like governance, learning outcomes, infrastructure development.
- State higher education councils are created to prepare higher education perspective plans, appointment of vice chancellors.
- After implementation of scheme, many of the states have voluntarily joined – ban on filling of faculty positions is lifted. Gross enrolment ratio, faculty numbers , teacher student ratio all improved for better.
History is not written by committees but by individual historians
Secularism is an attitude towards other people.
Secularism goes beyond religion and envisages a society of citizens with equal rights. In a secular society identity changes – from earlier identities of caste, religion and language to an identity of citizens of nation.
Secularism involves a commitment to a new kind of society where every one is entitled to a minimum of human rights.
Not a single data breach in seven years, UIDAI tells SC
- UIDAI only authenticates a person. It will not store any transaction related information.
- Core biometrics will only be shared if there is a national security threat. Request has to come from cabinet secretary.
- Unauthorised sharing of personal information at the time of enrolment or authentication would make a person liable for imprisonment up to 3 years.