UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 7th 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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07 April 2018
Tumultuous budget session marked by disruption ends.
Both houses of parliament adjourned sine die, over 249 hours of work last. This session of parliament is stated to be the least productive session.
Encroachment in 4 national parks in Assam : Minister
Assam – minister for environment and forests state that encroachments exist in 4 national parks. – Kaziranga, Manas, Dibru-saikhowa and Nameri.
Government bans imports of hormone Oxytcin
Imports of Oxytocin – used in live stock industry to extract more milk is banned by the Government. It is stated to be causing an hormonal imbalance in animals.
Not above the law
Trial courts conviction to Salman khan in black buck hunting case reminds us of the weak implementation of Wild life protection act 1972.
Understaffing of forest guards, low conviction rates, VIP poachers, organised hunting gangs are the reasons for weak implementation of the law.
The present judgement states that Judicial system feels no constraint in exerting full weight of the law in protecting wild life.
China-USA trade war is continuing. President trump states trade arrangements are unfair to USA. He also alleges china policies are pushing US companies to relinquish their intellectual property rights to gain market access in china. USA fears that it is tune with China’s industrial policy 2025.
Added to this, president Trump appears to have a general reluctance towards multilateral arrangements that have benefitted west the most. America moved out from trans pacific partnership, Paris agreement, and pushing changes to NAFTA. It need to be reminded that protectionism hurts everyone.
Forging a culture of innovation
Government of India has increased expenditure on innovation in India through various programs like Atal innovation mission Inspire awards, VAJRA, Prime Minister fellowships etc. India is ranked third in number of research papers published and ranking of India improved in global innovation index. But, there are many issues that remain unaddressed.
- India has ethos of publishing not patenting – though India is publishing papers, there are no patents. It is due to bogus journals and bio data publications /patents. Institutional weakness include patent pendency for years together.
- Though Indian expenditure on research has increased, it is still significantly low compared to International standards. In India, private sector participation is too low in research. This needs a correction.
- Commercialisation of patents is not happening – the major reason for this is lack of funding. India’s IPR policy need an amendment to encourage start ups to utilise filed patents.
- R&D sector in india fails to retain talent. It needs a change in research eco system, innovation culture.
- Supportive eco system needs greater access to public data.
( note – Read IPR Policy of India )