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

Fifty years ago, in 1965-66 Sachindra Choudhry as Finance Minister opted for a steep devaluation of the rupee. The economy was then in dire straits with a severe drought causing a steep fall in food production. Indira Gandhi was struggling to find her feet as the Prime Minister. Keen to explain the government’s policies and to get reactions from the media, she launched the Economic Editors’ Conference (EEC).

The EEC became an annual event inaugurated by the Finance Minister and addressed by a dozen ministers handling economic portfolios, assisted by senior civil servants of the respective departments. The EEC provided an important forum to discuss the impact of economic policies on the different regions. As one attending this from 1973 continuously for four decades, I have found value in this interaction. The forum provided the opportunity to project the impact of policies on different regions and also report on specific needs of regions far removed from Delhi. For instance, at the EEC in 1973, I pointed to the inadequacy of the mining capacity at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation that plunged NLC into continuous underperformance and losses. Mohan Kumaramangalam, the then minister of Steels & Mines, appreciated the query and assured quick redressal. The special sanction that followed for augmenting the mining machinery resulted in NLC emerging as a highly profitable PSU.

 For journalists outside Delhi, the EEC provided an invaluable opportunity to meet with policymakers and discuss policy issues.

 The NDA government has not convened the EEC since it assumed power in 2014 (even in the first NDA government, Jaswant Singh as Finance Minister missed out one).

 The media of Lutyens’ Delhi has not been fair and kind to Narendra Modi and this seems to have conditioned his reflex to keep the media at a distance. But should this also extend to his cabinet colleagues?

 In this light, the Press Information Bureau organised a two-day regional editors’ conference for the Southern States on 1 and 2 September. The Prime Minister has directed his cabinet colleagues to undertake the Tiranga Yatra to explain the highlights of the NDA -2 performance over the last two years. The I&B Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the conference in Chennai along with a photo exhibition to commemorate the country’s 70th independence day. He explained in detail the plans of his Ministry of Urban Affairs with a focus on infrastructure and housing. The Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravishankar Prasad, known for his articulation, described in detail the Digital India initiative that promises India to leap-frog development.

Two other Union Ministers, Nitin Gadkari and Kiren Rijiju, who were listed to participate did not make it, but senior civil servants of their ministries made detailed presentations. Those on shipping and highways were rich with details on the impressive work done in the development of roads, ports and inland waterways and the focus on the northeast.  The continuous and steep drop in exports due to the global slowdown is a matter of concern. Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman made a detailed presentation on the efforts made to focus on specific products and specific regions to expand exports. But, like the AIADMK ministers, she laboured on micro issues like areca and copra, missing out on larger issues affecting the Make in India effort.

The programme included a visit to the IIT-Madras Research Park. Dr Ashok Junjunwala made an evocative demonstration of a welcome breakthrough: a 125 kW solar power unit modified to use DC, which can be used to power homes at a low cost and with reduced dependence on grid power. This famous scientist has made invaluable contributions in the telecom and rural development spheres. The IIT-M Research Park that provides for close collaboration between scientists and researchers in the industry and the academy and students of IIT-M, has already produced some innovative products and several applications with great promise.

 

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