Tamil Nadu

Jayalalithaa writes to PM, seeking additional 1000 MW of power for TN

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention to ensure that her state got an additional 1000 MW of power to tide over an acute power crisis.

In her letter, dated October 23, Ms Jayalalithaa drew Dr Singh's attention to her earlier letters in which she had sought an additional 1000 MW to partly mitigate this crisis.
"However, a meagre quantum of 100 MW alone was allocated to Tamil Nadu. Even out of this quantum, only about 78 MW is being made available to the state," she said.
The Chief Minister said there was a severe shortage of power in Tamil Nadu due to the failure of the south-west monsoon and the constraints we face in buying power from sources outside the southern region due to corridor congestion. 
"Due to the demand - supply gap of about 4000 MW which is the highest in the southern
region, widespread load shedding is being resorted to, causing severe hardship to the consumers. The agriculture sector has also been amongst the worst hit due to the failure of the monsoon and inadequate power supply, thereby affecting food production," she said.
"I have already pointed out that the deficit situation in Tamil Nadu has been aggravated due to corridor congestion and have repeatedly requested your urgent intervention to ensure that the required quantum of 1000 MW of power transmission capacity is made available to enable Tamil Nadu to receive the power contracted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO)," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has proposed to
surrender power from various Central Generating Stations for the period from 1.11.2012 to 31.3.2013 for a quantum of 230 MW round the clock (00.00 to 24.00 hrs) and 1491 MW during 00.00 to 6.00 hrs. 
"The Chairman-cum-Managing Director, TANGEDCO, has requested the Ministry of Power, Government of India, New Delhi, to reallocate the entire quantum of surrendered power to Tamil Nadu and to arrange to provide the necessary corridor on priority basis for availing of the above power. I request your kind intervention to tide over this acute power crisis in Tamil Nadu," she added.

379 officers, including 71 women, pass out of OTA Chennai

As many as 379 officers, including 288 gentlemen and 71 ladies, passed out of the Army's Officers' Training Academy (OTA) in a glittering ceremony marked by military splendour at Chennai today.

This was one of the largest batches ever to pass out of OTA, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.
The batch also included 20 cadets from Afghanistan who are slated to join the Afghan National Army, an official press release said.
The parade was reviewed by Lt Gen A K Singh, General-Officer-Commanding- in – Chief Southern Command . 
Speaking on the occasion, the General complimented the young officers for choosing the profession of arms and spoke of the uniqueness of military leadership.
"On joining the Army, you virtually sign an unlimited liability contract to serve the nation, through thick and thin, and do as the organization ordains. But, in return the nation and the organization also assures you of a lifelong bond of looking after you and yours," he said.
He called it a unique relationship based on trust and commitment. The Army Commander further said, “As military leaders, you will deal with not issues of profit and loss but issues of life and death."
The growing popularity of the profession of arms among the youth was shown by the sizable strength of erstwhile corporate professionals who changed their tracks to be part of the Indian Army’s officer cadre.
"There is a long  and grueling  training which precedes this festivity, encompassing  physical training, educational competencies, weapon training, drill and social etiquette in addition to experiential conditioning in the skills and the attitudes needed for military success - in a short span of  49 weeks,” said Lt Gen SS Jog,  the Commandant.
“When we celebrate our  golden jubilee, next year, the OTA shall have moved way closer to a truly world class academy in terms of latest training facilities and infrastructure," he added.

President to visit Tamil Nadu, AP on September 8-9

President Pranab Mukherjee will leave here tomorrow on a two-day tour to Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh in what will be his first visit to a State outside Delhi since assuming office on July 25.

In Chennai, Mr Mukherjee will attend the valedictory function of the sesquicentennial celebrations of Madras High Court tomorrow. He will also deliver an address at a felicitation function organized by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In Tirupati, the President will inaugurate the Nandakam Complex of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams on September 9. He will also visit the S V Vedapatasala, Dharmagiri.
The President will return to New Delhi on the same day, an official press release added.

Sharma orders inquiry into Sivakasi fire mishap

36 killed, 50 injured in explosion at firecrackers unit near Sivakasi

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma today ordered an inquiry into the explosion and fire at a fireworks factory, Om Sakthi Fireworks, near Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu yesterday, which left at least 38 people dead and 50 injured.

An official press release said the inquiry had been ordered under section 9 (a) of the Explosives Act 1884, in view of the seriousness of the incident, and would be conducted by Mr Chaitanya Prasad, an IAS officer.
About 15 of those who suffered injuries in the incident are in a serious condition.
The release said three officers of the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Sivakasi field office have been at the accident spot from yesterday.
The Chief Controller of Explosives and the Joint Controller of Explosives have reached the accident site today and will prepare a detailed report of the accident, it added.

