Ad Here  
April
May
June
July
August
September
 
 
When the President was rendered homeless… Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Maximising the micro pricing … Solar thermal shines… Sri Lanka votes for change A proud Madrasi China invests in India Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Making ‘my Amaravati’... Breaththrough in malaria control Kudos to NDTV... Modi storms Silicon Valley Make standards certification mandatory... More tributes to GR Discoms deserve better… Tatas moving out of urea production... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Preserving for the future Muffled voices for merit… Gay abandon in pricing Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS GNS - 100: our first subscriber Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra A think tank for Chennai Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Russi Mody – a tribute Return to king coal for urea... When nations steal growth from one another… A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Welcome focus on core competence Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Shanti and Sadhana through Music A glass full of corruption Revive development banks... The why of tax incentives A more liberated TN… Intellectual of rare qualities Modi and the lady Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Editor's Says B H Kothari - a tribute Small units prefers to remain small... Quality silica from Neyveli Why land prices zoom in TN? Quality education through the PPP mode Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The power-full Hindujas Delhi returns to BJP Kulandai was a giant He saved millions from starvation... The brown list of Venkitaramanan Delhi is distant Permanent secretariat for TN GIM TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... This scant respect for Law Welcome GST Editor's Notes Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Medical costs hit the roof... A professional at the helm of IRDA... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Mersal magnified Contrarian cousins Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Polls and promises TGS- The king storyteller Music happens Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Telangana in top gear… Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Fuel for thought TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Towards speedy justice CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Waning interest in public discussions… London, London Narayan Kinetic Karnataka Sweeter prospects for sugar Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! ONGC at KG Basin Five star activism stalls development activity IPL type auction for VCs? Convulsions in The Hindu More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Remembering Indira Sivasailam... …and of a popular trade leader Engineering seats go abegging Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Another Indian music maestro at the UN Tribute Solar, solar everywhere … PC’s preference for professionals Banning booze... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Put expensive assets created to use... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Tax agriculture Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Wise Presidents Nuclear power at the nucleus When Ratan Tata visited SRM L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Tatas moving out of urea production... Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Cutting the nose to spite the face Delhi is distant… Align crops to agro climate endowments… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Strengthen the base... Silver Years of Madras Musings The Gulf aviation boom to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Where is Rajaji? CII projects higher growth… Marketing expert Balagopal is no more EEC at the National Media Centre Protest masters... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Shipping woes of Chennai companies More heat than light Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Demise of a media baron... Revving up the manufacturing sector Alexa – Talking Wikipedia TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Noble nonagenarians... The star of Spencers is no more The sea- saw battle continues... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ An inexplicable neglect Come elections, come advertisements... When small is no larger beautiful.. A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Boy, can you beat these? IPL - no surprise this scam Pharma – overdose of copying TIAM turns a full cycle The Jan Dhan bonanza Sweet news for TN sugar mills Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. IAS invades NDDB... Streamlining mandatory third party cover Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Valli, they are more marginalised Tough task taking states together He continues the focus on social amelioration Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! West Bengal: mindless malignancy Delhi Chalo... Tribute – M V Murugappan S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Why this malaise in medical education? A yen for wastage… For whom the bell tolls? Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Paytm karo... Readers' Mail SoA @ 80 TELANGANA at last…BUT The balancing act Fortune for Indian Airlines No Maha Koottani in TN... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Cement prices continue to rise… The few handicaps... Mu Sigma – is no more Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Poor quality of university VCs Which side are you, Montek? Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… A friendly business group Rahman at CIC When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's GM Technology at last! Moily’s bold thrust Adharma of opposition politics Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Secularism and anti-Hinduism R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Robber barons everywhere How Air-India loses customs... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Haul over the coal Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Roaring Ro-Ro facility Things happen by accident and not by design... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Fortune 500 review Road development slows down Multi-faceted Venkat Auto components surge… The Swadeshi Trump Plummeting profits of PSBs No engine for this car Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Parliament in paralysis... The rise and rise of KCP A welcome initiative by the judiciary Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Funding the un-funded CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Gas is the way forward Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Build close rapport with business leaders Shale gas and its shallow future Vibrant Gujarat Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... The nuclear option Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Where a state respects its litterateurs… Should we change the official year? EVM is tamper-proof Increasing non co-operation of state leaders The rise and fall of Annamalai University Building loyalty through the stomach When online building permits work…. Airlines in India: cost and space
 
