India Japan Strategic Relationship

Strategic partnership:

Defence ties

  • Both the countries have agreed to enhance exchanges between their forces with more bilateral exercises and exchanges in the field of technology at a time when India wants to increase domestic defence production.
  • The Armies of both nations will hold a joint exercise on anti-terrorism in 2018 for the first time.
  • The talks are on to include bilateral training between the two navies and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training to expand cooperation.
  • Both the countries seek to strengthen cooperation between their Air Forces.

Cooperation in Defence and technology

  • There will be collaboration between Acquisition, Technology and Logistic Agency (ATLA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for research in the areas of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Robotics.

Malabar 2017

  • India-US-Japan successfully undertook this trilateral naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. This is necessary to maintain freedom of navigation in the South China sea to counter Chinese hegemony.

Disaster relief

  • Japan has invited India to participate in a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise held by Japan Ground Self Defence Force as an observer.

Diplomacy

  • 2+2 dialogue between the Foreign Ministries and Defence ministries of both the nations will take place in 2018.

Infrastructure

  • Japan funds many road projects in the Northeast India to help bridge the gap between the strategically important Northeastern states. This would provide trade routes in the region and give it economic-push.
  • Bullet train: Japan is helping India in building bullet trains. It has invested $12 billion for India’s first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

Cooperation in Africa:

  • Japan and its banks are cooperating with India for investment in Africa. This is very important so as to counter China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR).
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How will NSG membership help India? 

How will NSG membership help India? 

Clean energy push:

  • India is a growing country with massive energy needs.
  • It has set for itself an ambitious goal of sourcing 40% of its power from non-fossil sources and here is where nuclear energy comes into play.
  • India will need latest technology and NSG membership will come in handy.
  • Though it got a one-time NSG waiver in 2008, the country needs constant access to global markets and a stable trading framework.
  • Being a member of the NSG will also mean that India will have far greater access to uranium than it does currently under its 2008 agreement with the US. For example, Namibia is the fourth-largest producer of uranium and it agreed to sell the nuclear fuel to India in 2009.
  • However, that hasn’t happened, as Namibia has since cited a 2009 African version of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Pelindaba Treaty, which essentially controls the supply of uranium from Africa to the rest of the world.
  • If India joins the NSG, such reservations from Namibia are expected to melt away.

It helps domestic firms:

  • A place on the nuclear trading table will help Indian companies such as the Walchandnar Industries Limited (WIL) and L&T to expand business.
  • India has a robust indigenous nuclear industry that worked mostly in isolation as international sanctions were slapped every time a nuclear test was conducted.
  • An NSG membership will make these companies comply with international norms and make it easier for them to ply their trade abroad.

Make in India:

  • New Delhi and Moscow have announced a plan to build reactors in India to sell them to other countries, a move expected to give a push to the Modi government’s Make in India initiative.
  • It will not only generate jobs but also help in technology development.
  • As an NSG member, India will be better placed to implement the initiative.

End of the nuclear winter:

  • One of the objectives of the 2008 nuclear deal was that the US would help India get into export-control regimes such as the NSG, the MTCR (missile technology control regime), Australia Group and Wassenar Arrangement.
  • As a member of these groupings, India will have access to defence, space and nuclear technologies.
  • The MTCR is done, of the remaining, the NSG is most crucial.
  • Admission to the MTCR will open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology and surveillance drones such as Predator.

10 ‘noble commitments’ for global transformation by PM Modi

10 Commitments and Suggestions:

1. Creating Safer World:

  • It can be achieved by organised and coordinated action on issues like counter-terrorism, cyber security and disaster management.

2. Creating Greener World:

  • It can be achieved by taking concerted action on countering climate change. For e.g initiatives like International Solar Alliance.

3. Creating Enabled World:

  • It can be achieved by sharing and deploying suitable technologies to enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness.

4. Creating Inclusive World

  • It can be achieved by mainstreaming the people in the banking and financial system.

5. Creating Digital world:

  • It can be achieved by bridging the digital divide within and outside the economies.

6. Creating Skilled World:

  • It can be created by giving future-ready skills to millions of the youths.

7. Creating Healthier World:

  • It can be created by cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases, and enabling affordable health care for all.

8. Creating Equitable World:

  • It can be achieved by providing equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality.

9. Creating Connected World:

  • The world can be connected by enabling the free flow of goods, persons and services.

10. Creating Harmonious World:

  • The world can by harmonious by promoting ideologies, practices, and heritage that are centered on peaceful coexistence and living in harmony with nature.

Everything about Ordinance

What is an ordinance and who makes it?

  • Article 123 of the Indian Constitution grants the President of India to Promulgate Ordinances when either of the two Houses of the Parliament is not in session which makes it impossible for a single House to pass and enact a law.
  • Ordinances may relate to any subject that the parliament has the power to make law, and would be having same limitations.

When an ordinance can be issued?

  • When legislature is not in session.
  • When immediate action is needed: Here the Supreme Court has clarified that the legislative power to issue ordinances is ‘in the nature of an emergency power’ given to the executive only ‘to meet an emergent situation’.