Jayalalithaa urges PM to get new user charges by JIPMER withdrawn

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to instruct the Jawaharlal Insitute of Post-Graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry to revisit its decision to introduce new user charges for various medical investigations and procedures.

In her letter, Ms Jayalalithaa said the decision would badly affect poor patients not only from Puducherry but also from the neighbouring districts in Tamil Nadu such as Cuddalore, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai.
She recalled that her party, the AIADMK, had vehemently opposed the Bill to convert JIPMER into an autonomous institution in Parliament, even at the introduction stage in 2008. 
"Overruling our strident objections, the Bill had been passed with an assurance that the existing free services to the public would be continued without any change. Introduction of user charges for routine investigations and medical procedure amounts to reneging on the solemn assurance given in Parliament," she said.
"So as to ensure that the people of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are not adversely affected, I request you to instruct JIPMER to revisit the decision to introduce the new user charges and revert to the earlier practice of offering free services to the public as assured in 2008," the letter added.

Jayalalithaa urges PM to convene meeting of Cauvery River Authority

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has once again written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to urgently convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority and to advise the Karnataka governmet to release water for raising the Samba crop in the basin of the river in her state.

In her letter of today, Ms Jayalalithaa recalled that she had written to him on May 18 saying that there was an urgent need for convening a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority to decide certain specific issues.
"My request is yet to be acceded to," she said.
She said the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the Government of Tamil Nadu before the
Supreme Court in July 2012, came up for hearing on August 13. The Government of
Tamil Nadu had sought a direction to the Union of India to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority. The Supreme Court had sought the views of the Government of India on this, she said.
"You are aware that, according to the Rules and Regulations for the conduct of the business of the Cauvery River Authority, the quorum for the meeting shall be 3 members in addition to the Chairperson and further, the decision shall ordinarily be by consensus and that, in case no consensus is reached, the decision may be left to the Chairperson.
"You may recall that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 6.2.2003 in an I.A. filed by the State of Tamil Nadu (I.A. No. 3/2003 in O.S. No.3/2002), inter-alia, had directed that in the absence of unanimity or consensus, the decision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister who is the Chairperson of the Cauvery River Authority shall be decisive. Therefore, without prejudice to the pending proceedings in the Supreme Court, the Hon’ble Prime Minister as the Chairperson may convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority and the Distress Sharing Formula can be adopted as a situation of distress has arisen now," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the Karnataka government had not released any water from its reservoirs during the irrigation year of 2012-2013, while it has opened the reservoir for its irrigation. 
"However, the Mettur Dam could not be opened till date due to the reluctance of the Government of Karnataka even to share minimum flows. 
"According to the Interim Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal which is in
force, as on 23.8.2012 Mettur Dam should have realised 95.480 TMC ft. against which
only a meagre quantity of 9.187 TMC ft. has been realised. Further, according to the
Distress Sharing Formula evolved by the Central Water Commission, Mettur Dam should
have realised about 43.837 TMC ft. as on 23.8.2012. The farmers in the Cauvery Delta,
having lost the Kuruvai crop, are hoping at least to raise one single Samba crop for their
livelihood. It is, therefore, imperative that the Government of Karnataka is advised to
release water to make good the shortfall quantity as per the Distress Sharing Formula
and also to share the flows in this distress situation," she added.

Tamil Nadu batsman Badrinath to replace Laxman for NZ Test series

Subramaniam Badrinath
Subramaniam Badrinath

Veteran Tamil Nadu batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, one of the most prolific scorers in domestic cricket, has been recalled into the Indian squad for the Test series against New Zealand in place of V V S Laxman, who announced yesterday that he had decided to hang up his boots after a 16-year illustrious career.

A statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the All-India Senior Selection Committee had made the decision. The series against New Zealand will commence at Hyderabad on August 23.
Badrinath, a right hand middle-order batsman and an off break bowler, who will turn 32 on August 30, will join the squad at the earliest, the BCCI statement added.
He has played two Tests for India and scored 63 runs at an average of 21, with a hghest score of 56. He has also layed seven one-day internationals and scored 79 runs a an average of 15.80, wth a highest score of 27 not out.
While he has been the mainstay of the Tamil Nadu batting for more than a decade and has also captained the side, Badrinath has not been lucky in the matter of playing for India. He caught the selectors' eye when he scored 636 runs from seven matches in the 2005-06 domestic season and followed it up ith 436 in the next year. He played for India A on the tours to Zimbabwe and Kenya and in the home series against South Africa A.
He was included in the Indian ODI team for the last three matches against Australia, but did not get a look-in. He was not chosen for the Pakistan series that followed.
He continued to perform well in domestic cricket and finally got his break in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. He was chosen for the Test squad for Australia's tour of India in 2008-09 but again did not get to play. His Test debut finaly came in Nagpur, a year later against South Africa, when he was 29.
Badrinath found himself ignored after a couple of tests, but his performances in the Ranji Trophy and for the Chennai Super Kings in the India Premier League got him a place in the Indian ODI squad in the series against the West Indies in 2011.
He has scored 7836 runs at an average of 60.74 in domestic cricket, with 28 centuries.
(Photo: Courtesy Chennai Super Kings website)

Jayalalithaa urges PM to allocate entire power from Kudankulam-I to TN

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, once again requesting him to allocate the entire power to be generated from the first 1000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to her state.

Ms Jayalalithaa mentioned that she had written to him on this subject earlier, too, on March 31 and April 25 this year.
"To my dismay, no response has so far been received from you. I am given to understand that nuclear fuel loading in the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is to happen within the next few days.
"May I take this opportunity to remind you of my earlier request and expect a quick response? I am sure you will appreciate my State’s justified demand in this matter and convey a positive response soon," she added.
In her letter of March 31, Ms Jayalalithaa had said that Tamil Nadu was facing a severe power shortage and it would therefore be proper and justifiable that the entire power to be generated from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is made available to Tamil Nadu.

Vasan dedicates Automatic Identification System for vessels to nation


Union Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan today dedicated to the nation the Automatic Identification System (AIS) Network in Chennai that will help to track vessels upto a distance of 50 km from the coast.

The system, set up at an estimated cost of Rs 132 crore, connects 74 AIS sensors installed on lighthouses along the entire coastline.
According to an official press release, the system is intended to help different users like Directorate General Shipping, Ports, Navy, and Coast Guard in tracking, surveillance, search and rescue, and management of aids to navigation. 
The network also has a provision to track small fishing vessels with customised transponders which will be helpful in search and rescue and also in extending help in case of any eventuality. 

Hand in Hand India wins UNEP prize

The "rangoli" carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP Read story.

The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP
Read story.The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP

Initiatives from India, 4 other countries receive UNEP prize for inspiring environmental action

The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP
The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP

Projects from India and four other countries -- Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia and Kenya -- that inspired and galvanized environmental action are the winners of this year's World Environment Day Challenge, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced.

The winner from India is Hand in Hand India, a non-governmental organization based in Tamil Nadu, which brought together over 500 volunteers to create a colourful 10,000 square feet "rangoli: carpet, depicting 10 different environmental themes. Rangoli is a hand-drawn Indian art which adorns the  courtyards of many houses.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) challenged people across  the world to pledge an environmental activity for the chance to win a Kia  Motors fuel-efficient car in connection with this year’s World Environment Day,  which was observed on June 5.
“Today we celebrate five inspiring projects, submitted for  the World Environment Day 2012 challenge, that illuminate the pathway to a  transition to a green economy,” said UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner.
“The most environmentally friendly travel is by train, bus,  carpooling, cycle or on foot, but in some countries making an eco-friendly  project happen may need a private vehicle. If so, it should be fuel-efficient,”  he added. “This is why we are awarding such vehicles to these projects, most of  which are run in developing nations with underdeveloped public transport  networks.”
Among the winners is Fundacion Ecoprogreso, a group in Colombia that works to protect a mangrove lagoon  surrounding the city of Cartagena,  organized activities for the Day to raise awareness of the importance of the  mangrove ecosystem for the local green economy, especially for ecotourism and  sustainable fishing.
Maji Mazuri Centre International, located in Nairobi, runs an initiative  called Green Heroes, in which youth focus on organizing and improving waste  management in the Kenyan capital’s informal Mathare settlement. Among its  events for World Environment Day were a communal clean-up day and a football  match that galvanized over 2,000 people.
On Australia’s  Sunshine Coast, the World Environment Day  Festival is held annually to raise awareness of environmental issues and the  unique flora and fauna of the region, as well as promote the adoption of  sustainable lifestyles and technologies. It is organized by the Sunshine Coast  Environment Council, another winner of this year’s challenge.
A Bangladeshi non-profit organization, Shidhulai Swanirvar  Sangstha, celebrated the Day through a solar-powered boat rally, a drawing  competition on floating schools, an essay-writing competition on floating  libraries, an exhibition on a two-tier boat and evening shows of training boats  under the theme – ‘The Green Economy in a Changing Climate – Hope Floats.’
Observance of World Environment Day began in 1972 as a way  to raise awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and  action. This year’s theme for the Day – Green  Economy: Does it include you? – sought to underscore the need for everyone  to play a part in keeping humankind’s ecological footprints within planetary  boundaries.
Hand in Hand India, which has been in operation since 1988 in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, works to alleviate poverty through enterprise creation and an integrated community development approach. Some of its environmental interventions include solid waste management, natural resource management and environmental advocacy. 

