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