UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 9th April 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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09 April 2018
EC to take a call on electoral bonds soon
Election commission of India previously opposed to the idea of electoral bonds. It stated it as a retrograde measure in the effort to make political funding transparent. The amendment to section 29C of RPA has made it no longer mandatory for the parties to report the details of donations received through the bonds. It is not clear how the details of bonds are shared with election commission.
The budget session ashamed democracy. Parliament failed to articulate interests of people. Legislative work is not finished. Speaker failed to use her discretionary power to suspend agitating MPs. Regional aspirations hijacked national assembly.
New systems and procedures need to be put in place to conduct a legislative business.
The fall of Lula
Lula raised from a small ice trade union leader to the president of Brazil. His workers party is most popular and he is the front runner to the office of president. Amongst these he was convicted by the court in corruption charges on a very little evidence. By imprisoning most popular leader on such a weak evidence at a time when the polarised country is ruled by unelected elite, judiciary have heightened divisions.
Smoke in the woods
1988 forest policy was a departure form the past. It recognised multiple roles of forests and prioritised environmental stability over revenue maximisation. It also acknowledged that needs of forest department communities must be the first charge on forest produce. It also emphasised people involvement in protecting and regenerating forests. In a nutshell, it has clearly understood the limitations of state managed forestry.
Joint forest management initiated in 1990’s failed to reach expectations on people involvement. Though thousands of forest communities are created but were not given autonomy. It also did not have a legislative backing.
- Forest rights act have provided for community ownership and gave it legal status. Once community forest rights are recognised, any diversion of land need permission of gram sabha.
- Supreme Court of India, to regulate fires diversions introduced a net present value charge on lans diverted. But, no role was given to local communities.
2018 Draft forest policy prioritises forest productivity through Public private partnerships. Forest development corporations are expected to be the vehicles. It has reduced community participation to synergy between Gram sabha and JFM committees. Challenges of this are
- Mono plantations are expected to grow at the cost of diversity.
- Forest Bureaucracy will gain significance over communities in protecting and nurturing forests.
Inclusion and right to dignity
Affirmative action policies, Dalit literary works, electoral politics are able to organise and mobilise Dalits. yet, caste based discrimination continues in social interactions. This Disrespect reinforces other injustices confront by the community in everyday life. It codifies inequalities, governs unequal access to opportunities and propels multiple atrocities. so, state institutions need to be sensitive to concerns of Dalits.
Tragedy of Irony
Press council of India needs to be a non partisan player. Its very composition reflects the same. It consists of chairman and 28 Members. Six editors, seven senior journalists, six media managers, one representative from a news agency, one nominee each from Bar council of India, UGC, Sahitya Akademi, three members of Lok sabha and two members of Rajya Sabha.
The present Chairman has rejected nominees from Journalist bodies citing technical reasons, there by undermining its basic structure.
Triple Talaq – A case to withdraw the triple talalq bill
- No person can be Jailed for a crime that is not a crime.As per supreme court judgement, Instant Triple talaq is no more legally valid.
- Pronouncement of Triple talaq shall not be considered as an emotional abuse under protection of women from domestic violence act. Inconsequential words can not be criminalised.
- It is violative of provisions of Art 21 of the constitution. Supreme Court of India in Maneka Gandhi case has clearly stated that Art 21 also has due process of law. It means a law has to be Just, fair, and reasonable.
Social Media if it tries to use social graph as a profit centres it is bound to create ethical disasters.
Why Indian firms fail to innovate
- Internal inadequacies – lack of managerial capability, urge to have a quick success.
- Externalities beyond companies control – Ex – access to public data.