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

Manmohan Singh and the UPA I & II governments had great ideas on power development. Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) and the nuclear deal are two great examples. These had the promise of achieving large additions in quick time. Sadly, both failed to take off on promised lines. The UMPP suffered by faulty ground work and the unrealistic stipulation of supply of power at fixed prices over the long term. Can such a commitment be made when there was no guarantee of supply of coal at fixed prices for decades? Neither the policymakers nor the companies that bade for this bothered to look closely at this premise. When global coal prices shot up, the UMPP idea bombed. Reliance Infrastructure that won 3 x 4000 MW projects just bade for time to get the government agree to revise the original condition of supply of power at fixed price . Tata Power was the only company to proceed ahead with construction and complete the project but had to plead for revision. Thus, the 36,000 MW project cleared witnessed just 4000 MW off the ground over ten years.

In regard to nuclear power it is equally tardy. Singh initiated the nuclear deal with the US in July 2005. He staked his all in getting this passed by the Parliament amidst a stiff opposition from the leftists who supported the UPA I government and did succeed. But, years later there had been slow progress in convincing nuclear suppliers to support the Indian initiatives. The Fukushima disaster further lent strength to the anti-nuclear forces. The Kudankulam power station, construction of which was already tardy with the Russian delays, was further stuck by opposition from lobbyists receiving support from several foreign sources.

The French that won the bid for the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra, did evince lot of interest, but encountered problems relating to liability. There is disappointment over such a support not coming  from Japan during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. The sea-saw battle received some boost when the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised supply of uranium. There is further hope on China extending such support after President Xi Jinping’s visit.  

Technology is a two-sided weapon. There is need for a firm commitment for using its positive side. Nuclear energy is of great value to India in expanding its capacity for power generation. The country’s record in operating power plants over the past five decades and more has been satisfactory. India did not have any serious mishap or problem in operating its nuclear power stations in this period. The commitment to safety is paramount. Ensuring this can take care of adding large capacity.

I remember my interaction with a director of  the French nuclear company Framatome in Paris. I met him in 1982. He said: “France lacks fossil resources like coal and oil. Close to 80 per cent of power needs of the country are met by nuclear power. Our safety record has been exemplary.” In the 32 years since he made this statement one hasn’t witnessed any slip in this record.

 

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