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From the very beginning
Jobs - Lost, Changed or Gained
 
M & M sets global ambitions in farm machinery We’re prepared for the change - Vinod Dasari Tata Motors launches AMT buses The best fit for “Make in India” Red signals for diesel vehicles in Delhi TVS Motor in Central America with local partner Renault unveils ‘game-changer’ Kwid In top gear TVS Motor revs up for market share drive HMIL helped India emerge a large car exporter... Global auto hub Rane Group achieves Rs.4032 crore topline in FY17 Global auto technology Congress in Chennai The electronic car – will it kill the IC engine? High ownership costs depress demand… WIL, Japanese Topy form JV for car wheels Baleno: Maruti’s new offering in the hatchback range Signs of recovery To shift to top gear Indigenously developed technology for AL’s BS-4 vehicles Double standards continue...
 
Breaking news or breaking credibility?
When a city receives rains of a total month or even more, in a few hours, to be fair to the administration, the infrastructure could not cope with this.

Anchors in the national news television channels and their participants make themselves perfect asses in half-baked comments and opinions. In their anxiety to be ahead of other channels, they venture to speculate often on un-sound opinions. This reaches a crescendo at the break of important news events. When the events/crises pass over, there has been little attempt to correct the

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Then ISB. Now arts and science varsity - will TN miss the bus again?

It was the time when a prestigious business school was planned. With a rather unique tie-up with three world famous institutions – Wharton School of Business, Kellogg School of Business and the London Business School. A high power team under the leadership of McKinsey’s Rajat Gupta (long before RG was punished for insider trading). Mukesh Ambani and Anand Mahindra among its members

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Chennai airport in a STRAIT JACKET
ONE OF THE glaring instances of non-involvement of TN’s leadership in the joint development of infrastructure is provided by the poor record of expanding the airport facilities of Chennai metro.

An instance of apathy... 

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa would not give a date for the formal dedication of the airport. She slighted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh often and was antagonistic to the Centre due to the DMK being part of the UPA. At last, after cost and time over runs, the airport was dedicated on 31 January 2013 by vice president Hamid Ansari with Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal and participating state ministers were conspicuous by their absence.


 

Shift the defence unit

Chennai airport suffers the strait- jacket of defence property surrounding it coming in the way of expansion. Decades ago when the defence cantonment took shape at St. Thomas Mount, it was a distant suburb of Chennai. With the city walking in all directions, this area has become the centre of the metro. A long term plan is needed to shift the entire Defence establishment away from the metro and release the vast expanse of land for airport development. This can help construct parallel runways.


A stitch in time..

Four decades ago in the 1980s, Chennai introduced the first elevated mass rapid rail transit system in the country. As in several other areas, the political leadership treated this Central project as alien and neglected speedy development of this important project. A small stretch of Chennai Beach-Mylapore over a distance of 9.5 km was initially constructed. MGR as CM refused to share the cost for extending this facility that would be a boon to city commuters. This resulted in delays and huge spurt in costs. Belated, the state agreed and, over time, the MRTS was extended up to Velachery. 

 

The original idea of linking it with St. Thomas Mount that would have facilitated ease of travel by train around the city, was neglected. Even today land acquisition issues have come in the way of linking Velachery and St. Thomas Mount over a distance of less than 3 km. A lot of construction work had progressed even in this stretch but has stopped. Costs have been rising by the day due to the resistance of a few land owners  pitching for higher prices. Look at the denial of the ease of travel to a commuter from Pallavaram or Shenoy Nagar  travelling to Indira Nagar or Mylapore by transferring to the MRTS line at St Thomas Mount! 



THE CENTRE AND the state did not bother to foresee the trends emerging out of a massive increase in air travel post 2000. Other alert state leader had the vision to look ahead and opt for handsome expansion of airport infrastructure. Hyderabad and Bengaluru provided excellent instances in opting for new greenfield sites. These were soon followed by massive expansion of the Delhi a

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Why no MEGA Central investments in Dravidian Party rule?
What cordial Centre-state relations can do is best exemplified by the flow of mega investments in public sector projects. Tamil Nadu benefited immensely through these in the 1950s and 1960s. The Integral Coach Factory, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, BHEL (Tiruchi, Ranipet and Pudukottai), Heavy Vehicles Factory, Chennai Petrochemicals, Madras Fertilizers... have brought significant investments, employment and skills apart from substantial tax revenues to the state. Such investments have been missing during the long rule of the Dravidian parties. Contrast this with the recent spurt of big ticket public sector investments by NDAII in other states.

Leaders  of Tamil Nadu rarely felt it necessary to interact regularly with business leaders enquiring about their problems and offering solutions. 


The state spends a lot of its energies on small-sized projects with emotional/voter appeal like Amma Salt, Amma Cement and now Amma petrol stations! 


Look at the contrast provided by Narendra Modi as chief minister of Gujarat and Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh. Both visit foreign countries frequently, interact with prospective investors and their state diaspora. 

Mega PSU investments in other states

LOOK AT THE size of investments recently announced in a few states:

•   State-owned oil f

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The Rajha of Rajapalayam...

AFTER GRADUATION FROM the Loyola College,  Chennai in the early 1950s, the young man thought of getting hands-on experience in a textile mill in Europe. But father P A C  Ramasamy Raja, an ardent nationalist and Congressman, thought otherwise. He put his only son Ram for training as a worker at

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From the toughest to the best year
The company which started with an annual capacity of 6000 tonnes of PVC now has an aggregate capacity of 3.66 lakh tonnes.

Sanmar Chairman Sankar’s grandfather Sankaralinga Iyer, promoted the India Cements and the Indo-Commercial Bank. His son K S Narayanan and that brilliant find of Sankaralinga Iyer, T S Narayanaswamy, launched spectacular expansion of the group’s activities. In the 1960s. Chemicals and Plastics India Ltd (Chemplast) pioneered the production of PVC from the renewable agriculture resource

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He excels in the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship
The most notable feature of Sundram Fasteners relates to its man-management. The focus on human relations and the paternalistic concerns explain the unit not losing a single day of production due to industrial relations’ issues.

My association with Suresh extended to the 1960s when I entered journalism. We used to meet at the office of S N Ramasami, the brilliant advertising manager of the group – a freedom fighter in white khadi, a four cubit dhoti and jibba – extremely knowledgeable with a blunt exterior and a soft heart. Suresh was just back after studying literature (not the traditional engineering or acco

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Big bank merger, bigger expectations
On 01 April 2017, the State Bank of India (SBI), India’s oldest and largest bank, merged five of its associate banks and another small bank. While the bigger five were in existence for decades, the sixth was floated only four years ago.

The problem of reducing the non-performing assets is a difficult task. The prospects of reducing the larger volume of NPA may involve a long process and more time. The process of disposal of the properties pledged to the Bank is likely to slow down because of their over-valuation in many cases.


In 1955, when the SBI came into being, the mandate given to it was to open branches in unbanked areas. And that's what happened. Now, when the bank aspires to find a place among international banks, the inevitability of some of the small branches closing down cannot be ruled out.

&nb

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Saving students and parents
This year the deemed universities are demanding up to Rs 60 lakh as tuition fees for popular courses. There is an immediate need for the Tamil Nadu government to establish a Fee Structure Authority to prescribe the fee structure and to monitor malpractices in fee collection.

One of the major benefits of NEET is to save the aspirants for medical education from the exorbitant capitation fees charged by private players ranging from Rs 60 lakh to 
Rs 80 lakh per seat for MBBS, and Rs 30 to 40 lakh for BDS and a few crores for PG.


In Tamil Nadu alone about Rs 3000 crore is funnelled into the pockets of medical institutions in the form of cash and black money. 

No other academic issue has raised as much controversy in Tamil Nadu as the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for admission to medical courses. Until last year admission to medical and dental courses were based on the “cut-off” marks in the final higher secondary examination.

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Creating an innovative society
Innovation, variously described as everything ranging from a mindset to a quest for continual improvement, has been the subject of endless curiosity, profound inquiry and careful analysis.

A new book authored by Kiran Karnik brings the term back into the spotlight. It could not have come at a better time.  As we march towards ‘industrialisation 4.0,’ innovation has become more critical than ever.


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Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu

Thanthi TV telecast over four days the remarkable changes taking place in Andhra Pradesh. The state has been ranked No. 1 on the ease of doing business. The TV explained AP’s extensive resort to information technology in making available a broad range of services through the net.

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Welcome GST

Strong leaders of regional political parties like J Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi could defy attempts by the Centre to bring about significant policy changes. With the over-emphasis on welfare measures that result in the proliferation of freebies and massive subsidies, Tamil Nadu’s finances were in bad shape. Remember the state, refusing to reform the power sector? The state delayed the forma

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Rajini can’t or can?

A few weeks ago the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra were in the US vigorously campaigning for investments in their states. Their programmes included meetings with prospective investors and the prosperous Indian diaspora. 


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Sweet news for TN sugar mills

After the dismal performance of last year, sugar mills hope to have profitable operations in the current year. Such outcome is the result of much better price of sugar, presently ruling around Rs 45 a kg against less than Rs 30 last year.


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Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi

The Tamils have a long and hoary past of tradition, culture and pride from the Sangam times through the regimes of Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and hundreds of smaller kingdoms. They have maintained a long unbroken history of dignity, decorum and leadership. They had excelled in a vast range of activities. Shipbuilding and seafaring reached its zenith under the Cholas who conquer

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PC is a lawyer; he can’t be impartial
The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy presented former Finance Minister and current Rajya Sabha member, P Chidambaram (PC) to speak on Will India script an uninterrupted growth story?

P Chidambaram and The Hindu share a common trait: BJP baiting. So, the content of the lecture was on predictable lines.

            PC, the lawyer, has been accustomed to present a one-sided view of his brief. Expectedly, he continu

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Global auto technology Congress in Chennai
With a production of 45 lakh vehicles, India is the fifth largest producer of automobiles. Global leaders have set up manufacturing facilities in India. A recognition of India’s stature is evidenced by FISITA, the International network of over 200,000 automotive engineers in 37 countries and the Society of Automotive Engineers planning to organise the FISITA 2018 Congress.

The theme of the meeting: Disruptive Technologies for Affordable and Sustainable mobility. 

FISITA has been holding the biannual congress in deve-loped countries that for long alternated between America and Europe, later extended to Japan, China and South Korea. This is the first time India will be hosting the meet.  The importance of the conference was in evidence by Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra, along with leading lights of SAE India, Aravind Bharadwaj

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A nation of queue jumpers

You are at a conference, and it’s lunchtime.  There is a long line of people waiting to pick their food on the buffet table. You go to the tail of the line. And then the organizers come to escort you to the head of the queue. Why? It’s because you are the one who will be delivering the talk. Enter Queue Breaking, an old India-habit.  Is it fair to have jumped the queue whatev

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No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu

RAILWAY Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated a slew of railway projects for the Southern Railway. This included two additional lines, now making it six, on the congested Moore Market - Basin Bridge route. Chennai Central handles 200 trains a day, incoming and outgoing combined, apart from the heavy suburban traffic. Thus, this addition should provide a welcome relief.

