UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 22nd May 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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22 May 2018
Final congress-JD(S) deal to e hammered today
Congress and JD(S) are in talks for a post poll alliance and sharing of power in Karnataka.
Had Extremely productive talks with Putin
Prime Minister Modi stated that he had extremely productive talks with President Putin. He also stated that strategic partnership between India and Russia evolved in to special strategic partnership.
India is a Permanent Member in Shanghai Cooperation organisation. India and Russia are also cooperating on International North South transport Corridor and BRICS.
Kerala May seek WHO help to battle Nipah
Nipah virus took toll of 4 people in Kerala. To contain the virus, Kerala is willing to seek expertise of WHO.
Around the world in 254 days
A group of woman sailors from Indian Navy led by Lieutenant commander Vartika Joshi have circus navigated the world in INS Tarini.
The classroom as the instructor’s castle
Indian education system is sighted as a reason for lack of creativeness among Indians. It gives importance to studiousness over Independent thought. Amartya sen pointed out the crisis in Indian educational sector to policy’s excessive inclination to aspirations of middle class.
Over regulation and lack of academic freedom to teachers are other issues. It needs an urgent attention to reform of regulatory institutions like UGC.
Reforms that can be looked in to are
- Academic performance indicators must be guided by teaching an research rather than publications in Journals.
- Student evaluation and feedback need to be emphasised.
- Autonomy in class room for teacher is essential.
On the great Asian Highway
South Asia is the least integrated part of the world. It accounts for only 5% of intra regional trade. Bay of Bengal being close to strait of Malacca can be a most strategic place for global trade. Inspite of this, potential is not realised for following reasons are
- BIMSTEC, SAARC are unable to progress fast on their decisions.
- Regional agendas of countries are more competing than complementary.
India – China – Pakistan cooperation can be a solution for this challenge.
Miles to go
Victory amidst violence
BJP is fast rising in Bengal and it is taking away the space of congress and Left. It is reflected in recent local Government elections. TMC though won elections, rise of BJP appears as a major political threat.
Miles to go away
Robustness of Insolvency process can help banks to recover their NPA’s. It also reduces burden on tax payers as recapitalisation fund has to come from them.
In this context, resolution of Bushan Steels case through Insolvency and bankruptcy code is a significant achievement. Speedy resolution of assets can also refreeze valuable assets for production.
However, proposed legibility criteria for bidders need to be relaxed to make the process robust. Insolvency law committee shall take a look in to it. Govt itself stated that insolvency code is a law in evolution.
What’s an election
- Choice and choosing trustees
- Accountability over power
The significance of election do not lie in voting somebody to power, but in the way power is exercised by those elected.
The incorrect association of democracy with choice alone has given primacy for Market economy and lack of democratic spirit among political parties and in social sphere. Political alienation of people and cultural alienation led to growth of shallowness in thinking. It can be an invitation for authoritarian tendencies, growth of right wing in Indian politics.
so, emphasis of democracy has to be on equality than on choice.
The Meghalaya Example
Meghalaya is the first state to pass social audit act (Meghalaya community participation and Public services social audit act). The act has improved planning, Implementation and monitoring of the program. The outcomes are
- Evidence based policy changes
- Sharing information and generation of awareness among people on their entitlements.
- Improved identification of financial and procedural irregularities.
- Institutionalisation of citizen oversight.
- Community participation and grievance redressal.
It is finally speaking truth to power and is much more than a tool of good governance. Civil society participation will determine effectiveness and evolution of this mechanism.