UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 16th 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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16 April 2018
Mandate and allocations
The bigger issues in relation to terms of reference to finance commission this year are
- Conditions by the centre to states for borrowing under Art 293(3) of the constitution.
- Measurable performance based incentives to states in respect to a number of areas – implementation of flagship schemes, progress towards replacement rate of population growth, control or lack of it in incurring expenditure on populist measures, promoting ease of doing business.
- Centre wants commission to review revenue deficit grants.
- Centre wants to have more funds for developmental programmes under New India 2022. It means it is expected to spend more on state subjects.
- Terms of reference aims to reduce allocation of grants under scope of Art 275 and increase the same under 282.
Finally , it need to be remembered that devolution of taxes to sates is not charity, but it is their right.
The 115 aspirational district program is aimed at bringing hierarchal top down administrative structures to work more in a collaborative environment. It will have an incharge officer at the state and central level who will directly coordinate with district level incharge officer.
Another important aspect to this is real time collection of quality data. It is expected to improvise decision making in Government.
War for war
USA attack on Syria in retaliation to chemical attacks in Douma near Damascus will further complicate matters in war torn Syria. USA undertook the strike before the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons even began. It should have waited till the inter governmental watch dog has submitted evidence.