UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 23rd 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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23 May 2018
Police firing claims 10lives in Tamil Nadu
10 people are killed in Thoothukudi in police firing. Protestants are organised against sterlite industries accused of being responsible for air and water pollution.
Nipah toll now 11, 2 persons critical
Niaph virus spread through bats and pigs is rising to the proportion of an epidemic in Kerala.
App will help voters to share malpractice proof
Election commission of India brought a new mobile application, called model code of conduct violation reporting app. It is meant for citizens to directly report commission about electoral malpractices.
Most favour service on exam rank
PMO asked opinions of department of personnel and training to determine service allocation/cadre allocation after foundation course in academy. It was proposed by Kothari committee in 1976. But other committees – Satish Chandra committee, Alagh committee and second ARC recommended for allocation to service/cadre based on exam merit.
The fading appeal of soft power
Indian foreign policy during Nehru era were guided by values. It provided India with necessary respect and acceptance along with strategic autonomy in international affairs. Roots of Panchasheel and NAM are in this.
Today, India is guided by the pursuit of Power and Influence. It seems to eclipse India’s traditions of Normative behaviour and principled positions. It is visible in the following actions.
- India has declined Rohingya refugees and it was vocal on their plight as it may displease Myanmar. Opportunity was taken away by china to mediate between Myanmar and Bangladesh. This was traditionally India’s place of action.
- India claims itself to be moving from Non alignment to Multi alignment. India being called as a major defence partner of USA and its agreements like LEMOA are examples of this.
- India has deviated from its principled position and developed its strong bonding with Israel. It do not show any concern to human right violations of Israel in Gaza.
- SAARC and NAM – both India centric institutions are neglected.
In this context it need to be stated that India has ignored strengths of its soft power in its inclination towards hard power. The soft power persuasiveness of a country is a product of its political ideals, civilisational values and its cultural resonance. India shall realise that, these are its core strengths.
Keeping each other on edge
Tussle between executive and Judiciary is misplaced. Any kind of friction among the institutions is natural in the reign of separation of powers. It helps them to evolve and history has examples for it.
The Nipah test
Loss of Habitat for bats is the major reason for spread of Nipah virus. It is highly infectious and spreads to the people those come in contact with victims. Using masks and following strict hand wash regimen are best defences against virus.
Nicolas Maduro is elected as president of Venezuela midst of discontent and economic hardships. It can fuel further sanctions from west.
Commodities centred economic prosperity failed in Venezuela as oil prices dropped. In this scenario, economic sanctions can further Cripple the economy and can lead to humanitarian crisis.
On other side, maduro need to take steps to increase democratic space.
Interview – Julie Bishop – Australia foreign minister
- Australia is ready to join Malabar exercises.
- Quadrilateral security dialogue is an extension of already existing trilateral strategy dialogue between India, Japan and USA and USA, Japan and Australia.
- Australia and India are natural defence partners. AUSINDEX is an example for this.
- Security cooperation, economic engagement and people to people contacts are the key pillars of economic growth.
A ceasefire will work only if Pakistan joins it
Ceasefire announced by Government of India can only work if there are talks with Pakistan and consultations with all stakeholders in Kashmir. – Farooq Abdullah.
Small farmers get a raw deal
As per RBI report to Parliamentary standing committee, among the priority sector lending, small farmers are getting only 42.2% of agricultural credit disbursed.
Under Priority sector lending 18% is mandated for agricultural lending. Banks are interested to lend medium and large farmers, close to urban areas for their economic interests.