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

During the regime of J Jayalalithaa (JJ) as chief minister, there was a sense of fear. Criticism of her autocratic decisions was muted. Her ruthlessness in foisting cases against dissenters and critics effectively silenced sections of society, including the intelligentsia, the media and leaders of the opposition to voice freely their opinions.  

JJ had scant regard for media and used the power of government’s advertising to condition these. Large sections of media, including The Hindu and Dinamalar, were shackled by the advertisement policy that squeezed their advertisement rates. Periodicals were kept out of the government’s advertising. Everything was claimed to be her deed. Even in her addresses the subjective, “I made this,” “I brought this” or “I implemented this” was dominant. The civil service, business leaders and sections of intelligentsia opted to fall in line and avoided criticism of even widespread corruption and anti-development policies.  

Look at the scene today: media seems so liberated! Every minister, senior or junior, MLAs and other party functionaries readily participate in media discussions and freely voice their opinions. The state, dominated by film personalities for over five decades, looks to Rajnikanth for salvation. Actor Kamal Haasan who suffered grievously by the spoke put on the release of his  magnum opus Viswaroopam with demands for unreasonable cuts in the film cleared by the Censor Board, is today hypercritical. Like the PMK leader Ramadoss and DMK leader MK Stalin, he comes out with daily doses of criticism of current political developments.  

The three way split of the AIADMK and a weak leadership encourage different sections of society to give vent to their concerns and agitate for the sectoral demands. This seems to progress in endless streams, from the demand for Jallikattu to opposing NEET, to driving ONGC out of the state… 

The last one is grossly anti-development. Agriculture can never ever provide the type of returns that can come out of oil or gas fields. Exploring these is possible only in limited areas endowed with these. The transformation of several countries and regions has been the result of  production of oil and gas. 

 

Can it be oil vs agriculture? 

Importantly for Tamil Nadu, with its highly fragmented land, agriculture has been accounting for a very small share in its gross domestic product - just around 8 per cent. With the severe shortage of water and with an average land holding at just 2 acres, the state should reconcile to maximising its endowments in the secondary and tertiary sectors of industry and services. There should be serious efforts to agglomerate landholdings permitting leasing land over 15 years and more without alienating ownership. This will facilitate application of science and technology to make agriculture remunerative. The talk of doubling agriculture incomes without such a major structural change has little meaning. 

Dr M S Swaminathan set up a research centre in Chennai and has been active in the state for close to three decades. He headed the state’s Planning Commission for a few years. He has a wide knowledge of agriculture across the nation and the globe. Surprisingly and disappointingly, this renowned scientist and several other knowledgeable persons have not been addressing the serious issue of unremunerative farming, refuse to acknowledge that the emperor is naked and fail to come out with viable solutions.  


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