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

CONCERT, part of the Consumer Association of India, in association with the American Consulate, organised a two-day national seminar on Consumer Product Safety. CAI’s R Desikan and his team presented a number of specialists from the government and industry, as also experts from the US and UK on the subject that has not received the attention it deserved.

Even in the country where today the consumer is truly the king, the United States, the movement attracted attention only post 1960: US was then enjoying the post war boom. The automobile industry was performing in top gear. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were on the top of global corporates. Ralph Nader was making a critical analysis of road accidents that were taking a heavy toll of human lives. He took the automobile manufactures to court, charging them that their vehicles were unsafe at any speed. And he succeeded! That was the birth of the organised consumer movement.

In India, with scarcity of goods and services, for decades it was considered a privilege to be sold a product. Knowledge of engineering and standards were confined to reputed corporates. Thus, the standards were set largely by representatives of the industry. Understandably, these standards were minimal. Cement manufacturers, for instance, set the standard to the minimum. When in the early 1980s the government permitted import of cement, there was a scramble for Korean cement of high quality delivered in tamper-proof paper bags. Very slowly Indian manufac-

turers reconciled to labelling 33, 43 and 53 grade cement and for years there was no adequate information on relating cement strength to the need. The same extended to other commodities like steel, where manufacturers graded these without adequately explaining the rationale for opting higher grades at, of course, higher prices irrespective of the need.

For decades, manufacturers of refrigerators and air-conditioners delayed introduction of CFC-free coolants that were mandatary over four decades ago in Europe, US and other countries. Again, they provided little information on power consumption, safety and other aspects. Even today, standards of electrical goods are kept to the minimum with little guarantee on stipulated performance.

IE had pleaded for mandatory standards for a large number of products, over three decades ago. I am therefore happy that the seminar demanded bringing much larger number of products under mandatory standards.

 

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