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

CONCERT, part of the Consumer Association of India, in association with the American Consulate, organised a two-day national seminar on Consumer Product Safety. CAI’s R Desikan and his team presented a number of specialists from the government and industry, as also experts from the US and UK on the subject that has not received the attention it deserved.

Even in the country where today the consumer is truly the king, the United States, the movement attracted attention only post 1960: US was then enjoying the post war boom. The automobile industry was performing in top gear. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were on the top of global corporates. Ralph Nader was making a critical analysis of road accidents that were taking a heavy toll of human lives. He took the automobile manufactures to court, charging them that their vehicles were unsafe at any speed. And he succeeded! That was the birth of the organised consumer movement.

In India, with scarcity of goods and services, for decades it was considered a privilege to be sold a product. Knowledge of engineering and standards were confined to reputed corporates. Thus, the standards were set largely by representatives of the industry. Understandably, these standards were minimal. Cement manufacturers, for instance, set the standard to the minimum. When in the early 1980s the government permitted import of cement, there was a scramble for Korean cement of high quality delivered in tamper-proof paper bags. Very slowly Indian manufac-

turers reconciled to labelling 33, 43 and 53 grade cement and for years there was no adequate information on relating cement strength to the need. The same extended to other commodities like steel, where manufacturers graded these without adequately explaining the rationale for opting higher grades at, of course, higher prices irrespective of the need.

For decades, manufacturers of refrigerators and air-conditioners delayed introduction of CFC-free coolants that were mandatary over four decades ago in Europe, US and other countries. Again, they provided little information on power consumption, safety and other aspects. Even today, standards of electrical goods are kept to the minimum with little guarantee on stipulated performance.

IE had pleaded for mandatory standards for a large number of products, over three decades ago. I am therefore happy that the seminar demanded bringing much larger number of products under mandatory standards.

 

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