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

The NDA II government has been taking strong action against political bigwigs, bureaucrats and business leaders on charges of corruption. The conviction of the former Coal Secretary, H C Gupta to a two year jail term by a special court for corruption in allotting a coal block to a private company has, understandably, been protested by the IAS Association. 

An ex-civil servant pointed to the risk of senior bureaucrats not taking decisions on crucial issues on fears of such punishment even for errors of judgment on honest appraisals. I remember the time when ministers and senior civil servants took bold decisions with the objective of economic development. In the 1950s and 1960s R Venkataraman, as Minister of Industry, Tamil Nadu, encouraged the state industrial development corporations to obtain licences and to offer these to  prospective entrepreneurs. 

Several of the civil servants even took bold to differ with the minister. I cite an instance of K P Geethakrishnan as TN Industry Secretary and K Venkatesan as Finance Secretary resisting the direction of Chief Minister MGR to clear the proposal to set up the bagasse- based Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. They pointed to the risk involved in the state committing over Rs 250 crore on a single project based on unproven technology. MGR had to transfer these out of their posts to get the project cleared!

Dozens of projects cleared in the joint sector by the state development corporations failed causing considerable losses. But neither the civil servants nor the political leadership were blamed for these. Of course, times were different: the level of honesty of the politicians and the bureaucrats across the board was pretty high and integrity beyond reproach. 

The coal allocation case is different. Persons totally unconnected with the coal sector jumped into the fray, eg. Minister S Jagatrakshakan applied for such a licence for a company registered in Puducherry. We also had earlier the instance of the property developer, Unitech, successfully bidding for a telecom licence and later selling it at a huge profit to Nortel. There is the responsibility on the part of senior bureaucrats to exercise due caution on such speculative bidders. In the case of the coal scam, such diligent scrutiny seems to be missing and bureaucracy at the top seems to have failed in the whole exercise resulting in a scam of gargantuan proportions.



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