INDIA-USA Relations

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India USA Relations
  1. a) Visa dispute
  • In March 2016, India dragged the US to WTO’s dispute settlement body against the latter’s measures imposing increased fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B visa categories.
  • India has stated that the move would impact Indian IT professionals.
  • India has alleged that the US is violating its obligations under General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as well as the GATS Annex on Movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services, to not discriminate against or between non-US service providers.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) report

  • A Congressional report has warned American lawmakers that if visa dispute between India and US moves to formal settlement phase, it could possibly result in WTO-authorised trade retaliation against the U.S.
  • Report said India contends, among other things, that the 2010 and 2015 fee increases do not comply with “most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment” under the GATS.

Protectionist measures

  • In its analysis, CRS noted that the petition fees increases mandated by the 2010 and 2015 acts are “arguably protectionist” because they “may exceed” the government’s cost in processing a visa applicant.
  • It also could be a punitive measure targeting certain employers perceived by some Members of Congress as abusers of the foreign worker visas.

 

  1. b) Defence cooperation
  • The U.S Congress is planning to pass the National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 The draft in this regard was recently released.

Background

  • NDAA seeks executive action to “recognise India’s status as a major defence partner of the United States.”
  • The U.S has already recognised India as a “major defence partner” in June, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, but the implications of it remains undefined.

NDAA 2017 on India-US defence ties

  • It mandates to “designate an individual within the executive branch who has experience in defense acquisition and technology” to ensure the success of bilateral defence ties and “to help resolve remaining issues impeding” them.
  • It also calls for “strengthening the effectiveness of the U.S.-India Defence Trade and Technology Initiative and the durability of the Department of Defence’s “India Rapid Reaction Cell,” a special unit that reviews ties with India.
  • “Major Defence Partner” is based on the concept of the US treating India as its closest ally and partner for the purpose of technology transfer.
  • Both sides reviewed the progress in defence ties in recent years, and welcomed the progress achieved under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) intended to promote opportunities for co-production and co-development of weapon systems and platforms.
  • In the past two years, some major agreements were signed:
  1.   a) The Defence Framework Agreement in 2015, which laid a blueprint for collaboration between the defence establishments
  2.   b) The logistics support agreement Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

 1.2 HEART OF ASIA (HOA) CONFERENCE

Why in News?

  • Recently, India hosted the 6th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia (HoA) in Amritsar.

Amritsar Declaration: Key Highlights

  • It called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition.
  • State-sponsored terrorism was identified as a key challenge and members agreed upon a concerted effort to dismantle all kinds of terrorism.
  • Members reiterated their belief in principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, sovereign equality of nations as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
  • Members expressed their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Right.
  • Members called up for leveraging the cultural heritage of the region to drive economic and social development.
  • Members consented on eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade.
  • Members concerned about the increase in production and cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the volume of drug trafficking and demand in the HoA Region and beyond.

Triple Talaq

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Triple Talaq

Historical Background

  • The main issue confronting judiciary in terms of “Triple Talaq” is the Shayara Bano case.
  • This matter comes 30 years after the controversial Shah Bano maintenance case, which resulted in parliament passing a law to override a Supreme Court verdict giving a divorced Muslim woman a highes maintenance than what she got under personal laws.

 

What is the issue?

  • The 35 year old Shyaro Bano is using her case as a plank to challenge.
  • Triple Talaq (Talaq-e-bidat)
  • Polygamy and
  • Nikah halala

 

Understanding the issue

  • She had sought equality before law and protection against discrimination on the basis of her gender and religion.
  • In her petition. She has challenged ‘instantaneous triple talaq’ and not triple talaq itself which is allowed by the quran as long as the three utterances are spread over 90 days.

 

What is Nikah Halala?

  • It is a practice where:
  • Divorced women
  • In case they want to go back to their husbands.
  • Have to consummate a second marriage.

 

What is triple Talaq?

  • In the talaq or divorce is situation when the husband peonounces the phrase:
  • “I divorce you” to his wife.
  • A man may divorce his wife three times, taking her back after the first two (reconciling).

