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