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A ruse to protect western airlines?

Recently the US banned carrying all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone in  carry-on bags of air passengers who board direct flights to the US from ten airports in the Gulf and Middle-East Muslim countries. This notification would compel passengers to take laptops, i-pads... in checked-in baggage.

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BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms
The spectacular victories of BJP in the UP and the Uttarakhand elections surpassed the most optimistic of predictions. After the rout in Delhi and Bihar, this victory is a huge morale booster for the party.

The victories will give Modi and the BJP  an improved presence in the Rajya Sabha in 2018 where the opposition parties have been stalling bills. The advent of regional parties and their strident voices have been thwarting efforts on cooperative federalism. Of immediate importance is the clout gained by BJP in selecting a President and a Vice-President of its choice.

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65 per cent of future jobs don’t exist today
Speaking on the gathering storm in education, the new head of Tata Sons, N Chandrasekaran, said that there is a shortage of 500,000 doctors, need for three times the present number of judges and for a million teachers.

Branch off students at the 8th, 10th or 12th grades and impart skills necessary for a range of paramedical qualifications

It was N Chandrasekaran’s (Chandra) first address in Chennai within days of taking charge for chairman of Tata Sons. His three predecessors – Cyrus Mistry, Ratan Tata and JRD Tata – rarely spoke to Chennai gatherings. There was an added interest to hear the chief of India’s largest conglomerate which controls assets worth Rs. 700,000 crore, a sum which is over four times Ta

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Heartening news to heart patients

Times of India (TOI) deserves to be complimented for the spirited campaign against hospitals and doctors making unconscionable mark up in the prices of stents. TOI reported how a stent can cost the patient over ten times by the time it moves from the manufacturer to the patient: the paper pointed to the increased price of Rs 40,000 to Rs 2 lakh at the patient’s end. The

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Will the many departures be accompanied by innovative disruptions?

The budget for 2017-18 will have several unique features. I list a few of these:

The budget will be presented for the first time on 1 February 2017, month ahead of the practice so far of presenting the budget on the last working day of February. In the earlier practice

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Unprecedented uncertainties

The 2017-18 budget presentation scheduled for 1 February will be under unprecedented uncertainties. They relate to both internal and external stability.

 

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Why (not) abolish Income tax?
“If I am a part of the government, I could do it in seven days. Since I am outside, I will abolish income tax completely over the next three years,” declared Dr. Subramaniam Swamy recently. One could be pardoned for being puzzled. In what way would this increase welfare of the people? Why should the Income tax which presumably falls more heavily on the rich than the poor be abolished?

Why Income tax must be cut or abolished

 

Though it is base

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Dangal – Breaking all barriers

Like most Aamir Khan Productions, Dangal, released two years after his previous box office hit PK is setting another box office record.  The promotions were low key, but Dangal’s trailer promised to deliver an action-packed edge-of-the-seat experience.  The promise was well -fulfilled.

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When the judiciary is hyper active…

2016 will be remembered for judicial activism. T S Thakur retired after a year of turbulent tenure as Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India. His tenure was marked by sharp pronouncements on serious differences with the executive. He pointed to over three crore cases pending in different courts due to the government sitting over the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium on the appointment

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VK guides National College towards its centenary
National College is a product of the Swadeshi movement. Several illustrious citizens including landed gentry and spirited teachers, fired by the spirit of nationalism, founded the college in 1919.

In the 1960s V Krishnamurthy (VK) headed the high pressure boiler plant of BHEL at Tiruchi. He built a strong team of managers and took BHEL to great heights. Now Tiruchi alone produces annually close to Rs 17,000 crore of vital equipment for the power sector and accounts for a sizable share of production and profits of thIs large corporation.

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Will hikes in petrol and diesel prices impact inflation?
The cash shortage of smaller denominations following the demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes on 8 November triggered an unprecedented fall in household consumption. Consumption accounts for about 60 per cent of aggregate demand. Naturally, there were fears of disinflation. No one has bothered about inflation for a while, thanks to low commodity prices along, especially of petroleum crude.

Good times do not last forever; bad signs are on the horizon.    

 <

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The myth and malaise of MRP
The practice of huge mark up in MRP is common for a vast range of consumer products. Thus a vital measure to protect consumers by labeling the maximum retail price has suffered wild distortion.

We come across corporate hospitals routinely charging the MRP for drugs and pharmaceutical products. As bulk buyers they should enjoy fat discounts on buying these products. But when a patient is under the surgeon’s knife,  he is not in a position to look into this breezy practice of pharmacies. 

Two years ago we reported on a curious practice: manufacturers and marketers of fireworks mentioning MRP at very high rates and then offering massive discounts thereon. TUCS, a cooperative retailer, displayed rates that showed massive discounts of 75 per cent and more. If the MRP of a thousand-wala cracker was Rs 800 per box, TUCS offered it at Rs 200.

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Road to nowhere
It’s 25 years since the National Education Policy (NEP) for India was spelled out. Since then a few isolated measures for improving the education system were undertaken. Union Human Resources Minister Javadekar has indicated that there is no accepted education policy document and that a new committee will be formed!

As Union Minister, HRD, Kapil Sibal initiated legislative reforms on Higher Education relating to accreditation, prevention of malpractices, educational tribunals, permitting foreign universities and establishing a National Commission on Higher Education and Research (NCHER). None materialised.

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Corruption institutionalised; technique perfected
The objective for demonetisation includes tackling corruption and black money.

I was in Delhi between 7 and 15 November 2016, the week during which the momentous announcement on demonetisation was made.

The objective for demonetisation includes tackling corruption and black money. Over the last couple of years the Prime Minister has repeatedly been referring to th

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Cho Ramaswamy – Multifaceted

IN THE 1990s All India Radio invited me to record the life of Cho and his times for its archives for release after his demise. I had several sittings with him at the Thuglak office when he travelled down memory lane providing rich vignettes on his early life, his stint as a legal advisor at TTK, his rise as a theatre pioneer….

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Mr Ashok Leyland...
For four decades, R Seshasayee (RS) had been an inseparable part of Ashok Leyland. I would call him Mr. Ashok Leyland. His retiring from the Leyland board after four decades of service marks an interesting watershed.

I HAVE BEEN covering Ashok Leyland or 54 years. In the 1960s I interviewed A E L Collins, the then Managing Director of the auto major. In those years, British Leyland held majority of Leyland’s shares. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd, on a kind reference from a senior executive of British Leyland provided rich opportunities to look cl

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The real hero in India’s battle against black money
The experience of other countries with demonetisation hasn’t necessarily been great. But with India being at an inflection point, all that we need to do in order to become a template of change for the rest of the world is to capitalise better on the country’s technology assets, infrastructure and capabilities.

Demonetisation could well go down as one of India’s most monumental moves in recent times, both in intent as well as impact. While the merits and demerits of demonetisation continue to inspire animated discussions across the country, it is important to note that the train has already left the station and is gathering momentum. Moving forward, the real question would be: How do we take

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NEWS SUMMARIES

Clampdown on black money curbing gold appetite


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An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi

The main purpose of my Delhi visit was to attend the Economic Editors’ conference. Started by Indira Gandhi in 1966-67, the EEC has been an annual event providing a platform for economic editors from different parts of India to interact with policymakers in Delhi.

My wife Padma and I landed in Delhi on the 7 November night. The week earlier was full of news on Delhi’s worst pollution. For a Chennaiite there was the additional concern over the chill November weather. Surprisingly, we experienced a pleasant weather and much less pollution. We thought it an excellent augury.

When Prime Mi

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Black-money cleanup begins at home
In their lingo, the Yankees would say, “This man, Narendra Modi, has ‘balls.\'”

The decision to demonetize the Rs500 and Rs1000 notes, which constitute 80 percent of the cash in circulation in the Indian economy, is a masterstroke, albeit not a new one.  It had happened earlier, 40 years ago, in 1977.  The demonetization is an attempt to clean up India-based black money and move to a cashless society. It’s a measur

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JOBLESS GROWTH AND BORDER CHALLENGES....

Two welcome indications on chief minister’s recovery

There has been wide concern over the health of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa who has been hospitalised since 22 September. A strong and decisive leader, single handed she has been contributing to her party, All India Anna DMK, emerging victorious in four elections to the state and corresponding victories in

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New steel policy: Minimum government, maximum intervention?
In a working paper, Niti Aayog (NA) has proposed a new steel policy aimed at increasing steel manufacturing capacity to 300 million tonnes  ( MT) and production to 275 MT by 2025.

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Negative photo finish: Mauled by competition, HPF on the block
High Costs, Poor Management And Digital Technology Spelled End Of Film Manufacturing Unit

Niti Aayog recently announced the sale of 17 public sector undertakings and HPF is among these

India remains an ideal market for photo films. It produces the largest number of feature films and its population until recently consumed a large number of film rolls for personal and commercial use. Industrial goods nee

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Salem steel plant faces brittle future
Experts Say Plant’s Strained Record Makes Case For Stake Sale; Trade Union Leaders Assert Decision Will Affect Livelihoods

LIVELIHOODS AT STAKE

SSP employs around 2000 people including contract labourers. The NITI Aayog on Sept 20 had recommended the strategic sales of 22 PSUs including SSP. The strategic sales would reduce govt ownership in the steel plant to below 51% and allow a private player a major share. The proposal has been opposed by trade unions.

Disinvestment of public sector undertakings has been a long-standing desire of successive national governments. While NDA I under Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bold step to sell off a few chronically sick/loss-making PSUs, the NDA II govern

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BRICS - NO LONGER A SHINING STAR

 

Leaders of the five-nation BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India,China and South Africa) are meeting for the 8th  Summit in Goa during 15-16 October. There is crumbling globalisation and emerging cold war with

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Nutri grains vs staples -The dogma within!

Any agri-commodity requires critical levels of production and productivity. Induced ag

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More than just number crunchers...
The Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) was set up in 1989 by the munificence of SPIC’s A C Muthiah to stimulate education and research in science. The Institute offers graduate, post-graduate and doctorate programmes in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.

No decision in Infosys without first consulting mathematical models and simulations.

 

N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys, addressed the outgoing students at the 14th convocation of the CMI.  Murthy opined that mathematicians are amongst the most exclusive factions in the world and that he is in envy of th

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Silver Years of Madras Musings

Madras Musings (MM) completed 25 years of publication. The brainchild of the historian and chronicler of Madras, S Muthiah, MM has been instilling in its citizens a sense of pride and belonging to this 377-year-old metro. IE has been carefully following the rich contribution of MM. The very ma

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FAREWELL-RBI AUTONOMY
Metamorphosis – old lady of mint street in new garb

India has now moved into a new phase of Monetary Policy formulation. A legislative mandate on policy setting by the Reserve Bank of India, guided by a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), has set  a CPI target of 4 per cent. &nb

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Randor Guy spins a yarn
Lawyer, advertising executive, writer, producer of documentaries, chronicler of the evolution of Chennai, much sought after orator for salacious gossip and film history, columnist and linguist. Multi-faceted is a fitting description of Randor Guy.
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Nuggets on MGR at Brooklyn Hospital
Hung!!
Remember the accurate opinion poll prediction of CNN-IBN-CSDS made by Dr Rajeeva Karandikar of CMI on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls? Here is a hot prediction at the end of August 2016.

