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

The NDA II government has been taking strong action against political bigwigs, bureaucrats and business leaders on charges of corruption. The conviction of the former Coal Secretary, H C Gupta to a two year jail term by a special court for corruption in allotting a coal block to a private company has, understandably, been protested by the IAS Association. 

An ex-civil servant pointed to the risk of senior bureaucrats not taking decisions on crucial issues on fears of such punishment even for errors of judgment on honest appraisals. I remember the time when ministers and senior civil servants took bold decisions with the objective of economic development. In the 1950s and 1960s R Venkataraman, as Minister of Industry, Tamil Nadu, encouraged the state industrial development corporations to obtain licences and to offer these to  prospective entrepreneurs. 

Several of the civil servants even took bold to differ with the minister. I cite an instance of K P Geethakrishnan as TN Industry Secretary and K Venkatesan as Finance Secretary resisting the direction of Chief Minister MGR to clear the proposal to set up the bagasse- based Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. They pointed to the risk involved in the state committing over Rs 250 crore on a single project based on unproven technology. MGR had to transfer these out of their posts to get the project cleared!

Dozens of projects cleared in the joint sector by the state development corporations failed causing considerable losses. But neither the civil servants nor the political leadership were blamed for these. Of course, times were different: the level of honesty of the politicians and the bureaucrats across the board was pretty high and integrity beyond reproach. 

The coal allocation case is different. Persons totally unconnected with the coal sector jumped into the fray, eg. Minister S Jagatrakshakan applied for such a licence for a company registered in Puducherry. We also had earlier the instance of the property developer, Unitech, successfully bidding for a telecom licence and later selling it at a huge profit to Nortel. There is the responsibility on the part of senior bureaucrats to exercise due caution on such speculative bidders. In the case of the coal scam, such diligent scrutiny seems to be missing and bureaucracy at the top seems to have failed in the whole exercise resulting in a scam of gargantuan proportions.



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