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