One of the major findings of a recently conducted opinion poll for Uttar Pradesh shows that while people in UP are satisfied with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, they are also equally pleased with the Akhilesh Yadav’s governance in Lucknow. 

MODI SOFT-PEDALS BJP\'s WAR CRIES
PR person par excellence Cauvery Management Board

¿¢Ò½÷¸¨Çì ¦¸¡ñ¼ ¸¡Å¢¡¢ §ÁÄ¡ñ¨Á Å¡¡¢Âõ (Cauvery Management Board) «¨ÁôÀÐ ´ý§È þôÀ¢ÃÉì¸¡É þÚ¾¢ò ¾£÷Å¡¸ þÕì¸ ÓÊÔõ. þò¾¨¸Â ´Õ ÅÆ¢Ó¨È Á¢ý À¸¢÷× Å¢„Âò¾¢Âø ²ü¦¸É§Å ¦ÅüÈ¢¸ÃÁ¡¸î ¦ºÂøÀðÎ ÅÕ¸¢ýÈÐ. Áò¾¢Â «ÃÍ ¿¢ÚÅÉí¸Ç¡É NTPC, ¦¿ö§ÅÄ¢ «ÉøÁ¢ý ¿¢¨ÄÂõ ÁüÚõ ÀÄ «ÏÁ¢ý ¿¢ÄÂí¸Ç¢Ä¢ÕóÐ ¦ÀÈôÀÎõ Á¢ýº¡Ãõ «ó¾ó¾ À̾¢¸Ç¢ø ¯ûÇ Á¡¿¢Äí¸ÙìÌ ¿¢Â¡ÂÁ¡¸ô À¸¢÷ó¾Ç¢ì¸ôÀðÎ ÅÕ¸¢ýÈÐ. þ§¾ ӨȨ ¸¡Å¢¡¢ ¿¾¢¿£÷ Å¢„Âò¾¢Öõ ¸¨¼ôÀ¢Êì¸ ÓÊ¡¾¡?

¸¡Å¢¡¢ ¿¾¢¿£÷ À¢Ãɠ

 

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M K Kumar – a tribute ISRO DOES IT AGAIN India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 37th flight (PSLV-C35) has successfully launched eight satellites.
Launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Sep 26, 2016 
PSLV-C35 LAUNCH

ISRO DOES IT AGAIN

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 37th flight (PSLV-C35) has successfully launched eight satellites

Launch Vehicle: PSLV-C35
Lift-off weight: 320 tonnes
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GST Council Meet Tax Reforms on Track

First meeting of the GST Council headed by
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken the following key decisions:

GST Council Meet Tax Reforms on Track

First meeting of the GST Council headed by
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has 
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When the setting itself becomes the protagonist As we step into the digital economy, the role of technology is shifting from supporting society to becoming its lifeblood.

The power of technology in creating a stronger, unified India is unlimited. And these technologies are already within our reach.


In translating the vision of “One India” into reality, technology is clearly the single most important driver and facilitator.

CORPORATE NEWS

India's salary growth at 0.2 per cent, GDP gain of 63.8 per cent since 2008

RBI will keep low inflation in mind while deciding rates

India approves $1-billion connectivity project

India Inc gets ready for mandatory audit rotation

Gender diversity: Big consultants far from being fair

Now pay highway toll  throughPaytm account 

India ranked 143rd among 188 countries in healthcare

BhartiAirtel to deploy e-KYC solution in 500,000 stores

BSNL plans free voice, cheaper package than Reliance Jio

Vodafone India gets Rs. 47,700-cr fresh equity

India's salary growth at 0.2 per cent, GDP gain of 63.8 per cent since 2008

&nbs

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CORPORATE NEWS

 

India's salary growth at 0.2 per cent, GDP gain of 63.8 per cent since 2008

 

Since the recession eight years ago, salaries in India have grown just 0.2 per

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Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL
TOP 15 NEWS THIS WEEK

 

Amul bucks the trend

 

Amul (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.) has registered a staggering 187 per cent gro

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Computation of GDP – conundrums continue It was contrary to the widely held opinion : the statement of the Chief Statistician to Government of India,T C A Anant that the tax-GDP ratio for India was not much lower than that for other economies

IE has been pointing to the need to bring much larger numbers under the tax net by fixing progressively increasing targets to reach around 40 per cent under the IT net. A contribution of Rs 1000 as tax for an annual income of Rs 2 lakh shouldn’t pose a big burden.

 

Anant reasoned: an estimated 45 per cent of business and trade do not keep accounts. These are not coming under the tax net. Factoring this the tax-GDP ratio may be considered not too bad!

 

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Singur minus Nano – Victory or folly? So, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee is going to celebrate the Supreme Court judgment directing the return of the land acquired for Tata’s Nano project to the farmers. The decade since 2006 when she launched the agitation was, of course, quite profitable for Mamata and her TMC: it helped her end the long reign of the leftists, rule from Delhi as a Union Minister and later from West Bengal as the state chief minister. The Tata Motors plant at Singur would have provided such opportunity to thousands of people around Singur- of quality employment and hence improved standards of living. Even the leftists, congenitally wary of big industry, were convinced of the benefits of the Nano project and supported it whole-heartedly. But in killing that project, TMC has caused irreparable damage to the livelihood of thousands in and around Singur and the Midnapore district.   Delhi is distant Fifty years ago, in 1966-66 Sachindra Choudhry as finance ministry made a steep devaluation of the rupee. The economy was then in dire straits with a severe drought causing a prospectus full in food production. Indira Gandhi was struggling finding her feet as the prime minister. Keen to explain the government’s policies and to get reactions from the media, she launched the Economic Editors’ Conference (EEC). ‘Rapidwall’ for rapid construction... The ‘Rapidwall’ panel is the world’s largest load bearing, light-weight, pre-fabricated building panel modular cavities inside. These cavities can be filled with concrete and reinforced with steel. At Nellore GFRG panels have been used for the entire superstructure and the construction was completed in five months! Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) is a
new building panel product, known as Rapidwall®, made essentially of gypsum plaster, reinforced with glass fibre rovings. This product, suitable for rapid mass-scale building construction, was originally developed and used since 1990 in Australia by Rapidwall Building Systems. In India, the panels are made from processed phosphogypsum (recycled industrial waste from the fertiliser industry) and are manufac
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Where is Rajaji? In his Independence Day address Prime Minister Narendra Modi made evocative references to a number of unsung and little known heroes of the freedom struggle. He directed his cabinet colleagues to undertake a Tirang (Tricolour) Yatra to different parts of India, to visit the places of birth /martyrdom of hundreds of less known freedom fighters. He also advised them to publicise the performance highlights of his government that completed two years in May.

There is a strong reason behind this direction: the Nehru dynasty and its coterie were over-zealous in perpetuating the memory of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi (not yet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) by naming prominent places like towns, roads, airports

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A HOUSING REVOLUTION? Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, 175 kilometers north of Chennai on NH16 has for long been a high quality rice granary. A few decades ago, it earned fame as the shrimp capital of India. And it’s now all set to herald a housing revolution, if the pilot project for mass housing using the GFRG technology hits off. Between the bang and the whimper It was a grand concept: to commemorate the centenary of M S Subbbulakshmi, to set up a chair in her name at an American university and also to raise resources for expanding the charitable activities of Sankara Nethralaya. But poor execution landed this great institute with a huge deficit in funds targetted, raised and spent.

The music icon A R Rahman was presented as the second Indian music maestro to perform at the UN. He graciously offered to perform free of cost. But his omnibus orchestra cost the sponsors a huge bundle.

On 15 August, as part of the 70th Independence Day celebrations, AR Rahman and his orchestra performed at the United Nations’ sprawling auditorium. Thanks to the Indian Mission at the UN, around 1600 enjoyed the performance of this Os

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Tatas moving out of urea production...
Remember the massive restructuring done by Ratan Tata soon after he took charge in 1990s?  Making use of the opening up of the economy,  he focussed on brand consolidation and on a few key sectors and phased out other businesses. He inducted a younger team of professionals and set age limits for directors and also to expand investments overseas. The group recorded spectacular growth in the areas selected for focus like IT, steel and automobi
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The country is also about ... apartheid Within the space of a month, I had two contrasting experiences. On my visit to the US during June-July, I went on a cruise to Alaska that departed from Vancouver, Canada. Near the North Pole, the ship sailed along miles of glaciers (see report in IE August issue). A couple of weeks later, I set out to South Africa, on the southern tip of the African continent – and much closer to the South Pole!
There was a flock of four beautifully colored Guinea Fowl. Chirping merrily, they moved away. For fun, I recorded their musical chirping 
and played it back to my grandson. The four birds thought their friends were calling them and turned towards us and came fast. My grandson quickly shut the recorder. The birds stopped right by us, confused and turned away! 
This unique experience was at the Birds of Eden in Plettenberg Bay (in the heart of the Garden Route in South Africa). The identification guide describes this unique sanctuary (set up with the intention of providing a haven for some unwanted birds and giving them the opportunity to live in a more natural environment) as the world’s largest single dome, free flight, multi-species aviary. Around 3500 birds represent 200 species.
It was a mammoth effort: the sanctuary covers an area of around 5.5 acres. There are steel masts with heights varying from 2 metres to 34 metres covered by a net and linked by a series of cables over which the mesh rests. The stainless steel net mesh is estimated to weigh around 8 tons. The booklet mentions that the wires used to knit the mesh estimated at over 20,000 km, can go more than halfway around the earth! 
Care is taken to ensure total protection of the birds from the outside environment. The area contains well-constructed wooden pathways to walk right alongside the bird habitats. Birds move freely on the board and around. The area has an amphitheatre, restaurant, indigenous forest and a mist system to simulate conditions of a rainforest. A mini river also runs through the park. Care has been taken to ensure that the water source is not polluted and also that visitors are disinfected as they enter. It is estimated to have cost around Rs 5 crore to erect the structures. 
The company expressed hope to maintain the Birds of Eden as ecologically and genetically pure as possible. It provides a haven for birds where they receive the best care and their statement outlines this philosophy: “we do not capitalise on the animals. We do not breed them or sell/trade them or their by-products. We do not host any handling or feeding shows. Animals get the opportunity to behave as naturally as possible in a protective environment. 
“Our residents’ best interest comes first. We are here to act on behalf of the animals and our caregivers work under the notion that we wouldn’t be here if not for the animals.  Our ultimate goal is to change the way humans think of and treat animals.”
One of the key questions that we pondered throughout the visit was why most animals are just gray, brown or black and why so many birds have such bright, beautiful patterns and colors! It was a great experience. 

