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