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Daily Hindu notes for UPSC IAS preparation

General Studies-02

[Op-ed]Nuclear deal in danger — on Trump’s UNGA address

  • According to U.S. law, the administration must certify the Iran deal every 90 days.
  • The Trump administration has twice done so, and the next deadline is October 15.
  • Mr. Trump has already signalled that he would withdraw the certification next time. If he does so, it would be the beginning of the unravelling of an agreement that was forged after months of intense negotiation.

Failure of the U.S. to respect an international agreement it’s a signatory to would set a dangerous precedent. For all its shortcomings, the Iran nuclear deal is a multilateral agreement.

  • International agencies have repeatedly certified that Iran is fully compliant with the terms of the agreement, which means the country is not pursuing any nuclear weapons programme.

Is Nuclear deal a success?

  • In plain terms, the deal is a success as it prevented a country with potential nuclear capabilities from developing weapons, and all this without a shot being fired.
  • If the U.S. is serious about non-proliferation, it should use the Iran deal to resolve other complex international conflicts.
  • Mr. Trump’s continued attack on the Iran deal pleases hard-line supporters at home as well as Arab allies and Israel in West Asia. But it is undermining the global non-proliferation regime and international institutions.
  • Should the U.S. pull out of the Iran deal, it would be a great setback for rules-based multilateral mechanisms.

No floor test, no by poll for 18 constituencies in T.N.: HC

News:

The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended its stay on conducting a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly until further orders and also restrained authorities from conducting by-elections to 18 constituencies, which were declared vacant, pursuant to the disqualification of dissident AIADMK MLAs.

Beyond News:

  • Earlier, when the judge wanted to know whether such an order could be passed without the Election Commission being a party before the court and especially when the Assembly Secretary had declared all the 18 seats vacant, Mr. Sundaram replied in the affirmative.
  • Counsel for Governor, Chief Minister and the petitioners consented to it.
  • The judge passed the order after senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, representing Mr. Dhanapal, sought time till October 4 for filing a counter affidavit.

SC reserves Cauvery verdict

News:

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on the appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal in 2007 on the allocation of the river water to the three States.

Beyond News:

  • Tamil Nadu submitted that the court should not leave the dispute open for Karnataka to take advantage of. Though the Centre argued that it is Parliament which has to finalise the scheme under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956, the court responded that it does also have a right.
  • The Centre had argued that Section 6 (2) of the 1956 Act empowered the government to frame a scheme for implementation of the tribunal award.
  • The court has been of the consistent opinion that the Centre should not have let a vacuum remain for so long – the tribunal award was notified in 2013 – in the Cauvery dispute as regards the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and a scheme for sharing of water.

A time of strategic partnerships

  • The India-Japan “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” — a designation and status New Delhi accords to no other partner — has reached new heights under the stewardship of the two leaders.
  • The India-Japan synergy has two key elements.Japan is investing heavily in strengthening its critical infrastructure to enhance its economic and potential defence capabilities.
  • On defence matters, Japan and India have agreed to establish regular consultations in the “2+2” format of their defence and foreign ministries. Their navies exercise regularly together with the U.S. Navy.
  • Negotiations on arms sales — notably, the ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft — are on. Japanese
  • investment in the strategically placed Andaman and Nicobar Islands is likely to help New Delhi establish a major security sentinel in the eastern Indian Ocean.
  • India’s two main strategic partnerships, with the U.S. and Japan, are dovetailing nicely.

Japan, in the meantime, is becoming its primary collaborator in developing its economic sinews and for building a geostrategic network that offers Indian Ocean states an alternative to dependence on China.

General Studies-03

‘Chunk of GST claims ineligible for refunds’

News:

A “large part” of the Rs. 65,000 crore of transitional credit claims received by the government under the Goods and Services Tax regime are ineligible for refunds, a senior Finance Ministry official.

Beyond News:

  • Firms can claim transitional credits for inputs bought and taxes paid before GST rollout.
  • Even where claims were accepted, refunds would be done in a staggered manner over months, and not as a single lump sum.
  • This was because the accumulated credit was more than what could be claimed on manufacturing output in a single month.

India joins quantum computing race

News:

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers.

Indias Quantum-Computing-race

Beyond News:

  • A quantum computer, still largely a theoretical entity, employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information in ‘qubits’ instead of the typical ‘bits’ of 1 and 0.
  • Qubits work faster because of the way such circuits are designed, and their promise is that they can do intensive number-crunching tasks much more efficiently than the fastest comparable computers.
  • For instance, to sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31,623 steps.
  • Solving other problems, many having to do with computing physics, becomes possible on quantum machines, whereas they might never be possible on traditional computers.

[Op-ed]A big broom — On crackdown on shell companies

Op-Ed deals with shell companies & issues behind unions decision to disqualify 1.06 lakh directors

  • While the underlying motive for this action, as cited by the ministry, of “breaking the network of shell companies” in the government’s fight against black money is laudable, there is a real danger of inadvertently tainting genuine firms and individuals.
  • This was in evidence when the Securities Appellate Tribunal recently gave relief to some entities over trading curbs hastily imposed on them by SEBI.
  • The sheer scale of the task at hand, with the ministry identifying more than 1.06 lakh directors for disqualification, it is imperative that there be great care and diligence to ensure that the authorities do not penalise anyone who for non-mala fide reasons failed to comply with the relevant provisions of the Companies Act.

The solutions, therefore, need to be targeted at addressing the deep-rooted maladies rather than just the symptoms, making it easier for entrepreneurs to deregister and/or delist a company.

  • A simplified process, possibly online, to dissolve or delist would usher in significant benefits, including improved governance, and ensure that all stakeholders from small retail investors to corporate promoters have an enabling atmosphere to operate freely by remaining compliant with the law or risk facing stringent penal action.

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