Railways cancel some trains after Tamil Nadu Express fire

The South-Central Railways today said several trains had been cancelled or partially cancelled following the fire in a coach of the Tamil Nadu Express, in which at least 32 people ere killed.
1.T.No 66031 SULLURUPETA - NELLORE passenger scheduled to leave SULLURUPETA at 15.45 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
2.T.No.66032 NELLORE - SULLURUPETA passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 17.50 hrs o­n 30.07.2012
3.T.No. 57240 BITRAGUNTA - CHENNAI CENTRAL passenger scheduled to leave BITRAGUNTA at 05.20 hrs o­n 03.07.2012 
4.T.No.57277 GUDUR - VIJAYAWADA passenger scheduled to leave GUDUR at 06.10 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
5.T.No. 57239 CHENNAI CENTRAL – GUDUR passenger scheduled to leave CHENNAI CENTRAL at 16.00 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
6.T.No. 57242 VIJAYAWADA- BITRAGUNTA passenger scheduled to leave VIJAYAWADA at 15.15 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
1.T.No. 66035 CHENNAI CENTRAL -NELLORE passenger which left CHENNAI CENTRAL at 07.45 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between VEDAYAPALEM and NELLORE. The train will run back as T.No. 66034 Passenger from VEDAYAPALEM to TIRUPATI
2.T.No.66034 NELLORE - TIRUPATI passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 12.30 hrs on 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between NELLORE and VEDAYAPALEM.
3.T.No.66033 TIRUPATI - NELLORE passenger which left TIRUPATI at 11.25 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between GUDUR and NELLORE. The train will run back as T.No.66036 from GUDUR to CHENNAI CENTRAL
4.T.No.66036 NELLORE - CHENNAI CENTRAL passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 16.00 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between NELLORE and GUDUR.

Jayalalithaa writes to PM, seeks hike in Haj quota for Tamil Nadu

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking an enhancement in the state's quota of seats for the 2012 Haj pilgrimage.

She said that, while the Tamil Nadu State Haj Committee had received more than 12,100 applications for Haj 2012, the Haj Committee of India had allotted a quota of 2863 seats for the state.
"Needless to say, this is woefully inadequate," she said. According to her, as per the guidelines for Haj 2012, out of the quota of 2863 seats, 1146 seats will be apportioned for reserved  categories and about 1717 seats will be dispensed for selection under the general category. 
"The number of disappointed applicants will be around 9243," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said that, during Haj 2011, the Haj Committee of India had initially allotted a 
quota of 3049 seats against the receipt of more than 10,000 applications from Tamil Nadu. After the release of additional quota and Government discretionary quota, a total of 4084 pilgrims from the state were able to perform the Haj pilgrimage last year.
She said the quota for this year was an all-time low. "I, therefore, request your kind intervention to enhance the quota taking into account the sizable Muslim population and the large number of applications received from Tamil Nadu for 2012," she said.
"The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, may be requested to release a suitable additional number, so that a greater number of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu would be benefited and enabled to perform the Haj pilgrimage in 2012," she added.

Tube Investments to acquire 44.1 stake in Shanthi Gears


Tube Investments of India Ltd., (TII), the flagship of the Murugappa Group, today said it would acquire the promoter shareholding of 44.1 per cent in Shanthi Gears Limited, a Coimbatore-based manufacturer of industrial power transmission products.

Consequently, TII will be making an open offer to the extent of 26%, a press release from the company said here today.
The total cost of the acquisition, including the public offer is expected to be Rs. 464 crore, assuming full response to the proposed open offer pursuant to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulation, it said.
The Murugappa Group has multiple businesses ranging from diversified auto-ancillary products, bicycle retailing to financial services and insurance.