Located in the southern hemisphere, it is now winter in South Africa. We had the first bite of this when we came out of the Johannesburg (JNB) airport. Accustomed to the long summer that stretches almost through the year in Chennai, temperatures around 5 degrees Celsius didn’t quite cut it.

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Virulent, but not quite rational… A decade ago, in his address at the CII National Conference at Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh propounded the concept of inclusiveness. He urged business leaders to work towards an inclusive society providing wider opportunities for those sections that have been kept out of social and economic development. In subsequent years this has become a mantra.

While I appreciate Krishna’s passion for inclusivity, I have concerns about his unfair criticism of musicologists, musicians and sabhas who have nurtured and maintained the quality and traditions of music through tough times.

This concept has spread from the corridors of power to the social spheres. Several prominent personalities have been involved in this mission.

In the south, Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna has been passionate about broadening the reach of classical music by blending with it vast varieties of folk music, practised by those sections of society not having access to music sabhas.

For a few years now, Krishna has been endeavourin

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Recalling the birth of Mobile Recalling the birth of Mobile This was stated by A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar, head of the Murugappa Group, at the launch of Trade Wheel in ­Decem­ber 1964.

“When Mr. Viswanathan asked me to preside over this function, I readily agreed. As in everything else, whether in trade or industry or commerce, any spirit of adventure deserves to be welcomed. In industry I always welcome more and more first generation entrepreneurs. In technology fields. I welcome the increase in the number of qualified

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Another Indian music maestro at UN….. Sankara Nethralaya (SN) plans to commemorate the birth centenary of music maestro M S Subbulakshmi (MSS) and the golden jubilee of her memorable concert in the UN

 

Sankara Nethralaya (SN) plans to commemorate the birth centenary of music maestro M S Subbulakshmi (MSS) and the golden jubilee of her memorable concert in the UN in October 1966. Chairman Emeritus S S Badrinath has persuaded A R Rahman to give a conc

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A gratifying record... C V Sankar, additional chief secretary and principal secretary industry, Government of Tamil Nadu, is due to retire from service from end July 2016.
During his tenure at the helm of the industry department for close to three years Sankar helped formulate the state’s new industrial policy, the auto components policy and the bio-technology policy. His tenure also witnessed the inauguration of the Tidel Park 2 in Chennai and commencing work on Tidel Park 3 at Coimbatore and the inauguration of TICEL Life Sciences in Chennai metro.
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TN Finances need to be strengthened: big expectations on the regular Budget To realise the ambitious Vision 2023 of Jayalalithaa, there is the imperative to stimulate economic growth that alone can boost revenues in a big way.

  In recent years Tamil Nadu’s finances are under increasing strain. Public debt has been registering      continuous and steep increases, presently estimated around 2.40 lakh crore.

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Smart banking in smart cities The 20 cities selected for developing as Smart Cities appear as a group of mixed cities, big and small, fast-expanding urban agglomerations and sleepy towns, a few on the global business map while a big Indian Atlas is needed to locate a couple of them. But all of them could be seen in the banking map of the country with sizeable business.

The 20 cities selected for developing as Smart Cities appear as a group of mixed cities, big and small, fast-expanding urban agglomerations and sleepy towns, a few on the global business map while a big Indian Atlas is needed to locate a couple of them. But all of them could be seen in the banking map of the country with sizeable business.

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CII projects higher growth… Prediction of an average monsoon kindles hopes on a significant improvement in agriculture growth. This has two favourable tidings: first a higher rate of economic growth and a positive impact on the rural economy.

Successive droughts of the last two years had contributed to zero agriculture growth. A vast range of commercial crops, including sugarcane and cotton, recorded decline, causing widespread misery in several parts of rural India.

In this background the prediction of an average monsoon is

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Align crops to agro climate endowments… The six states in mid-west USA are large producers of corn and soybean. Over time these states have expanded production (that touched a peak 361 million tonnes in 2015), taking massive recourse to technology. Universities in this region like Wisconsin-Madison help achieve constant improvements in yields that average around 10,000 kg per acre (in India the average is around 800 kg).

The six states in mid-west USA are large producers of corn and soybean. Over time these states have expanded production (that touched a peak 361 million tonnes in 2015), taking massive recourse to technology. Universities in this region like Wisconsin-Madison help achieve constant improvements in yields that average around 10,000 kg per acre (in India the average is around

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Dynamic pricing is so destructive! So Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had to pounce upon the cab operators Ola and Uber through drastic action over their dynamic pricing. In this, the cab aggregators charged hefty rates in times of peak demand especially during the odd-even number rule.

So Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had to pounce upon the cab operators Ola and Uber through drastic action over their dynamic pricing. In this, the cab aggregators charged hefty rates in times of peak demand especially during the odd-even number rule.

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Well-refined – RIL’s refinery margins zoom Of the several out-of-the-box innovations of Dhirubhai Ambani, the one that seems to have contributed so richly to Reliance Industries’ top line and bottom line appears its foray into refining.

Of the several out-of-the-box innovations of Dhirubhai Ambani, the one that seems to have contributed so richly to Reliance Industries’ top line and bottom line appears its foray into refining.

For decades, the mindset was on building refining capacity to meet the

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Politician – business nexus In our political set up it has not been difficult to forge a strong nexus between ambitious business leaders and powerful politicians. In the south, Karnataka led the way for this: H D Deve Gowda, the humble farmer-Prime Minister, saw the advantage of rewarding prosperous business leaders with prized seats in the Rajya Sabha.

In our political set up it has not been difficult to forge a strong nexus between ambitious business leaders and powerful politicians. In the south, Karnataka led the way for this: H D Deve Gowda, the humble farmer-Prime Minister, saw the advantage of rewarding prosperous business leaders with prized seats in the Rajya Sabha. In this, there was no bias towards the home sta

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You too T M Krishna? T M Krishna (TMK) is among the famous vocalists in the world of Carnatic music. Highly individualistic and socially conscious, the maverick musician has been grabbing headlines in newspapers for his unorthodox, heretic comments.


T M Krishna (TMK) is among the famous vocalists in the world of Carnatic music. Highly individualistic and socially conscious, the maverick musician has been grabbing headlines in newspapers for his unorthodox, heretic comments.

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Panama Papers - Several celebrities get stung Why does someone want to take the Panama route? Here you can incorporate a company in just 72-hours. Your identity and those of other shareholders and directors is kept a secret.

Why does someone want to take the Panama route? Here you can incorporate a company in just 72-hours. Your identity and those of other shareholders and directors is kept a secret. Shareholders, directors and officers can be citizens or residents of any country. Meetings can be held anywhere and accounts need not be held in Panama. Finally, Panama’s circulating currency is the dollar and Panam

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Multi-party contests, more freebies... The Dravidian parties have been winning elections on the plank of liberal offer of welfare schemes.

The Dravidian parties have been winning elections on the plank of liberal offer of welfare schemes.

It all started in 1967 when the DMK offered an impractical three measures of rice close to 5

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Vijay Mallya – the Strip-tease specialist Bamboozling banks with pompous promises and getting massive loans far beyond eligibility have been nothing new to Vijay Mallya. IE looked closely at Vijay Mallya’s actions two decades ago, in the mid-Nineties.

Bamboozling banks with pompous promises and getting massive loans far beyond eligibility have been nothing new to Vijay Mallya. IE looked closely at Vijay Mallya’s actions two decades ago, in the mid-Nineties.

The booze business was then booming. Southern states were massively exp

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Should Chennai shut out the IPL? The IX season of IPL is in progress. The cricket crazy nation is glued to the idiot box from 4 pm and 8 pm. The much maligned Lalit Modi, in exile, who conceived this brilliant idea, has made IPL such a resounding entertainment and money spinner. Look at the tonnes of monies poured and the enormous talent pool created!

The IX season of IPL is in progress. The cricket crazy nation is glued to the idiot box from 4 pm and 8 pm. The much maligned Lalit Modi, in exile, who conceived this brilliant idea, has made IPL such a resounding entertainment and money spinner. Look at the tonnes of monies poured and the enormous talent pool created!

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TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector “Tamil Nadu’s share of new recruits by the IT industry is the highest. The state also accounts for the largest number of recruits by the IT sector,” said N Lakshmi Narayanan (LN), Vice Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS). However, there is also the flipside: several of these constantly look out for greener pastures!

“Tamil Nadu’s share of new recruits by the IT industry is the highest. The state also accounts for the largest number of recruits by the IT sector,” said N Lakshmi Narayanan (LN), Vice Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS). However, there is also the flipside: several of these constantly look out for greener pastures! LN has been a prized and f

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Dada of drip irrigation... A staunch Gandhian and philanthropist, Bhavarlal Jain was also a philosopher, industrialist, writer, advocate, businessman, entrepreneur and farmer all in one! How effectively he popularised drip irrigation!

A staunch Gandhian and philanthropist, Bhavarlal Jain was also a philosopher, industrialist, writer, advocate, businessman, entrepreneur and farmer all in one! How effectively he popularised drip irrigation!

Bhavar

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Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! At the 150 year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr M Anandakrishnan was asked: “when will an Indian University gain the renown of a Stanford, Harvard, MIT or Cambridge university?” The former Vice Chancellor of Anna University responded that in the present scheme of things this is unlikely for quite some time.

At the 150 year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr M Anandakrishnan was asked: “when will an Indian University gain the renown of a Stanford, Harvard, MIT or Cambridge university?” The former Vice Chancellor of Anna University responded that in the present scheme of things this is unlikely for quite some time. He pointed t

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Quality silica from Neyveli For glass, the base raw material is silica. The head of the largest glass manufacturer, Saint Gobain Glass India, B Santhanam, recently pointed to such high quality material available at the Neyveli lignite mines.

For glass, the base raw material is silica. The head of the largest glass manufacturer, Saint Gobain Glass India, B Santhanam, recently pointed to such high quality material available at the Neyveli lignite mines. 

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Algebra to algorithms and analytics – CMI, a maths marvel The Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) has a unique structure combining education and research. It has achieved success and recognition for the quality of its products.

The Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) has a unique structure combining education and research. It has achieved success and recognition for the quality of its products. CMI, now on its 27th year, has been evolving among the finest institutes for teaching and research in mathematics, computer science and physics. The institute focuses on application-oriented research in ana

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No Maha koottani in TN For close to five decades from 1967, Tamil Nadu has been ruled by the Dravidian parties – the DMK from 1967 to 1976, the AIADMK from 1977 to 1989 and subsequently, alternately ruled by the DMK and the AIADMK.

For close to five decades from 1967, Tamil Nadu has been ruled by the Dravidian parties – the DMK from 1967 to 1976, the AIADMK from 1977 to 1989 and subsequently, alternately ruled by the DMK and the AIADMK. Since 1989 the anti-incumbency factor has been working to clock-like precision. Another characteristic has been the sway of film personalities to head the successive governments with th

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IE enters 49th year… It was on 15 March 1968 that IE commenced publication as a fortnightly economic journal. Releasing the inaugural issue, V R Nedunchezhiyan, then TN Minister for Industry, welcomed this pioneering effort in the south.

