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