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

During the regime of J Jayalalithaa (JJ) as chief minister, there was a sense of fear. Criticism of her autocratic decisions was muted. Her ruthlessness in foisting cases against dissenters and critics effectively silenced sections of society, including the intelligentsia, the media and leaders of the opposition to voice freely their opinions.  

JJ had scant regard for media and used the power of government’s advertising to condition these. Large sections of media, including The Hindu and Dinamalar, were shackled by the advertisement policy that squeezed their advertisement rates. Periodicals were kept out of the government’s advertising. Everything was claimed to be her deed. Even in her addresses the subjective, “I made this,” “I brought this” or “I implemented this” was dominant. The civil service, business leaders and sections of intelligentsia opted to fall in line and avoided criticism of even widespread corruption and anti-development policies.  

Look at the scene today: media seems so liberated! Every minister, senior or junior, MLAs and other party functionaries readily participate in media discussions and freely voice their opinions. The state, dominated by film personalities for over five decades, looks to Rajnikanth for salvation. Actor Kamal Haasan who suffered grievously by the spoke put on the release of his  magnum opus Viswaroopam with demands for unreasonable cuts in the film cleared by the Censor Board, is today hypercritical. Like the PMK leader Ramadoss and DMK leader MK Stalin, he comes out with daily doses of criticism of current political developments.  

The three way split of the AIADMK and a weak leadership encourage different sections of society to give vent to their concerns and agitate for the sectoral demands. This seems to progress in endless streams, from the demand for Jallikattu to opposing NEET, to driving ONGC out of the state… 

The last one is grossly anti-development. Agriculture can never ever provide the type of returns that can come out of oil or gas fields. Exploring these is possible only in limited areas endowed with these. The transformation of several countries and regions has been the result of  production of oil and gas. 

 

Can it be oil vs agriculture? 

Importantly for Tamil Nadu, with its highly fragmented land, agriculture has been accounting for a very small share in its gross domestic product - just around 8 per cent. With the severe shortage of water and with an average land holding at just 2 acres, the state should reconcile to maximising its endowments in the secondary and tertiary sectors of industry and services. There should be serious efforts to agglomerate landholdings permitting leasing land over 15 years and more without alienating ownership. This will facilitate application of science and technology to make agriculture remunerative. The talk of doubling agriculture incomes without such a major structural change has little meaning. 

Dr M S Swaminathan set up a research centre in Chennai and has been active in the state for close to three decades. He headed the state’s Planning Commission for a few years. He has a wide knowledge of agriculture across the nation and the globe. Surprisingly and disappointingly, this renowned scientist and several other knowledgeable persons have not been addressing the serious issue of unremunerative farming, refuse to acknowledge that the emperor is naked and fail to come out with viable solutions.  


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