It was on 15 March 1968 that IE commenced publication as a fortnightly economic journal. Releasing the inaugural issue, V R Nedunchezhiyan, then TN Minister for Industry, welcomed this pioneering effort in the south. The first copy was received by the well-known economist Dr P S Lokanathan. In his

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Supreme Court clears Gas pipeline through TN The Supreme Court of India upheld its earlier decision in favour of GAIL Ltd permitting it to continue with the construction of the gas pipeline connecting Kochi and Bengaluru via Tamil Nadu.

The Supreme Court of India upheld its earlier decision in favour of GAIL Ltd permitting it to continue with the construction of the gas pipeline connecting Kochi and Bengaluru via Tamil Nadu.

For close to three decades, IE has been strongly advocating the construction of a nati

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Building sustainable social enterprises Hand in Hand Academy’s Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme led by Prof Kasturi Rangan of Harvard Business School was recently held in Chennai. Prof Kasturi ‘Kash’ Rangan brought in his vast experience with the Harvard case method of teaching.

Hand in Hand Academy’s Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme led by Prof Kasturi Rangan of Harvard Business School was recently held in Chennai. Prof Kasturi ‘Kash’ Rangan brought in his vast experience with the Harvard case method of teaching. He presented case studies of Approtech, Acumen Fund, Aravind Eye Hospital and Omidyar Networ

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Plans to channelise CSR funds to government’s schemes It appeared timely, Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry organising a conference on Corporate Social Responsibility – The Next Phase just three days ahead of the Budget. It has anticipated the Finance Minister drawing upon CSR funds for the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to develop 10 public and private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching institutions with affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians.

It appeared timely, Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry organising a conference on Corporate Social Responsibility – The Next Phase just three days ahead of the Budget. It has anticipated the Finance Minister drawing upon CSR funds for the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to develop 10 public and private institu

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Technology revolution that’ll be disruptive... The Palkhivala Foundation has been presenting eminent jurists and public figures to deliver special lectures. S Ramadorai who headed TCS with great distinction and who is presently heading the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) presented a lecture on the fourth industrial revolution.

The Palkhivala Foundation has been presenting eminent jurists and public figures to deliver special lectures. S Ramadorai who headed TCS with great distinction and who is presently heading the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) presented a lecture on the fourth industrial revolution. His description of the things available in store through the digital medium, th

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The bank crisis... “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to step up the lending. Can the banks lend in an economy on the downturn? Is there enough opportunity for borrowing/lending? Is economy really growing?” These questions were asked by N Vaghul, the renowned banker who took the ICICI Bank to great heights.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to step up the lending. Can the banks lend in an economy on the downturn? Is there enough opportunity for borrowing/lending? Is economy really growing?” These questions were asked by N Vaghul, the renowned banker who took the ICICI Bank to great heights.

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A house a day... I have made frequent references to the steep increase in construction costs triggered by frequent and large increases in the prices of a wide range of materials that go for construction like cement, steel, bricks, sand, sanitaryware… Of course, at the base is the price of land.

I have made frequent references to the steep increase in construction costs triggered by frequent and large increases in the prices of a wide range of materials that go for const

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A C Muthiah – a munificent bequeath for science... Recently the Belgian government honoured A C Muthiah (ACM) with the award of Order of Leopold II for his long service as the Honorary Consul General of Belgium at Chennai. Muthiah functioned in this capacity for 25 years till Belgium established its own consulate in Chennai a couple of years ago.

Recently the Belgian government honoured A C Muthiah (ACM) with the award of

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TCS - what a frenetic pace of growth! Recently I had occasion to visit the sprawling Siruseri complex of TCS at the SIPCOT Industrial Park on the IT Corridor (the OMR or the Rajiv Gandhi Road). K Padmanabhan working for the TCS Innovation Lab, kindly showed me around the complex.

Recently I had occasion to visit the sprawling Siruseri complex of TCS at the SIPCOT Industrial Park on the IT Corridor (the OMR or the Rajiv Gandhi Road). K Padmanabhan working for the TCS Innovation Lab, kindly showed me around the complex.

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TNPL - geared towards future TNPL pioneered the mass production of newsprint and printing paper based on bagasse, a by-product used as fuel by sugar mills, an ingenious idea of saving this precious raw material for paper production: TNPL compensated the mills with coal-fired boilers for meeting its fuel requirements. This innovation and pioneering work made the state-owned project a great success.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated a slew of projects, some completed and a few commencing work.

Of the completed projects two deserve special attention: the first is the Saint Gobain Research India (SGRI) project set up in collaboration with IIT-M as the anchor unit at

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Plummeting profits of PSBs The results of the third quarter performance of government and public sector banks are a great shock to the investors in these and to the millions of investors in the stock market. For a week, the results announced for the third quarter have been a continuous dirge story.

The results of the third quarter performance of government and public sector banks are a great shock to the investors in these and to the millions of investors in the stock market. For a week, the results announced for the third quarter have been a continuous dirge story. First, we had the results of three public sector banks – Central Ba

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MYSORE - INDIA'S CLEANEST CITY Recently, the government announced the results of the Swachh Sarvekshan 2016 survey conducted to measure the success of the initiative throughout India and Mysore is ranked India’s cleanliest city.

During the launch of Swachh Bharat initiative in October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “I myself will set out w

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Bonanza in locked lands In our December 2015 issue we pointed to Hindustan Teleprinters Ltd (HTL) hiving off a portion of the huge land mass allotted to them by the government at low prices for constructing houses for its employees to VGN Developers Pvt Ltd.

In our December 2015 issue we pointed to Hindustan Teleprinters Ltd (HTL) hiving off a portion of the huge land mass allotted to them by the government at low prices for constructing houses for its employees to VGN Developers Pvt Ltd.

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Should cement be priced in TN double that of North & west? IE has been intrigued by the vast differential in pricing cement in different regions/states. Axis Capital in its recent analysis refers to cement prices in the north and west regions continuing to be weak: “prices in north are near five-year low at Rs 220/bag (vs Rs 290/bag in October 2015). Prices in south have been broadly stable at Rs 330-390/bag as large players continue to favour (enjoy) pricing over volumes.”

IE has been intrigued by the vast differential in pricing cement in different regions/states. Axis Capital in its recent analysis refers to cement prices in the north and west regions continuing to be weak: “prices in north are near five-year low at Rs 220/bag (vs Rs 290/bag in October 2015). Prices in south have been broadl

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Turbulent Years : A letdown I read the Turbulent Years (1980-1996) by President Mukherjee and must confess that I am deeply disappointed. Let me tell you why.

I read the Turbulent Years (1980-1996) by President Mukherjee and must confess that I am deeply disappointed. Let me tell you why.

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Happy focus on Happening Haryana Fresh investments of over Rs 2 lakh crore is anticipated at the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit scheduled for 7 & 8 March at Gurgaon.

Fresh investments of over Rs 2 lakh crore is anticipated at the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit scheduled for 7 & 8 March at Gurgaon. This is far in excess of the earlier target of finalising MoUs for a lakh of crore rupees.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Kha

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Aiming for a market share of 12% A hot and humid condition in most part of India has given space for numerous AC manufacturers and thereby paving way for a hefty competition. With seven decades of experience in India, Blue Star has been in the commercial segment for long and with their entry into the residential segment in 2011; it has added wider range of products. Today it assumes a market share of 10 per cent and by FY17; the same number is expected to reach 12 per cent. B Thiagarajan briefs on the current market scenario, economic conditions and the way ahead for Blue Star. Blue Star's growth drivers are 3 and 4 tier cities like Vizag, Madurai, Tiruchi and Rajamundry. Around 50 per cent of room AC sales come from these towns. Still 1 and 2 Tier cities also contribute a significant share of their turnover. In order to meet the requirements in these regions, it has come up with two new facilities in Jammu and Tada (Sri City). 

"India offers significant growth for the industry. As most part of the country has a hot and humid condition quite often, the demand for air conditioners is more. As far as the industry is concerned, China is the biggest market with a penetration of 50 per cent. In India, the penetration is still just 4 per cent, but it has the potential to grow significantly," said Thiagarajan.

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Colour-Chem's colorful personality

K R V Subrahmanian assembled a galaxy of chemical technologists – Dr T R Govindachari, Dr G S Ladha, Dr M Santhappa and Dr K Narayanan - with the business doyen S Narayanaswamy (Chitra & Co) as chairman, f

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Looking for a partnership with India The Indo-German Chamber of Commerce celebrated 60 years of doing business in India at Chennai recently. Various leaders of the consortium along with the ambassador and the C V Sankar IAS, additional chief secretary, Industry Department, Government of Tamil Nadu were present at the event.

Pointing to the demand for uninterrupted power supply in India, Ney said: “electricity is of great demand for India as of now and especially in the renewable energy (solar) segment. Germany can offer its expertise to India which would be of greater use for both the countries.

   

Established in the year 1956, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in India with over 6500 member companies across diverse sectors. It is a part of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industr

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Preparing For The Impending Industrial Revolution Economists are now talking enthusiastically about the fourth industrial revolution. Invention of steam engine in the later part of eighteenth century brought about the first industrial revolution. The second revolution was occasioned by mass scale production thanks to electricity. Internet in the second half of twentieth century was the doorway to the third revolution. Rapid developments involving Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing are the harbingers of the fourth industrial revolution.

Approximately 11 per cent of world population is too poor to consume their minimum dietary requirement. Even the most stone-hearted will squirm knowing that just 80 individuals are together as wealthy as 50 per cent of global population (nearly 3.6 billion people) who are at the bottom of the wealth pyramid. IMF has gathered evidence to show that extreme inequality apart from being an ethical issue also lacerates the economic engine and slows down economic growth.

   

In the recently held Davos conference, Klaus Schwab said: “there has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.” He was referring to the onset of the fourth revolution. Robert Shiller who is among the few economists who predicted the 2008 global gloom advised: “You cannot

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Two new bikes in TVS’ kitty TVS Motors launched Victor and Apache RTR 200 4V motorcycles in the executive and premium segments respectively. While one is meant for the family man, the other is meant for the racing freaks. The company considers these two as game changers in the respective segments and with this launch it plans to have a wide product portfolio. Addressing to media queries, Venu Srinivasan said: “we are expecting around 25,000 Victors and 7000 Apache RTR 200 to be sold by Diwali. Starting from February both the products will be available in south initially and then will be extended to other markets gradually.”   

Launching the vehicles, Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motors said: “TVS Motors has been at the forefront in bringing new and relevant technology to our customers. It is defined by its state-of-the-art engineering, excellence in technology and superior product quality. Commitment to customers is our primary focus. This launch is yet anot

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Pumps for automobile companies Automobile companies consume large amount of water. European pump maker Grundfos offers pumping solutions to auto industry designed to optimise use of. Shankar Rajaram, Head- Industry (North & South), Grundfos India explained how the pumps manufactured by Grundfos are environmentally sustainable.  Apart from this, Grundfos is also looking to enter the Zero Liquid Discharge market in India. Some of the key automobile manufacturing clients of Grundfos India include Ashok Leyland, Honda, Hyundai, Mahindra, Maruti and Tata Motors. There are also other major auto clients like BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota and Volvo… in other countries which come under global agreement.

