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

Manmohan Singh and the UPA I & II governments had great ideas on power development. Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) and the nuclear deal are two great examples. These had the promise of achieving large additions in quick time. Sadly, both failed to take off on promised lines. The UMPP suffered by faulty ground work and the unrealistic stipulation of supply of power at fixed prices over the long term. Can such a commitment be made when there was no guarantee of supply of coal at fixed prices for decades? Neither the policymakers nor the companies that bade for this bothered to look closely at this premise. When global coal prices shot up, the UMPP idea bombed. Reliance Infrastructure that won 3 x 4000 MW projects just bade for time to get the government agree to revise the original condition of supply of power at fixed price . Tata Power was the only company to proceed ahead with construction and complete the project but had to plead for revision. Thus, the 36,000 MW project cleared witnessed just 4000 MW off the ground over ten years.

In regard to nuclear power it is equally tardy. Singh initiated the nuclear deal with the US in July 2005. He staked his all in getting this passed by the Parliament amidst a stiff opposition from the leftists who supported the UPA I government and did succeed. But, years later there had been slow progress in convincing nuclear suppliers to support the Indian initiatives. The Fukushima disaster further lent strength to the anti-nuclear forces. The Kudankulam power station, construction of which was already tardy with the Russian delays, was further stuck by opposition from lobbyists receiving support from several foreign sources.

The French that won the bid for the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra, did evince lot of interest, but encountered problems relating to liability. There is disappointment over such a support not coming  from Japan during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. The sea-saw battle received some boost when the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised supply of uranium. There is further hope on China extending such support after President Xi Jinping’s visit.  

Technology is a two-sided weapon. There is need for a firm commitment for using its positive side. Nuclear energy is of great value to India in expanding its capacity for power generation. The country’s record in operating power plants over the past five decades and more has been satisfactory. India did not have any serious mishap or problem in operating its nuclear power stations in this period. The commitment to safety is paramount. Ensuring this can take care of adding large capacity.

I remember my interaction with a director of  the French nuclear company Framatome in Paris. I met him in 1982. He said: “France lacks fossil resources like coal and oil. Close to 80 per cent of power needs of the country are met by nuclear power. Our safety record has been exemplary.” In the 32 years since he made this statement one hasn’t witnessed any slip in this record.

 

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