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