   

“There is significant increase in costs due to energy intake in the area of vehicle production every year. Our expert solutions and products are accurate, reliable and energy efficient which can assist the automobile companies to

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Pumps for automobile companies Automobile companies consume large amount of water. European pump maker Grundfos offers pumping solutions to auto industry designed to optimise use of. Shankar Rajaram, Head- Industry (North & South), Grundfos India explained how the pumps manufactured by Grundfos are environmentally sustainable.  Apart from this, Grundfos is also looking to enter the Zero Liquid Discharge market in India. Some of the key automobile manufacturing clients of Grundfos India include Ashok Leyland, Honda, Hyundai, Mahindra, Maruti and Tata Motors. There are also other major auto clients like BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota and Volvo… in other countries which come under global agreement.

   

“There is significant increase in costs due to energy intake in the area of vehicle production every year. Our expert solutions and products are accurate, reliable and energy efficient which can assist the automobile companies to

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For whom Chennai airport toils? Surely Not for the air passenger. One can see the contrast between airport construction entrusted to the private and government agencies. While Delhi and Mumbai opted for the privatisation route, Chennai and Kolkata went the government way, courtesy International Airports Authority of India. Look at the difference: while Delhi and Mumbai that handle more than half the air traffic of the country are swanky and efficient, Chennai hits the news for the dozens of deficiencies in construction and maintenance. Like what MTC has done at Chennai Central, AAI can create a special bay for such buses to pick up and drop passengers. This will save them from exploitation by the unscrupulous auto rickshaw drivers and taxi operators who are a law unto themselves. Only, the bus service has to be comfortable, frequent and courteous. For a change, I suggest AAI  realise that it exists for (and because of the air travellers) and not for taxi operators.   

 

Even Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports are in private hands. The Bengaluru airport constructed by L&T as a green field site, incorporated state-of-the-art technology. True, Chennai had the problem of dealing with the construction of a live airport. The new facilities were added on the no

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Tata Motors names Guenter Butschek CEO & MD Tata Motors has appointed Guenter Butschek CEO & Managing Director of Tata Motors. Will Butschek\'s experience turn around the table for Tata Motors\' sluggish performance in the market?

Since the death of Karl Slym in Bangkok under mysterious conditions, Cyrus Mistry was overlooking the position of CEO and MD. Tata Motors expects to turn around its fortunes with the appointment of Butschek.    

The erstwhile Indian automaker Tata Motors on Monday announced the appointment of Guenter Butschek as the next Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. The post of MD has been vacant for two years since the death of Karl Slym.

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DHONI SACKS ROHIT After being comprehensively thrashed for a second successive time by Australia despite his team scoring an imposing 300-plus on each occasion, Captain Cool has decided to announce his retirement. Hey, not from cricket, but from winning. With a straight face Captain Dhoni told the media, “You see, we cannot win every time. We are now very focused on the third game.” Even as the media looked stunned and Rohit maintained his monk-like smirk, the captain announced his next strategy.   “We are trying to get in touch with the BJP president to see if we can quickly offer Indian citizenship for a couple of Sri-Lanka bowlers and a couple of Pakistan quickies.”  And then added, “If that fails, we plan to approach the RSS bigwigs to push this India of a grand merger amongst India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.”     

   

When pushed to outline his strategy for the next ma
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An unhealthy collision course States often adopt a course of confrontation with the judiciary citing popular mandate and legislative power as superior to court judgments. The mass support is often cited as the reason for not complying with the court order. We have seen this in regard to the Karnataka Government not complying with the orders of Cauvery Water Tribunals reinforced by the Supreme Court. A more recent attempt to circumvent Supreme Court’s judgment relates to the ban Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. Political parties in Tamil Nadu have pressured the Central government to circumvent the earlier judgment banning Jallikattu. This is a local sentimental issue in a couple of issues in Southern Tamil Nadu that is not of great impact to other large sections- in fact quite a number of these are offered to this wild start that endangers safety of the animal participants and the spectators. The Supreme Court has pointed to the cruelty inflicted in the bulls.    

   

A similar attempt not to comply with such directions is also witnessed in the Mullai Periyar Dam issue by the Kerala Government.


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The Mufti is no more The man who was chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir died in harness. Two times chief minister, he was widely seen as being soft on Pakistan.  Essentially, a Congressman he broke away from the party, rejoined, broke away again to finally form the People’s Democratic Party, circa 1999 with the dream of resolving the Kashmir problem. 

Outside of his native Kashmir, India will probably remember Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for reasons that he may like best to forget. 

In 1989, when he was the country’s Home M

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Odd-Even Plan We need to work for our own safety. There are far too many cars on our roads, there are far too many cases of road rage, there is far too much of stress out their in driving: unless we work this out we would actually be killing ourselves. Delhi is reeling under air pollution. The courts have banned registration of diesel vehicles. While the odd-even plan may not be a masterstroke, it's the beginning of change. If we can have one car-free day, why can’t we have everyday a half-car day. True, Delhi may not have the infrastructure to handle this in the sense that it does not have an exciting alternative transport system. But then this is the chicken and egg story.   What should come first: a perfect transportation system or people’s adherence to self-restraint?  It is the old question of whether we should have fine roads and then have great cars or whether great cars would lead to fine roads. India adopted the latter practice rather successfully.       

Arvind Kejriwal may or may not be a crackpot, depending on which side of the bread you decide to butter. As long as he was, seen fighting the UPA government he was a messiah. There were of-course many who mocked hi

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Dresses at Temples The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled a dress code for people who visit temples. While I am one with having a dress code, I think the Courts stepping in are akin to their stepping out of line. Let me explain. India has survived as a democracy because of a sensible Constitution that has drawn an excellent balance between the Executive and the Judiciary.  It will be morose if it is the Judiciary that steps out of line.   

Schools have uniform and offices have a dress code.  It is the colleges that have been making noise about it, aided and abetted by the media.  Even there, tough managements have been able to lay down what is acceptable and what is not. That is as it should be.

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Happy birthday, Sharief Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharief

My sense is that it’s exciting to have breakfast in Chennai, lunch in Mumbai and dinner in Delhi. It should be far more exciting to have breakfast in Kabul, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Delhi. It was something Dr. Singh dreamt of in a more substantial way, but he was too much of a consensus creator to help it happen, hemmed as he was in different directions by characters of different kinds.

JOKES APART, I am not a strategic affairs expert, given to enormous spin. What I know is that you can look at an action from any prism of your choice.

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Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai ahead in December auto sales Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai posed higher sales growth in December 2015 followed by that Mahindra & Mahindra felt the pinch of Diesel vehicles ban in Delhi/NCR region. Lack of new products have affected some of the automakers, thereby paving way for Maruti and Hyundai to be the driving force of the industry. With each automaker impressing customers by launching new vehicles and offering massive discounts, 2015 was a healthy year for the auto industry. Analysts and experts believe the same trend to continue in 2016 as well.    

The country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki reported total domestic sales of 13.5 per cent that comprises of 58.8 per cent sales rise in the utility segment as well as 11.6 per cent of the overall passenger vehicle sales compared to December 2014. While vehicles in the Mini range such as Alto, WagonR recorded sal

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A House for Mr. Biswas India’s parliamentarians want to work from a new office

I live in Chennai. Yes, the people of Chennai have lost their homes, some their lives and some everything that they owned. Does that mean the whole world has to come to a stop? There is a limit to which we can try to bleed in self-pity; cross the limit and we end looking foolish.

On Times Now the other day, Sanjay Pinto, formerly with NDTV, went for the jugular demanding of the BJP spokesman as to how they could ask for Rs. 2000 crore for a new Parliament House at a time when Chennai has faced its worst flood ever. This argument is absolutely ridiculous.

I live in Chennai. Yes, the people of Chennai have lost their hom

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When Chennai sank, its people rose…. Hope most has revived from the trauma that struck the city for a fortnight. With neck deep waters, power cuts, unreachable phones and stranded localities, Chennaites experienced the worst that has been seen in a century. Yes the floods are a situation not seen in a century but more than that the humanitarian hand that the Chennaites extended to relieve each other from the havoc is trending around the world. The Army, National Disaster Recovery Force, NGOs and youth formed a network to help reach the stranded while bridging caste, creed and even politics. The dedicated force exploited the social media and soon #chennaifloods brought in people from nook and corner of the world to do their bit, to bring back vibrant Chennai. Adayar that was once used for transportation was reduced to nothing less than sewage. Nature has washed away our mistakes and it is now upto us to not to commit the same again.   

01 December when the nightmare began, we were reaching Chennai after a Darshan in Tirupati. Brushing aside the regular metrological warnings by Meterologist Ramanan we took the rain to be a casual affair. When we tried to cross Thiruvallur, the Kosasthalai river had overflowed the bridge and we were diverted. What was to be a two and half hour

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AI leaves Guv behind Kerala’s governor missed his flight to Trivandrum There was a chief minister, answering to the name Devendra Fadnavis who had an Air India flight from Mumbai to New York stranded because someone in his troop, a babu named Pardeshi had forgotten to get the relevant passport.  The passengers were stranded for an hour. Of-course Fadnavis denied that he was responsible.   Of-course Air India said that the delay was due to technical reasons.  Fadnavis would have risen in our esteem if only he had asked Pardeshi to take the next flight.    

Well, actually, the pilot refused to fly him because his Excellency had dropped in late. That an Air India pilot took the decision is what makes it doubly exemplary. I stand up to salute the man, I mean the pilot.  Let me

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Controversy-free Board Arun Jaitley was one of India’s top lawyers. He gave up his practice to be full time in politics. At some point in time he harbored ambitions of becoming India’s Prime Minister, but when the RSS backed Modi, he knew he had lost. And so he threw his full lot with Modi so much so that despite losing his 2014 parliamentary election by a landslide, Jaitley was rewarded with two major ministries. When Leela Samson quit along with 13 others complaining of how the government treated the Board, instead of handling the issue with sensitivity the government responded in the only way it knows. Let loose a volley of words questioning the ethics of the other party and calling it names.  Their choice Pankaj Nihalani has not been controversy-proof.    

The man who holds additional charge of Information and Broadcasting now says that the Censor Board should be ‘controversy free.’ Sorry to say, but personally I think this reference is an indication of a ‘mind-set’ problem. There can be no controv

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Women can up GDP by 26 per cent! McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has come out with a research report to suggest that if the gender gap between men and women workforce is closed globally and women participation in the workforce is equal to men, the world’s annual GDP would increase by USD 28 trillion or 26 per cent in 2025! India has the highest potential for GDP boost among 95 countries at 60 per cent, rest of South Asia at 48 per cent and MENA region at 47 per cent to total GDP by 2025 in a full potential scenario. When viewed from the context of best-in-region scenario, India has the potential to add to 16 per cent of GDP followed by 14 per cent in Latin America and 12 per cent by China and sub-Saharan Africa.