 

Forms of giving talaq

  • Triple talaq case is about the right of muslim women in India and women in general.
  • The debate can be extended as instant triple talaq has been banned in most Islamic countries.
  • The archaic practice of triple talaq place in many forms – over phone by sending letter, speed post, by utter talaq three times in one go, by writing it on the wall of the house and not specifically informing the spouse.

 

Is it being misused?

  • Nowadays mostly, the instantaneous triple talaq is misused by the husband to divorce his existing wife with another woman and subsequently marry her.
  • Threat of triple talaq always hangs over the heads of women husband use talaq as a threat to express their.
  • Displeasure
  • Frustration or
  • Simply to get his wife to do what he wants.

 

  • This blatant misuse to triple talaq become a tool for domestic violence and abuse against muslim in their homes.
  • Husbands often do not give the maintenance asked for, by their wives, who have no other means to support themselves if they were divorced suddenly.

 

Earlier cases regarding triple talaq

  • There have been PILs filed by NGOs and individuals in the Supreme Court but those didn’t stand as they weren’t field by:
  • An affected party (divorced women) or
  • Because they pleaded that Uniform civil code be introduced.
  • Shayara’s is first such case where a muslim woman has challenged a personal practice citing fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

 

Personal laws regarding marriage

  • The muslim personal law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, allows Indian muslims to be governed by the Shariat.
  • It’s lack of codification has legally allowed community leaders to held the practices as sacrosanct.
  • The Dissolution of muslim marriages Act, 1939 odifies-“a woman’s right to seek divorce by approaching the court.”
  • Progressive laws like the Dissolution of muslim marriages Act, 1939 and the muslim woman (protection of right on Divorce) Act, 1986 had not been able to wean the community away from discrimination shown to muslim women.

 

Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA)

  • The BMMA’s argument is that triple talaq and nikah halala to be struck down as being un-Islamic an antithetical to Islam itself.
  • Moman’s right groups contended that courts could adjudicate under Article 13 of the constitution if the shariat law was found to be “inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental right” of muslim women.
  • Countering this appeal the Muslim religious bodies said a court could not adjudicate on muslim personal laws.

 

The Hindu Personal laws Angle

  • The argument in favour of reform is that the hindu have had to codify and reform laws. This was done under which the Hindu Right was codified on the insistence of prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru proposed it in the 1950s and the then law Minister. Dr. B.r. Ambedkar had to do it.
  • Just like it was done for hindu law why then should muslims be allowed to get away without similar codifications and laws.

 

Why so much of noise regarding this issue now?

  • In today’s age of connectivity:
  • The Ouran and various interpretations are available on mobile phones.
  • Muslim women have more exposure.
  • Literacy rates of women have risen and
  • Their participation in the workforce has increased.

 

  • Specifically in the current Shayaro Bano matter the disagreement is between:
  • Those who see Islamic law itself was opposed to the idea of equality enshrined in the constitution and
  • Those who argue that triple talaq and nikah halala are not Islamic.

 

  • The Special Marriages Act exists for those for whom:
  • Faith is not central to companionship or
  • for those who marry across faith or
  • even caste
  • These practices are a violation of article 14,15,21,25.

 

Major Landmark cases governing the debate of Shah Bano case.

 

Damiel Latifi V/s Union of India, 2001.

  • It was held in this case that liability of muslim husband to his divorced wife to pay maintenance is not confined to iddat period.
  • According to the SC, a divorce Muslim woman who has not remarried and who is not able to maintain herself after iddat period can proceed against her relatives who are liable to maintain her in proportion to the properties which they inherit on her death.

 

Shamim Ara V/s State of U.P

  • Supreme Court held in this case that the requirement of a valid talaq are:
  • That the talaq must be for a reasonable cause.
  • It must be preceded by attempts of reconciliation between the husband and wife by two arbiters:
  • One chosen by the wife from her family and
  • The other by the husband from his family.
  • If their attempts fail, talaq can be affected.

 

Constitutional Angle – Uniform Civil Code

  • Uniform Civil code is the proposal to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set governing every citizen.
  • These laws are distinguished from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.
  • Article 44 of the Directive principles in India sets its implementation as duty of the State. Whether it will be implemented in future remains to be seen as it is an issue comprising of many complex issues of religious rights, diversity, primacy of equality of laws over religious rights and can affect the vote bank of each and every political party.

