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