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