SOUTH CHINA SEA ISSUE

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South China Sea
  • What is its history?
  • Xia and Ham dynasty records – These records are 2000-4000 year old, China has laid to claim on the SCS on the basis of these records.
  • Nine dash line (1947) – drawn by Chinese government to claim South China Sea.
  • UNCLOS – United Nations convention on the law of the sea. UNCLOS III [United Nations conference on the law of sea] – (1973-82) – distributes territorial waters among nations.
  • 21st century developments – Became important because of trade routes, and oil. All countries wanted a share in it. China Claims it more.

 

  • What is the argument about?
  • Territory and sovereignty – China wants the nine dash line implemented. All other countries want china to withdraw from militarizing the area heavily.
  • Spratly and Paracel – These are two important group of island. All the fighting countries want one or another part of it.

 

Who claims what?

  • China – Claims all territory inside the nine dash line but also the entire South China Sea. It has not made its demands very clear.
  • Vietnam – disputes China’s historical claim and says that they were ruling over both spratley and paracel island since 17th
  • Philippines – wants spratley islands as they are close to them along with Scarborough Island.
  • Malaysia – Claims territorial waters around its boundary in the South China Sea and some islands in the spritley group.
  • Brunei – Only South China Sea near its boundary.

 

  • Who has built what?
  • Vietnam – Taiwan and the Philippines – Island building in the South China Sea, and contraction on existing island has been going on for decades, by Vietnam and the Philippines. Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines have all stationed military force on at least some of their islands.
  • China – Entered late but building fast. In the last 18 months, china has reportedly more new island surface them all other nations have contructed throughout history. Only china possesses enough modern military vessels to protest its claims.

 

  • Why china wants it?
  • Dominate major trade route for its imported oil flow.
  • Deny access to foreign military or trade shipments whenever they want. Especially the us.
  • Floor of South China Sea may contain large oil and natural gas reserves.

 

  • What is the US response?
  • Did not oppose previous building activities of other nations like Vietnam or Philippines. But is hell bent against china’s activities there.
  • Freedom of navigation mission – by using aircraft and naval vessels close to Chinese Bases.
  • Also supporting regional allies like Vietnam and Philippines with technology and military hardware to boost their power.

 

  • How is India affected
  • In latest news, the permanent court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled against China’s claims over South China Sea.
  • This means India can now move naval warships through the region without informing the chinese.

 

  • How Should India react
  • Under the Act East policy of the BJP government, India has expanded its role at the maritime navigation, particularly in South East Asia.
  • Hence it can exercise the freedom of navigation principle in international water. This will enhance India’s Credibility and reputation as a maritime power in the re

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ias

VEDANTA IAS ACADEMY is India’s well-known best ias academy in delhi,Top ias coaching Institute in delhi preparing candidates for the Civil Services Examination at all the three levels – Preliminary Test, Main Examination and Personality Test.The Institute is a unit of VEDANTA GROUP OF INSTITUTIONS and was founded in 1997 by Mr. S. P.  Verma who is well known Scholar and Social worker.

Since its inception the Institute has helped over good strength of students to enter the Civil Services including I.A.S., I.F.S., I.P.S. and States Civil Services.

Every year some of our students have secured positions top rank among successful candidates. The teaching faculty of the Institute has been drawn from highly qualified and experienced teachers of the various reputed Institutions from India and abroad.
read more →

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Categories: Tags:
ias

VEDANTA IAS ACADEMY is India’s well-known best ias academy in delhi,Top ias coaching Institute in delhi preparing candidates for the Civil Services Examination at all the three levels – Preliminary Test, Main Examination and Personality Test.The Institute is a unit of VEDANTA GROUP OF INSTITUTIONS and was founded in 1997 by Mr. S. P.  Verma who is well known Scholar and Social worker.

Since its inception the Institute has helped over good strength of students to enter the Civil Services including I.A.S., I.F.S., I.P.S. and States Civil Services.

Every year some of our students have secured positions top rank among successful candidates. The teaching faculty of the Institute has been drawn from highly qualified and experienced teachers of the various reputed Institutions from India and abroad.
read more →