Delhi is distant…

The Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry has several divisions that are supposed to take care of the interests of the media:  the Press Information Bureau to disseminate information on government’s plans; the Press Registrar for facilitating publications with registration, imports of machinery, newsprint, etc., the DAVP for a release of government’s advertisements... There is also the mandate to assist small newspapers to help them meet the unequal competition from the bigger ones.

 These divisions have grown into behemoths with a large retinue of officials spread across the country. Not long ago there used to be one principal information officer with the responsibility as the spokesperson for the Prime Minister with deputies assisting different departments. While we had one PIO for years, today we have a PIO cum Director General, assisted by a dozen Additional Directors General and more deputy and assistant DGs.  And there are officers at the regional/state level with little communication with the media for which they are supposed to exist. Regional offices used to take care of press releases, press tours, organising press conferences for ministers…

Delhi also used to organise several important conferences for editors and media persons and visits to projects. Today, the salaries and perks of staff demand so much that these services to media - persons suffer severe cuts! The Economic Editors’ Conference was one such launched by the then Prime Minister in 1966. The annual conference used to provide the opportunity for economic editors to interact with ministers and senior civil servants handling economic portfolios. Spread over three days it used to provide excellent background material for the working of the different departments. It also provided for interactions and the opportunity to apprise policymakers of the impact of economic policies, particularly fiscal, on the different regions from which the editors hailed.

I have had the opportunity to participate in EEC from 1973 for over 40 years. For several years, I used to be the sole representative from the South attending the conference. I presented specific issues concerning the southern states and several of these have been effective. eg. I submitted in 1973 on the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) requiring urgently additional mining machinery to reach its original target of mining 6.5 MT of lignite. Till then NLC could mine less than 3 MT p.a  plunging it to continuous losses. Mohan Kumarmangalam as the then Steel and Mines Minister, appreciated this and promised attention. Though he died soon after, the steps he initiated resulted in a handsome expansion of mining capacity. After completion of this in 1977, NLC, which was described by Finance Secretary Yardi in the 1973 EEC as a drag on the public sector, turned out to be among the most profitable of PSUs since!

The EEC has been particularly useful to editors from outside Delhi to meet and interact with policymakers. Particularly in the context of the very few policymakers from Delhi, especially the Finance Minister and his senior cabinet colleagues visiting state capitals and with such visits being crowded, regional editors have little access to policy makers.

Sadly, the NDA government seems to be less inclined to hold such interactive sessions. Dr Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and Yashwant Sinha, who have had long tenures as finance ministers, allotted liberal time for the EEC. Jaswant Singh as finance minister skipped this. Arun Jaitley in NDA II would not provide time for this through 2014 and 2015. Maybe his lack of a finance background can be some reason for this. Neither his deputy Jayant Sinha nor officials of the finance ministry are often seen in Chennai or other state capitals.

It is, even more difficult to get any response from the Press Registrar or the DAVP for letters sent. Surely, the numbers and the stature of such divisions have expanded.

K P Geethakrishnan as Chairman of the Expenditure Reforms Commission delved deep into the working of the different departments. He pointed to the little  work done by many of these and recommended closure of quite a few. Arun Jaitley as then Minister of I&B seemed to have been impressed with the recommendation and was about to act. But with his shifting from I&B, a more kindly

Sushma Swaraj who succeeded him as the I&B Minister dropped the idea. Jaitley is I&B Minister again, assisted by another live wire minister of state. But they seem to be overwhelmed by the politics of administration and not much concerned with vital issues of administration as an essential tool for good governance.

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com