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