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