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