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

During the regime of J Jayalalithaa (JJ) as chief minister, there was a sense of fear. Criticism of her autocratic decisions was muted. Her ruthlessness in foisting cases against dissenters and critics effectively silenced sections of society, including the intelligentsia, the media and leaders of the opposition to voice freely their opinions.  

JJ had scant regard for media and used the power of government’s advertising to condition these. Large sections of media, including The Hindu and Dinamalar, were shackled by the advertisement policy that squeezed their advertisement rates. Periodicals were kept out of the government’s advertising. Everything was claimed to be her deed. Even in her addresses the subjective, “I made this,” “I brought this” or “I implemented this” was dominant. The civil service, business leaders and sections of intelligentsia opted to fall in line and avoided criticism of even widespread corruption and anti-development policies.  

Look at the scene today: media seems so liberated! Every minister, senior or junior, MLAs and other party functionaries readily participate in media discussions and freely voice their opinions. The state, dominated by film personalities for over five decades, looks to Rajnikanth for salvation. Actor Kamal Haasan who suffered grievously by the spoke put on the release of his  magnum opus Viswaroopam with demands for unreasonable cuts in the film cleared by the Censor Board, is today hypercritical. Like the PMK leader Ramadoss and DMK leader MK Stalin, he comes out with daily doses of criticism of current political developments.  

The three way split of the AIADMK and a weak leadership encourage different sections of society to give vent to their concerns and agitate for the sectoral demands. This seems to progress in endless streams, from the demand for Jallikattu to opposing NEET, to driving ONGC out of the state… 

The last one is grossly anti-development. Agriculture can never ever provide the type of returns that can come out of oil or gas fields. Exploring these is possible only in limited areas endowed with these. The transformation of several countries and regions has been the result of  production of oil and gas. 

 

Can it be oil vs agriculture? 

Importantly for Tamil Nadu, with its highly fragmented land, agriculture has been accounting for a very small share in its gross domestic product - just around 8 per cent. With the severe shortage of water and with an average land holding at just 2 acres, the state should reconcile to maximising its endowments in the secondary and tertiary sectors of industry and services. There should be serious efforts to agglomerate landholdings permitting leasing land over 15 years and more without alienating ownership. This will facilitate application of science and technology to make agriculture remunerative. The talk of doubling agriculture incomes without such a major structural change has little meaning. 

Dr M S Swaminathan set up a research centre in Chennai and has been active in the state for close to three decades. He headed the state’s Planning Commission for a few years. He has a wide knowledge of agriculture across the nation and the globe. Surprisingly and disappointingly, this renowned scientist and several other knowledgeable persons have not been addressing the serious issue of unremunerative farming, refuse to acknowledge that the emperor is naked and fail to come out with viable solutions.  


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