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

Fifty years ago, in 1965-66 Sachindra Choudhry as Finance Minister opted for a steep devaluation of the rupee. The economy was then in dire straits with a severe drought causing a steep fall in food production. Indira Gandhi was struggling to find her feet as the Prime Minister. Keen to explain the government’s policies and to get reactions from the media, she launched the Economic Editors’ Conference (EEC).

The EEC became an annual event inaugurated by the Finance Minister and addressed by a dozen ministers handling economic portfolios, assisted by senior civil servants of the respective departments. The EEC provided an important forum to discuss the impact of economic policies on the different regions. As one attending this from 1973 continuously for four decades, I have found value in this interaction. The forum provided the opportunity to project the impact of policies on different regions and also report on specific needs of regions far removed from Delhi. For instance, at the EEC in 1973, I pointed to the inadequacy of the mining capacity at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation that plunged NLC into continuous underperformance and losses. Mohan Kumaramangalam, the then minister of Steels & Mines, appreciated the query and assured quick redressal. The special sanction that followed for augmenting the mining machinery resulted in NLC emerging as a highly profitable PSU.

 For journalists outside Delhi, the EEC provided an invaluable opportunity to meet with policymakers and discuss policy issues.

 The NDA government has not convened the EEC since it assumed power in 2014 (even in the first NDA government, Jaswant Singh as Finance Minister missed out one).

 The media of Lutyens’ Delhi has not been fair and kind to Narendra Modi and this seems to have conditioned his reflex to keep the media at a distance. But should this also extend to his cabinet colleagues?

 In this light, the Press Information Bureau organised a two-day regional editors’ conference for the Southern States on 1 and 2 September. The Prime Minister has directed his cabinet colleagues to undertake the Tiranga Yatra to explain the highlights of the NDA -2 performance over the last two years. The I&B Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the conference in Chennai along with a photo exhibition to commemorate the country’s 70th independence day. He explained in detail the plans of his Ministry of Urban Affairs with a focus on infrastructure and housing. The Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravishankar Prasad, known for his articulation, described in detail the Digital India initiative that promises India to leap-frog development.

Two other Union Ministers, Nitin Gadkari and Kiren Rijiju, who were listed to participate did not make it, but senior civil servants of their ministries made detailed presentations. Those on shipping and highways were rich with details on the impressive work done in the development of roads, ports and inland waterways and the focus on the northeast.  The continuous and steep drop in exports due to the global slowdown is a matter of concern. Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman made a detailed presentation on the efforts made to focus on specific products and specific regions to expand exports. But, like the AIADMK ministers, she laboured on micro issues like areca and copra, missing out on larger issues affecting the Make in India effort.

The programme included a visit to the IIT-Madras Research Park. Dr Ashok Junjunwala made an evocative demonstration of a welcome breakthrough: a 125 kW solar power unit modified to use DC, which can be used to power homes at a low cost and with reduced dependence on grid power. This famous scientist has made invaluable contributions in the telecom and rural development spheres. The IIT-M Research Park that provides for close collaboration between scientists and researchers in the industry and the academy and students of IIT-M, has already produced some innovative products and several applications with great promise.

 

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