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

CONCERT, part of the Consumer Association of India, in association with the American Consulate, organised a two-day national seminar on Consumer Product Safety. CAI’s R Desikan and his team presented a number of specialists from the government and industry, as also experts from the US and UK on the subject that has not received the attention it deserved.

Even in the country where today the consumer is truly the king, the United States, the movement attracted attention only post 1960: US was then enjoying the post war boom. The automobile industry was performing in top gear. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were on the top of global corporates. Ralph Nader was making a critical analysis of road accidents that were taking a heavy toll of human lives. He took the automobile manufactures to court, charging them that their vehicles were unsafe at any speed. And he succeeded! That was the birth of the organised consumer movement.

In India, with scarcity of goods and services, for decades it was considered a privilege to be sold a product. Knowledge of engineering and standards were confined to reputed corporates. Thus, the standards were set largely by representatives of the industry. Understandably, these standards were minimal. Cement manufacturers, for instance, set the standard to the minimum. When in the early 1980s the government permitted import of cement, there was a scramble for Korean cement of high quality delivered in tamper-proof paper bags. Very slowly Indian manufac-

turers reconciled to labelling 33, 43 and 53 grade cement and for years there was no adequate information on relating cement strength to the need. The same extended to other commodities like steel, where manufacturers graded these without adequately explaining the rationale for opting higher grades at, of course, higher prices irrespective of the need.

For decades, manufacturers of refrigerators and air-conditioners delayed introduction of CFC-free coolants that were mandatary over four decades ago in Europe, US and other countries. Again, they provided little information on power consumption, safety and other aspects. Even today, standards of electrical goods are kept to the minimum with little guarantee on stipulated performance.

IE had pleaded for mandatory standards for a large number of products, over three decades ago. I am therefore happy that the seminar demanded bringing much larger number of products under mandatory standards.

 

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