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

It required same special effort to break the dominance of the Indian Administrative Service in cornering plum posts post-retirement. But then PC has this in good measure. Incidentally, N Rangachari ( a chartered accountant and an IRS officer) worked hard to formulate the guidelines for regulation and development that led to the establishment of IRDA. Rangachari headed IRDA with distinction and paved the way for opening up the sector for both life and general insurance.

Rangachari’s successors (all retired IAS officers) in their limited tenures, did not show much understanding of the complexities of this highly evolved business. This resulted in intense rate wars and unethical practices that could not be regulated. IRDA has failed to tackle myriad issues. Reforms like increasing the share of foreign investors could not take place. The result: general insurance companies bled, incurring heavy losses on motor and health insurance. For the four PSU companies, profits came from investment income and not from the core business of insurance. This comfort was not available to the private players. In fact a few of these are sitting ducks for acquisition.

Insurance penetration is still low. Nearly twelve years after opening up, there has not been widespread awareness on the need for insurance cover. An estimate puts that a majority of vehicles ply without the mandatory third party insurance cover. The database is weak. Vijayan, one hopes, will focus equally on the development aspects of IRDA as much as on regulation.

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