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