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