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

Fifty years ago, in 1965-66 Sachindra Choudhry as Finance Minister opted for a steep devaluation of the rupee. The economy was then in dire straits with a severe drought causing a steep fall in food production. Indira Gandhi was struggling to find 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).

The EEC became an annual event inaugurated by the Finance Minister and addressed by a dozen ministers handling economic portfolios, assisted by senior civil servants of the respective departments. The EEC provided an important forum to discuss the impact of economic policies on the different regions. As one attending this from 1973 continuously for four decades, I have found value in this interaction. The forum provided the opportunity to project the impact of policies on different regions and also report on specific needs of regions far removed from Delhi. For instance, at the EEC in 1973, I pointed to the inadequacy of the mining capacity at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation that plunged NLC into continuous underperformance and losses. Mohan Kumaramangalam, the then minister of Steels & Mines, appreciated the query and assured quick redressal. The special sanction that followed for augmenting the mining machinery resulted in NLC emerging as a highly profitable PSU.

 For journalists outside Delhi, the EEC provided an invaluable opportunity to meet with policymakers and discuss policy issues.

 The NDA government has not convened the EEC since it assumed power in 2014 (even in the first NDA government, Jaswant Singh as Finance Minister missed out one).

 The media of Lutyens’ Delhi has not been fair and kind to Narendra Modi and this seems to have conditioned his reflex to keep the media at a distance. But should this also extend to his cabinet colleagues?

 In this light, the Press Information Bureau organised a two-day regional editors’ conference for the Southern States on 1 and 2 September. The Prime Minister has directed his cabinet colleagues to undertake the Tiranga Yatra to explain the highlights of the NDA -2 performance over the last two years. The I&B Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the conference in Chennai along with a photo exhibition to commemorate the country’s 70th independence day. He explained in detail the plans of his Ministry of Urban Affairs with a focus on infrastructure and housing. The Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravishankar Prasad, known for his articulation, described in detail the Digital India initiative that promises India to leap-frog development.

Two other Union Ministers, Nitin Gadkari and Kiren Rijiju, who were listed to participate did not make it, but senior civil servants of their ministries made detailed presentations. Those on shipping and highways were rich with details on the impressive work done in the development of roads, ports and inland waterways and the focus on the northeast.  The continuous and steep drop in exports due to the global slowdown is a matter of concern. Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman made a detailed presentation on the efforts made to focus on specific products and specific regions to expand exports. But, like the AIADMK ministers, she laboured on micro issues like areca and copra, missing out on larger issues affecting the Make in India effort.

The programme included a visit to the IIT-Madras Research Park. Dr Ashok Junjunwala made an evocative demonstration of a welcome breakthrough: a 125 kW solar power unit modified to use DC, which can be used to power homes at a low cost and with reduced dependence on grid power. This famous scientist has made invaluable contributions in the telecom and rural development spheres. The IIT-M Research Park that provides for close collaboration between scientists and researchers in the industry and the academy and students of IIT-M, has already produced some innovative products and several applications with great promise.

 

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