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

The NDA II government has been taking strong action against political bigwigs, bureaucrats and business leaders on charges of corruption. The conviction of the former Coal Secretary, H C Gupta to a two year jail term by a special court for corruption in allotting a coal block to a private company has, understandably, been protested by the IAS Association. 

An ex-civil servant pointed to the risk of senior bureaucrats not taking decisions on crucial issues on fears of such punishment even for errors of judgment on honest appraisals. I remember the time when ministers and senior civil servants took bold decisions with the objective of economic development. In the 1950s and 1960s R Venkataraman, as Minister of Industry, Tamil Nadu, encouraged the state industrial development corporations to obtain licences and to offer these to  prospective entrepreneurs. 

Several of the civil servants even took bold to differ with the minister. I cite an instance of K P Geethakrishnan as TN Industry Secretary and K Venkatesan as Finance Secretary resisting the direction of Chief Minister MGR to clear the proposal to set up the bagasse- based Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. They pointed to the risk involved in the state committing over Rs 250 crore on a single project based on unproven technology. MGR had to transfer these out of their posts to get the project cleared!

Dozens of projects cleared in the joint sector by the state development corporations failed causing considerable losses. But neither the civil servants nor the political leadership were blamed for these. Of course, times were different: the level of honesty of the politicians and the bureaucrats across the board was pretty high and integrity beyond reproach. 

The coal allocation case is different. Persons totally unconnected with the coal sector jumped into the fray, eg. Minister S Jagatrakshakan applied for such a licence for a company registered in Puducherry. We also had earlier the instance of the property developer, Unitech, successfully bidding for a telecom licence and later selling it at a huge profit to Nortel. There is the responsibility on the part of senior bureaucrats to exercise due caution on such speculative bidders. In the case of the coal scam, such diligent scrutiny seems to be missing and bureaucracy at the top seems to have failed in the whole exercise resulting in a scam of gargantuan proportions.



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