UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 18th 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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18 April 2018
Managing an election
In Karnataka, political one upmanship has driven he concerns of the state to the backstage. It is surprising to note that no political party released its manifesto till date and are involved with election management. Visiting mutts, raising issues of religious and caste identity took precedence.
In this scenario, plight of farmers, underdevelopment of south Karnataka and rural urban divide did not come to centre stage.
Chasing the monsoon
Indian meteorological department (IMD) predicts a normal monsoon for the coming Kharif season. However, increasing farm production in India is not converting in to income to farmers. The major reason are
- Drop in prices due to surplus production
- Increasing costs of production in India.
- MSP is offered only to certain crops in India.
Added to this, India shall focus on recharge of ground water, water use efficiency. India has close to 8 times higher use of water for cotton crop compared to china. Yield is also very low in India.
Monsoon forecast in India
Clamour for death
There is an increasing demand for death penalty for criminals involved with sexual offences against children. They seek an amendment for Protection of children from sexual offences (POSCO) act in this regard.
But, empirically there is no connection between reduction in incidence of crime and harsh punishments. It is going to further alienate the country form others where the mood is against capital punishment.
Any law making exercise shall be a well considered exercise rather than a response based on a sense of outrage over particular incidents.
JS verma committee recommendations.
Non alignment redux
What non alignment means to India depends on the prism through which it is viewed. NAM can be seen form the prism of alliances and it casts doubt on india’s NAM credentials. If it is seen from the 10 principles of NAM ( Bandung conference, Afro Asian conference), India is still part of NAM.
NAM has come in to existence due to common history among Asian and African countries. They are against imperialism, colonialism and racism. It is rejection of cold war bloc politics and assertion of policy autonomy and sovereignty by newly independant countries.
India joining quadrilateral security dialogue is reflection of changing global order and if we see by principles of NAM, India still believes in It.
NAM – 10 principles
The New South Asia
China’s influence is increasing in South Asia. There are natural reasons for neighbouring small countries in south Asia to be apprehensive of India. It’s structural dominance, political instability in neighbouring countries is leading to a projection of India as a hegemon. Anti India sentiment is a political weapon for winning elections.
Rivalry with Pakistan has took away lot of India’s diplomatic capital and lack of innovation in diplomacy, eternal delay in infrastructure projects India promised created Vaccum which China is able to successfully occupy.
In this scenario, very idea of South Asian Geography is undergoing a change. India is trying to focus more on BIMSTEC and SAARC minus Pakistan. It need to be emphasised that India has to creatively remaking its strategic geography and shall evolve new terms of engagement.
China to scrap ownership limits on foreign car makers
China have ownership limits on foreign manufacturers to encourage local industry. In car industry 50% of the ownership shall be possessed by Chinese national. In the light of growing criticism and tariffs from USA, china has decided to remove these ownership limits. It is expected to benefit companies like Tesla, BMW.
Aadhar – Aadhar leak may sway polls, fears SC
SC of India expressed fears that leak of Aadhar data can sway polls and it can be used for targeting of voting behaviour citizens.
China – Japan hold reset talks ahead of Abe’s USA visit
In light of growing protectionism from USA, china and Japan leading manufactures of the world appears to be resetting their ties. Both are trying to look n to synergy between one belt and one road initiative and Japan’s Indo pacific blue print.
Japan sees India, USA, Australia as its main partners in implementing Indo-Pacific strategy. Japan has proposed a free and open Indo pacific with the stated purpose of enhanced connectivity between Asia and Africa.
IMF stated that corporate debt overhang and associated banking sector credit quality are the immediate concerns to address in Indian financial sector.
India – Sweden agree upon win-win joint action plan
India and Sweden agreed for joint action plan in defence, counter terrorism legal framework, Innovation partnership.
Law commission favours simultaneous elections
Law commission proposed for simultaneous elections and suggested constitutional amendments in this regard.
- The leader of majority party be elected as Prime Minister or Chief minister by the entire house for stability.
- In case Government falls mid term the term of the Government would be for the remaining period only.
- A no confidence motion against the Government should be followed by a confidence motion.