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