UPSC IAS The Hindu Current Affairs 6 Feb 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.
6th February 2018
Maldives Government declares emergency
In a response to supreme court judgement Maldives Government announces emergency and suspends fundamental rights and supreme court itself.
When two adults marry, none should interfere
SC of India held that marriage is a choice between adult individuals. Khap panchayats have no role to play in declaring them as illegal.
Log term capital gains tax is reintroduced by the Government in budget 2018-19. It is levied on earnings greater than 1lakh rupees with out any indexing to inflation for holdings for a period greater than an year. It is mean to achieve level playing field across different class of assets. Added to this, securities transaction tax already exists.
Issues with long term capital gains tax
- It decreases incentive for long term holding of an equity by the holder.
- It can make india a less attractive investment destination. It can erode India’s credibility in international markets.
So, 10% long term capital gains tax should be revised by allowing indexation.
Courting the rankings
India’s performance in ease of doing business index on the front of enforcement of contracts is dismal. It is due to poor performance of judicial process. As pert the world bank report , an average time to settle a dispute is 4 years and the cost is close to 31% of the value of contract. That is litigation is too dilatory and expensive in India.
Parliament has passed commercial courts, commercial division and commercial appellate division of high courts act to create special courts for commercial disputes. It was left to the states to implement the law.
To Make it effective, following are necessary
- Separate courts are necessary rather than giving additional duty to district judge.
- Presiding officers of courts need to be sufficiently trained and experienced in commercial disputes.
- Statistical data regarding functioning of these courts need to be displayed on the website.
Making health insurance work
Remember these points
Health insurance schemes can work only if primary health care system in the country is effective. Curative care need to be built on robust primary, preventive care. In this scenario, PHC are being renamed as health and wellness centres is a positive sign.
Challenges of National health protection scheme
- NHPS also did not give much attention to out of pocket expenditure to be incurred by patients.
- NHPS is too disconnected from primary health.
- Proper regulation is necessary on the costs of health care and quality standards in insurance based health care delivery. If not, cost escalations are possible.
- States are expected to contribute 40% of the program. To what extent, states will be willing to take forward a centre’s program is a question.
- Funds allocated for program appears to be very less.
The anatomy of another riot
Riots in India are becoming a norm rather than an exception. It clearly shows failure of law enforcement machinery, civil society, Media functioning. The reasons for its raise are
- Fractured narrative : projection of communalism as patriotism and not a secular loyalty.
- communalisation of public services
- Ineffective legal instruments to fight communalism :
- Lack of effective justice delivery mechanism for victims of communalism.