Essentially, this would be the contribution of the fair sex, who are currently unemployed or underemployed.  The other findings too are revealing.

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Delay in Neo delivery hurts IndiGo IndiGo ordered for Neo aircrafts from Airbus in August 2015. The deal is estimated to be worth Rs 165,000 crore. The Neo aircrafts are expected to cut down costs and thereby making IndiGo, the most economical passenger carrier in India. But due to the delay in delivery, after an over-subscribed IPO IndiGo stock is in the red. Currently IndiGo has 94 neo aircrafts in its fleet. The same was expected to touch 111 in FY16. But with delay in delivery, revenue is expected to be impacted per aircraft and it also means higher costs to achieve similar growth rates. Even though FY16 impact is expected to be less, the same kind of trend continuing in the next financial year would hurt financials of FY17 and FY18.

When IndiGo ordered for around 250 Neo aircrafts from Airbus, the already economical airline carrier was expected to be even more economical compared to its competitors. This paved way for an over-subscribed IPO in November 2015 as well. But the delay in delivery has now pulled down IndiGo’s stock down to 5.56 per cent. From 18 Dece

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RCom to be the second largest player? Reliance is all set to acquire MTS. This was the first consolidation in the telecom sector. Followed by that, now it has signed a non-binding agreement with Aircel. If successful, it will make Reliance Communications as the second largest player in the Indian telecom space.

Earlier, Reliance entered into a definitive agreement with MTS on November this year which is yet to be completed. After completion of MTS and the Aircel deal, Reliance would become the second largest telecom company based on wireless subscribers with over 190 million subscribers in India, next only to Bharti Airtel’s 235.2 million. So far Vodafone stands next to Airtel with 188 million subscribers followed by Idea Cellular’s 166.5 million subscribers.

In an effort to be the second largest player in the Indian telecom industry, Reliance Communications (RCom) has signed a non-binding 90-da

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Those kindly souls…. The unprecedented floods wreaked havoc on the Chennai metro and the northern coastal districts of Tamil Nadu. The east coast had traditionally been visited by a few cyclones during the north-east monsoon spread from October to December. In the past years these had caused extensive damages to towns like Nagapattinam (TN), Nellore & Visakhapatnam (AP), Ganjam (Odisha) spreading across to West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Saturday, 5 December: a manufacturer of agro machinery in Guindy, a friend of ours and whose factory was on the road level had additional torrent of water from a canal flowing by the side. Finished engines and other products had extensively damaged. Yet he came to our rescue offering to refurbish quickly one pump set and sent it.

   
   

Chennai had been spared such a visitation. This time there was a double whammy: torrential rains through November that was many times the average under the record in 100 years.

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Needed – a strong machine tool industry One of the failures of the licence-permit-quota raj relates to the lack of attention to building a strong capital equipment - machine tool industry. This should be evident from continued imports of these at high cost.     After serving Bimetal Bearings for 37 years, VR joined Super Auto Forge that pioneered cold forging of precision components. Encouraged by the CEO, S Seetharaman, VR built a 25 strong team of engineers specialising in various aspects of building machine tools – mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, automation, software, instrumentation and systems. Over 150 machine tools have been produced by his team. The latest being the fully automatic assembly line for ball joints.    

In the pre-1991 era, capacities were

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A positive sign for Make In India For all those who have been questioning the Make In India and if it is really shaping at the ground level, the industrial output that surged to 9.8 per cent, marking a five year high has shown the results. Manufacturing output jumped to 10.6 per cent, the mining sector increased to 4.7 per cent and electricity production went up to 9 per cent. With the parliament being stalled from passing important bills like the GST, these numbers can bring in some cheer to the Industry.    

The Industrial productions growth has been the fastest pace since 2010 when it went upto 10 per cent then.  Though monthly spikes are not to be dealt too seriously, such positive ups boost hope to the battered economy. Overall April-October growth rose to 4.8 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent in the previous year.

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Tech Mahindra agrees to takeover Italian car designer Pininfarina Mahindra holds the record for acquiring troubled enterprises. Acquisition of Pininfarina is the new one in the stack. For years the Italian car designer has been making loss and as of September this year, net debt of the organisation stood at 47.4 million euros. Client portfolio of Pininfarina includes Ferrari, Maserati, and Rolls-Royce. The loss making is partly because of in-house designing activities inculcated by car makers.   

Tech Mahindra has agreed to take over 76 per cent stake in the Italian car designer Pinifarina in an all cash deal for 25.3 million euros.  The deal is expected to be finalised by the first half of 2016.

For years the Italian car designer has been making loss and a

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Driving sales infrastructure forward Maruti Suzuki is all set to expand its dealership network as part of increasing its sales network. This plan is to also ensure that dealers do not leave the market. “Total money needed for creating additional sales-and-service infrastructure is estimated at Rs 30,000 crore. Of this, half will be invested by us,” said R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki.    

India’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki is planning to invest Rs 15,000 crore with an aim to increase its annual sales to about 2 million units by 2020 and as part of expanding its dealership network, stockyard, warehouse and transportation infrastructure.

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Taxis ride the success wave The taxi market in India has seen one of the grandest evolution in the history of Indian transportation. Some years ago, taking a taxi was a rarity in many cities and towns. However, the last few years have seen some dynamic shifts and changes in the taxi market. Several players such as Uber, Ola, Meru, Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs, Fast Track have entered the aggressively competitive market, fighting for a bigger share of the pie.    

Taxis were not easily available on the roads like auto-rikshaws and buses were. As a result, one had to go through the cumbersome ordeal of pre-booking taxis well in advance. Moreover, taxis were also more expensive, particularly in places where drivers and taxis were not regulated to charge stipulated prices.

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Jeeto drives M&M forward in LCV market When Tata Motors launched the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Tata Ace, it was dearly called as Chinna Yaanai/Chhota Hathi (Baby Elephant) it ruled the market and drove Tata Motors to the number one spot in the Indian LCV segment. In many places, it was used as share autos and goods carrier vehicle. As of 2013-14, it helped Tata Motors to hold a market share of 48.05 per cent. Anyhow for quite some time, Tata was not able to recreate the magic of Ace once again and added to that, the LCV market in India was also shrinking. Priced at Rs 2.32 lakh, Jeeto was the first modular range of 8 mini trucks to cater to the varied needs of the sub-one tonne segment. It has grabbed the space of Tata Ace and Piaggio Ape Truck. It offers a fuel efficiency of 37.6 kmpl.   

Unveiled in 2005, over 1.5 million units of Tata Ace in both goods and passenger carrier variants have been sold.

Taking advantage of the situation, Mahindra &Mah

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‘Cycle’ rides into the sunset Know how Brij Mohan Lall Munjal story of riches through sheer enterprise.     Munjal, the Founder and Chairman of the Hero group of companies, recently passed away at the age of 92. Munjal migrated from Pakistan and evolved as among the top 30 richest of India by sheer dent of hard work and enterprise. (With its 35 per cent stake in Hero the family is worth $ 3 billion).

I have lost a person whom I called my guru: this tribute coming from Rahul Bajaj, the man who dominated the Indian scooter market for a quarter century, is the most eloquent tribute to Brijmohan Lal lMunjal (BM).

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A genius civil servant fades KVR was amongst a galaxy of administrators who strode like a colossus but who were forgotten by society The loss of science was a gain of civil service. KVR worked diligently as the Collector of Salem, special officer of Parambikulam-Aaliyar project, Director of Agriculture and Settlement Officer, Second Secretary to Tamil Nadu government before shifting to Delhi.    

Tamil Nadu has produced several outstanding civil servants known for their brilliance, efficiency and integrity. In the years immediately following independence several of these hailing from middle class had outstanding academic records and emerged in the IAS examination with top ranks. G Ramachandran, M G Balasubramanian, K V Ramanathan (KVR) are some of these who come to mind readily. These ha

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The critical case of pulses in Indian economy There is a welcome focus by the NDA-II Government on Economic Reforms. The recent spate of liberalisation of FDI limits for 14 sectors is welcome. This can be designed to expand inflow of investments. Even while these efforts are welcome, disappointingly there has not been focused attempt to utilise full capacity created in several sectors; as also to step up production of commodities that are in short supply and that cause considerable drain of precious foreign exchange. We site the instance of pulses. ASSOCHAM estimates demand for pulses in the current year at 27 million tonnes and domestic production at 17 million tonnes leaving a gap of around 10 million tonnes.       

Traditionally, pulses have been raised as rain-fed crop. For decades, in the rich Thanjavur belt, black gram (Ulundu) and green gram (Payaru) have been raised after raising the Kuruvai, Thaaladi and Samba crops during July-January. The Pulses were raised on lands vacated after Pa

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United India Insurance - Rs 110 crore losses have been claimed till now due to floods in Tamil Nadu Reporting a healthy premium for the half year ended 30 September 2015, Chennai head quartered United India Insurance (UII) Company expects to record a premium income of Rs 11,800 crore with a profit after tax of Rs 600 crore which is double of the PAT last year. Growing at 11.7 per cent ahead of the industry growth of 11.2 per cent, motor and health segments which grew at 14 per cent and 22 per cent respectively had triggered the growth.
UII has a strong presence in rural and social sector. More than 50 per cent of the business is from this sector. To make strong footprints, the company plans to increase its agents force to 50,000 from the present 42,351 and also 1050 employees to service the growing business and customer needs. As part of insurance inclusion several micro offices are planned in Tier 4 towns and below.
The company’s balance sheet last year had suffered due to two main calamities, the Hud Hud cyclone that hit Andhra Pradesh had 1106 claims worth Rs 872 crore and the floods at Jammu and Kashmir had claims worth Rs 344 crore. This half year had been quite calm. But the recent heavy rains that lashed Tamil Nadu had caused severe damage to property and life. Till date UII has received aro
					  
					  
						
						   
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Brilliant Saeed Saab The first Asian to be awarded honorary Commander of the British Empire rests in peace. In 1995, he was awarded honorary Commander of the British Empire, the first Asian to do so.  In 1998, he wrote, Saeed: An Actor's Journey, the autobiography of his meteoric rise from Punjab, then under the British Raj, to becoming a high-profile Asian actor in Britain.  That’s what you call bearding the lion in its den.    

He was the actor par excellence we loved during our school days. What we did not know, in those days of ignorance, of movie apartheid, and no Internet was that he was a British actor.  Saeed Jaffrey was versatile.  Just look at the myriad medium that he appeared on: radio, stage, television and films.  He was just brilliant.

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Tryst with GST The GST Bill is stuck in the parliament for clearance. If accepted by all, it will benefit the economy. Know more about GST and its benefits.

