UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 31st 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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31 May 2018
ICICI bank to inquire in to allegations against Kochhar
ICICI bank appointed an inquiry committee to inquire in to allegations of corruption, fund misuse and conflict of interest against its CEO Ms. Chanda Kochhar.
The federalist principles
Individual rights and federalism have come in to question in USA and India
In the latest census, federal Government ordered for citizenship status. It mean that future resource allocation to the state will depend on number of citizens rather than number of residents. At the same time, all the legal residents who are employed are expected to pay taxes. But they do not figure in the population census for resource allocation. As most of the residents (Not citizens) are immigrants and minorities this policy can go against democratic values and ethos.
In India, revision of allocation of constituencies to states is ceased till 2026. It mean fresh revision of constituencies can only happen after 2031 census. Because of this, one person, one vote, one value is diluted. Similarly taking 1971 census for allocation of finances by finance commission has undermined principle of equity.
Competitive federalism appears to be working in favour of rich states in a market economy. Today, it is institutionalised in india and rationale of taxation, redistribution is undermined by the Market economy.
Charting its own path
India is trying to push its nuclear position for civic benefits and de facto recognition of nuclear power. India is not a signatory of NPT and it can not be recognised as a nuclear power state as NPT recognises nuclear weapon states as those that possess nuclear weapons before 1968.
So, way forward for India is to make NPT irrelevant for India, while not undermining the treaty.
India is trying to join Wassennar agreement, Australian group, NSG, MTCR to get necessary legitimacy.
In its effort to get legitimacy, India is behaving as a responsible nuclear power. Its nuclear doctrine reflects the same.
VVPAT machines introduced by election commission to tally the votes polled in EVMs are facing technical glitches. They also made process complex. EC shall take steps to fix them. If not, it can erode confidence of people on election process itself.
Reassessing Deve Gowda
Deve Gowda as Prime Minister made considerable efforts in
- Building peace in Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Elections in Punjab and Kashmir were successfully conducted. Ceasefire agreement penned down in Nagaland and it holds good even for today.
- He is able to build good relations with neighbours. Water sharing agreement with Bangladesh was concluded during his tenure. He was able to take west Bengal in to confidence to achieve the same. Similarly, with Nepal Mahakali treaty was concluded. He had a flexible approach towards Pakistan and recognised its role for peace in Kashmir.
- Internally, PESA act was enacted during his tenure.
The people’s will
Catalan issue is uncharted territory in global politics
Democratically elected Government in Catalonia declared independence for itself. At the same time, Spain constitution do not allow for secession and every nation state defends its territorial integrity.
In case of Catalonia, democratic aspirations and concerns for Sovereignty are challenging each other.