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