How parliament exercises control over ordinance making power of President? 

  • The constitution provides two parliamentary checks vis-a-vis the promulgation of ordinance [Art 123(2) (a)]:
  • The power of parliament to pass resolutions disapproving the provisions of the ordinance.
  • The automatic expiry of the ordinance within six weeks of the reassembly of the houses of the parliament unless passed by the parliament; this gives a chance for the parliament to debate on the ordinance and review it accordingly.

Ordinance making powers of the Governor

  • Just as the President of India is constitutionally mandated to issue Ordinances under Article 123, the Governor of a state can issue Ordinances under Article 213, when the state legislative assembly (or either of the two Houses in states with bicameral legislatures) is not in session.
  • The powers of the President and the Governor are broadly comparable with respect to Ordinance making.
  • However, the Governor cannot issue an Ordinance without instructions from the President in certain cases where the assent of the President would have been required to pass a similar Bill.

Key debates relating to the Ordinance making powers of the Executive.

  • There has been significant debate surrounding the Ordinance making power of the President (and Governor).
  • Constitutionally, important issues that have been raised include:
  • Judicial review of the Ordinance making powers of the executive;
  • The necessity for ‘immediate action’ while promulgating an Ordinance;
  • And the granting of Ordinance making powers to the executive, given the principle of separation of powers.

Important Cases:

  • In 1970, RC Cooper vs.Union of India Case the Supreme Court, held that the President’s decision on Ordinance could be challenged on the grounds that ‘immediate action’ was not required; and the Ordinance had been passed primarily to by-pass debate and discussion in the legislature.
  • In 1980, AK Roy vs.Union of India case the Court argued that the President’s Ordinance making power is not beyond the scope of judicial review.

About the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT):

  • The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into force in 1970, following widespread international concern about the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and the spiraling nuclear weapon stocks of those states that had developed them.
  • The NPT is a multilateral treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons including three elements: (1) non-proliferation, (2) disarmament, and (3) peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • It says:
  • States without nuclear weapons will not acquire them;
  • States with nuclear weapons will pursue disarmament;
  • All states can access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, under safeguards.
  • According to the treaty the nuclear weapon states are the United States, UK, Russia, China and France.
  • Three states, Israel, India and Pakistan did not sign the NPT.
  • They stayed outside the treaty framework and have developed nuclear weapons.
  • North Korea signed the treaty but withdrew from it in 2003.

Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status

What is Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status? 

  • The WTO as the trade-promoting body has certain key principles or philosophical themes for its working.
  • One such principle is non-discrimination which is well scripted in Most Favored Nation (MFN) treatment.
  • The MFN is a status or treatment given by one country to another in trade matters.
  • It means that the recipient country of MFN will nominally get equal trade advantage as the ‘most favoured nation’ by the country granting the treatment.
  • Though the MFN status says the receiving country is the most favoured by the issuing country; the meaning is slightly different.
  • The real meaning is that the receiving country will not be treated disadvantageously by the issuing country in trade matters vis a vis other countries.
  • Under WTO, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners.
  •  If a special favour is granted to a particular country, it should be extended to all other WTO members.
  • In this respect, the MFN is so important that it is the first article of the GATT, which governs trade in goods.
  • The MFN status was accorded to Pakistan by India in 1996 as per India’s commitments as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • Pakistan, a founding member of the WTO like India, is yet to grant the MFN tag to India (and Israel).

Exceptions for MFN: 

  • MFN at the same time allows some exemptions as well.
  • One such exemption is the right to engage in Free Trade Agreements.
  • This means members can participate in regional trade agreements or free trade agreements where there is discrimination between member countries and non member countries.
  • Another exemption is that members can give developing countries special and differential treatment like greater market access.
  • This special concession are in different forms like reduced tariff rates from developing country imports, concessions that allows developing countries to give subsidies to their production sectors etc.
  • All these exceptions are subjected to strict conditions.
  • In general, MFN means that every time a country lowers a trade barrier or opens up a market, it has to do so for the same goods or services from all its trading partners — whether rich or poor, weak or strong.
  • Each member treats all the other members equally as “most-favoured” trading partners.

WTO- Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

  • Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) envisages faster clearances and reduction of red tapism at the borders and would thereby help in the ease of doing business.
  • TFA is bound to change the Indian trade and would bring more transparency in trade process.
  • after TFA ratification, the world wide best trade practices would be shared among the member countries.
  • She said while we have made rapid strides in streamlining our processes on the line of International best practices, in several areas, we need to ensure speedy legislation so that there are visible beneficial outcomes through trade facilitation. member countries would seek to simplify trade procedures and help promote cross border trade, bring greater predictability to traders and help improve the overall climate for trade and investment.
  • TFA is supposed to enable domestic manufacturers, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises, connect more easily to regional and Global Value Chains.
  • TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets-out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. Smt. Sitharaman said these objectives of TFA are in consonance with India’s ease of doing business initiative.