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