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