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