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