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

There is a welcome thrust on solar power. It assumed special significance in the context of the persistent and widespread shortage of power. It was most pronounced in Tamil Nadu in 2012 when Tamil Nadu, save Chennai, was  subjected to 16 hours plus of power cuts.  With the abundant availability of sunlight it makes economic sense to harness solar power. The state promptly came out with an attractive policy on solar power by providing liberal incentives.

IE walked the talk without waiting for the firming up of the policy or the incentives.  It set up a 25 KW rooftop solar power facility over Economist House without availing itself of the promised subsidies. Happily, there has been widespread interest in this facility:  like the promotion of wind energy and co-generation facility for sugar mills, the liberal tax concessions such as full depreciation of the investment have attracted handsome investments.

S Seetharaman, Chairman and Managing Director, Super Auto Forge Pvt Ltd (SAF), cited the initiative taken by his company: along with a few other members of the cold forge fraternity, SAF has set up a solar power facility in the dry Ramanathapuram district through Mahindras for 1 MW to start with and plans to increase it to around 7 MW Seetharaman explained the efficient and the fast work done by Mahindras in setting up the facility in less than three months. He put the cost around Rs 7 crore per MW. What a drop from the Rs 20 crore per MW a couple of years ago!

However, a lot remains to be done: with multiple agencies involved, there is need for clarity on the rules and jurisdiction.  A single window setup to clear the applications will help. There is also a mushrooming of service providers with varying degrees of expertise.

Wind energy development was also launched with great expectations by offering depreciation and other incentives. However, over time, the investors have come to grief. Today, there is no assured off-take of wind energy generation at fair price. And large capacities remain idle owing to problems of maintenance, evacuation and prompt payments. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) can help. But unfortunately, right from inception, it has been bedeviled with problems of suitable experts to man top posts like chairman and members. Even now, the TNERC has no chairman. The state was reluctant to set up the commission for long and senior retired bureaucrats like K Venkatesan declined the offer to join the TNERC.

In the interest of long-term sustainability of non-conventional renewable energy, the state would do well to strengthen TNERC and also frame healthy and fair rules. More importantly, implement these in a transparent manner.

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