The  inordinate  delay  in  enacting  Goods  and  Services  Tax  (GST)  is  possibly  in 

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Govt. to make and sell gold coins In his 2015 budget speech, the Finance Minister proposed production and sale of gold coins by the Government of India. It has become a reality now. During the year 2014-15, India imported 930 tons. Total gold imports drained our foreign exchange reserves to the extent of US$35 billion. Imported gold coins command 10per cent premium over international gold price. IGCS is likely to bring down the premium.    

Although many banks are already selling gold coins, they are dealing in imported coins. Under the Indian Gold Coin Scheme (IGCS), Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited will mint the coins. Thus, import of gold coins will come down substantially if IGCS is successful.

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New Honour for Raghuram Rajan He is the unexpected rock-star of the Indian economy.

Dr. Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, has been elected as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This is yet another indication of the respect monetary authorities all over the world have for Dr. Rajan.

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Why IndiGo Really Rocks! Know how IndiGo has managed to make a mark in the tricky Indian market. Fuel Hedging, The Governmenthas allowed airlines to hedge aviation fuel. Every airline has done this, but IndiGo has done it better and it shows in their financial performance.

Well, it is something we have been hearing for a decade now.  That, Indians are flying like never before and that with a population of a billion plus, our airlines should technically have been a money-spinner since day one. But there is another side to the story, the ever-in-losses airlines business, and the big guns like AI, Kingfisher and Jet Airwayshave all fl

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A glittering investment option Recently, the union government has launched gold bond schemes. If successful this will help reduce current account deficit. The primary objective of this scheme, according to the government, is to “reduce the demand for physical gold and to shift part of the estimated 300 tons of physical bars and coins purchased every year for investment into 'demat' gold bonds”. If the scheme is successful, our Current Account Deficit (CAD) will get reduced in the short run.   

The chemical symbol for gold is Au, derived from the Latin word Aurum which means shining dawn.  Three gold schemes have been introduced recently, constituting what may be punned, Triple Aura.  These are Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme (SGBS), Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS) and Indian Gold Coin Scheme (IGCS). Their respect

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Rain bombs in this Diwali, but helps in filling up reservoirs... Happy news to the parched state but a sad ending to the Diwali sales, the recent rains that lashed through the state, left certain parts flooded and dark during the festival of lights.

Apart from the cracker industry, other products retail sector has also bore the brunt. Ranganathan Street in T Nagar is famous for the 24 hour shopping during Diwali eve. The last minute shopping adds to more than double the earnings on any ordinary day. Thanks to the rain, the sales girls and boys caught come breath but have lost much incentive.     

The cracker industry that finds its genesis in Sivakasi and that was geared for the festive season was the worst hit in the rain. With competition intense from cheap, dumped Chinese products, the Indian cracker industry is cracking. Nearly 80 per cent of country's total crackers are manufactured in Sivakasi and its surrounding villages in Tamil Nadu. The annual

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The responsible journalist's apology When the recently concluded Bihar assembly elections was announced, NDA was expected to win with a majority. But as time passed, there was a confusion and at the end, the grand alliance won, which is contrary to the predictions made by various media houses including NDTV. But as a responsible journalist, Prannoy Roy apologised for the mismatch, which no one else did. So can he be called as a responsible journalist?

By nine o'clock, less than an hour after the counting began, Prannoy Roy declared that the BJP had won the Bihar election and was likely to win between 145-149 seats, a comfortable majority.  In the end the BJP alliance had not only been smashed to smithereens, so had Dr. Roy’s.

I grew up on my journalism, worshipping Prannoy Roy.  In 1989, he surprised everyone by saying, “Muthuvel Karunanidhi will be the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu,” and that was long before the counting concluded. Then in1991 he predicted with rare accuracy 192 seats for the Congress. Through all that the man who introduced Indians to phrases such as the ‘swing’ and the ‘hung par

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Welcome effort to restore discipline... The recent tough actions taken by Chief Justice S K Kaul and some of his colleagues in the Madras High Court (MHC) promise to bring some order and discipline in the court premises. The MHC had earned a great reputation for the brilliance of its legal luminaries, both judges and lawyers. The patronage of the two leading political parties AIADMK and DMK, which have been assuming power alternatively over the last 25 years, has sharpened the divide. These divisions begin right at law colleges and continue with greater vigour at the high court.

The recent tough actions taken by Chief Justice S K Kaul and some of his colleagues in the Madras High Court (MHC) promise to bring some order and discipline in the court premises. The MHC had earned a great reputation for the brilliance of its legal luminaries, both judges and lawyers.

In fact, the reputation was so high that the MHC lawyers

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One election, many lessons as Nitish swords Modi In the recently ended Bihar assembly elections, BJP conceded defeat. The coalition of Yadav\'s with Congress have taken the lead. Is BJP supposed to learn from its mistakes? Read through to know more... In the end the voters of Bihar, of whose intelligence, unfortunately, many speculate and joke, gave not a simple majority, not a two-third majority but a three-fourth majority.  Except that it was not for the BJP.  It’s the kind of drubbing that would make any party introspect.

In a masterly interview to Arnob Goswami, the combative Amit Shah, while repeatedly saying he would wait for 8 November to tell if the Bihar election was a referendum on the prime minister let the mask slip when, in a rare moment, he claimed his party would win two-thirds of the seats.

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GARP INVESTING – BLENDING TWOSOME IS AWESOME In life, we make choices by analysing the various options available and will choose the best one that could lead our life towards the goal. Financial planning is not different from the above rule. Each one of us wishes to be financially independent. For achieving this, we should fix a minimum corpus (Goal) in our mind and analyse various investment options available to achieve our goal ASAP.

Equities – The best over Long-term 

Here is the table of post-tax returns (CAGR)* as on Jan 2015 of various asset classes:

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Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses There is the expected protest from brick and mortar companies over the blitzkrieg of promotions unleashed by e-commerce companies.

Pharma dealers point to ecommerce companies dealing with pre - scription drugs. They question how a drug prescribed by a doctor could be sold through such companies. But the drug trade at retail level is marked by several unsavoury practices and huge mark up in prices.

There is the expected protest from brick and mortar companies over the blitzkrieg of promotions unleashed by e-commerce companies. The latest to join are the retailers of drugs and pharma products. These arise over a couple of concerns: the first is the additions to cost made at different points of the distributor chain in conventional marketing; these also involve hefty costs of real estate: setting up retail stores at vantage

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LVB- A supermarket of financial services Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) turned 89 on 3 November 2015. To mark this occasion, the bank had a series of launches. A co-branded credit card with SBI Cards, LVB mobile app and a tie-up with Cigna TTK health insurance to offer health and wellness solutions to its customers were some of the new initiatives.

Incepted in 1928 by V S N Ramalinga Chettiar, LVB is one of the largest private banking entities in the country. With a national presence, the bank has 416 branches and 820 ATMs. The bank registered growth of 21 per cent in deposits and 28 per cent in advances at the end of September 2015. Keeping line with the current generation, the bank is geared to become a supermarket of financial services.   

The LVB-SBI Card will be available in two different formats: SimplySAVE Visa credit card with credit limit up to Rs 2 Lakh per annum and Visa Platinum credit card with a credit limit of Rs 5 Lakh per annum.

These cards will be accepted at two million outlets worldwide and approximately 285,000 outlets in India alone. With this

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The Chinese model for rail development Even while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was making a strong pitch for his Digital India mission at the Silicon Valley, the Chinese were busy winning a lucrative contract for a high speed railway project in the US. The project is estimated to cost $12.7 billion and will be constructed over the next three years. Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2016. XpressWest said the high speed trains will cover the distance in just 80 minutes.

Days ahead of president Xi Jinping’s state visit to Washington DC, a consortium led by state-owned China Railway Group and the US Company, XpressWest, signed a contract to set up a joint venture to build a 370 km high speed line linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  The project is estimated to cost $12.7

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The ‘un’real estate wakes upto reality... A recent announcement by a builder has shaken the real estate market. VGN group funded by Piramal, has offered residential apartments at the prime location of Ekkathuthangal near Guindy at just Rs 7000 per sq ft against the existing value of around Rs 10,000 per sq ft. Real estate market in Chennai had been quite lull for around 2 years. With excess capacity, no buyers and banks reducing the credits, real estate suffered the worst. Before VGN, Ceebros developers used the same technique. At a time when most developers were quoting Rs 25,000 upwards per sq ft for apartments in Egmore Ceebros priced these at Rs 13,500 per sqft and also waived floor-rise charges for people preferring to buy in higher floors. On the announcement more than 60 per cent got sold.    

Real estate had been the hot pie. Rate per square feet had almost doubled in just ten years. Adyar, which is a prime locality in Chennai was quite affordable to several middle class. What was around Rs 2000- Rs 3000 per sq ft has today exponentially increased to Rs 15,000-Rs 17,0000 per sq ft within just a matter of ten years. Today an apartment of 700 sq ft is just a dream for a

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BEPS gains traction Globalisation has multiple merits and diverse demerits. Large companies with units in several countries have taken advantage of their multiple locations to reduce their tax liabilities by shifting their profit centres to those jurisdictions where tax rates are low. This has adversely affected many economies.

Various measures contemplated in the proposals range from new minimum standards to revision of existing standards, common approaches which will facilitate the convergence of national practices and guidance drawing on best practices.

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) is an acronym that refers to the adverse impact of tax avoidance strategies adopted by multinational enterprises, on national tax bases. BEPS is achieved very often by adoption of devious, though not unlawful, transfer pricing models. Sequentially, profits get shifted and therefore tax base gets eroded. For instance, in 2013 the US Senate inv

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Vellayan is back, after 150 days Arunachalam Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Group, is back in the Murugappa Corporate Board (MCB). At the time while stepping down his office had said, “In keeping with family values and tradition, he has stepped aside from the chairmanship of the MCB and of Coromandel International and EID Parry India until this matter is resolved."

The 114-year old Group is one of India’s biggest business conglomerates with interests in engineering, cycles, auto parts, fertilizers, sugars, insurance and financial services.

Vellayan, a fourth-generation-entrepreneur, had been in the wilderness for five months following SEBI&rsq

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One down, one to go

There is hot news in air; a great one at that. One of India’s dreaded extortionists, Chota Rajan, has been arrested in Bali, following a joint effort of the police force of Australia, Indonesia and India. Minister of State, V K Singh, reportedly played a key role in the operation that has potentials of opening a can of worms in the Indian political scene.

To those who don't know, in particular the nineties generation, Chota Rajan (aka Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje) has been a fugitive, on the run for over two decades. A former aide of international terrorist, Dawood Ibrahi

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Baleno: Maruti’s new offering in the hatchback range Followed by S-Cross, Maruti's latest launch the Baleno will be the other model sold through the nextgen Nexa showroom.

With the festive season gearing, to compete with other brands the all new Baleno from Maruti Suzuki will have a tough time in the market as it faces stiff competition from Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo. With Hyundai i20 being the most preferred model followed by Jazz and Polo, Baleno stands apart with some special features. Luckily it has got some uniqueness. Followed by S-Cr

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