CCEA clears proposal for Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemicals Investment Region in TN


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approval a proposal of the Tamil Nadu government to set up a Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) in the Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts of the state. 

This is the first PCPIR to be approved after PCPIRs in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Orissa. 
An official press release said a total investment of about Rs.92,160 crore is expected in the TNPCPIR, which includes committed investment of Rs.22,160 crore. 
It envisages development of physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, air links, ports, water supply, power, desalination plant, CETP and so on at a total cost of Rs.13,354 crore. 

NCERT panel to look into cartoon on anti-Hindi agitation also

File photo of Kapil Sibal
File photo of Kapil Sibal

The Government today said the five-member committee set up to examine the cartoons in political science and social science textbooks of Classes IX-XII brought out by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) would also look into the cartoons related to the 1965 anti-Hindi movement in Tamil Nadu that came under sharp criticism from political leaders in the state recently.

A statement by Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said this issue was also being examined by the committee as a part of the exercise undertaken by it.
The committee, headed by Prof S K Thorat, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), is likely to submit its report shortly.
The committee was set up by the NCERT on May 14 after the controversy over a sixty-year-old cartoon by renowned cartoonist Shankar featuring then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution.
The committee has been asked to review the Classes IX-XII social science and political science textbooks of NCERT from the point of view of identifying educationally inappropriate material in them and to provide suggestions for alternatives to be placed in the textbooks. 
On Saturday, DMK president and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had asked the Centre to remove the cartoon from the textbook because it hurt the sentiments of the people of the state.

Tamil Nadu's annual plan fixed at Rs 28,000 crore, Jayalalithaa takes dig at plan panel


Tamil Nadu's annual plan for 2012-13 as finalised at Rs 28,000 crore at a meeting here today between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa here today.

However, Ms Jayalalithaa was plainly unhappy with the discussions, telling journalists afterwards that the exercise amounted to her state being told how to spend its own money.
Iked over not being able to get the nod for Central assistance and additional assistance for some projects, Ms Jayalalithaa said that, out of the total outlay of Rs 28,000 crore, which was 19 per cent higher than the figure for last year, the Centre's contribution was only Rs 3000 crore.
"We have asked for Central assistance, additional assistance under various heads but that was not forthcoming. So, what this entire exercise amounts to is that we have come all the way to Delhi to have discussion and a meeting with the Union Planning Commission so that they can tell us how to spend our own money," she said.
During the discussions at the meeting, Mr Ahluwalia said Tamil Nadu had an impressive record of improvement in human development indices and growth in services sector.
He said per capita income levels had gone up in the state since Independence as a consequence of sustained GSDP growth. In most of the cases, Tamil Nadu has better social indicators than the national average. 
He appreciated the Tamil Nadu Government’s efforts to make growth truly inclusive. He said leading states like Tamil Nadu should attract knowledge-based investment and focus on improving the quality of education. He said the 12th Plan would give priority to education, health and infrastructure.
The Commission noted the decadal growth rate of population in Tamil Nadu had increased from 11.72% in 1991-2001 to 15.60% in 2001-2011. On the contrary, the decadal growth rate of population in the country has fallen from 21.54% in 1991-2001 to 17.64% in 2001-2011. During 1991-2001, Tamil Nadu contributed 3.59% of the total population growth in India, whereas in the next decade i.e. 2001-2011, Tamil Nadu contributed 5.36% of the total population growth in India. 
It was also noted that Tamil Nadu had shown improvement in both overall sex ratio (from 987 to 995) and child sex ratio (from 942 to 946) during 2001-2011. Tamil Nadu is at 5th place among major States in the country in terms of child sex ratio. 
The services sector accounts for 65.8% of the GSDP at 2004-05 prices which is followed by the Industry sector (26.5%) and the Agriculture sector (7.7%) during 2011-12. The share of the Agriculture & Industry sectors in Tamil Nadu’s GSDP has been gradually falling over the years, whereas the share of services sector has been rising. 
In 2011-12, the real per capita income of Tamil Nadu is higher than the real per capita income of the country as a whole. The real per capita income of Tamil Nadu has increased at CAGR of 9.54% during 2004-05 to 2010-11 while the all-India per capita income has increased at CAGR of 6.84% during the same period. 
Ms Jayalalithaa stresed the need for a pro-active approach and substantial increase in Government spending to tide over the economic slowdown.
She said her government's prudent fiscal management strategies had reversed the dismal outlook on the economic front in the state.
"The State has returned to a situation of revenue surplus in 2011-2012 and the fiscal
deficit as a percentage of GSDP has been contained at 2.85%. The latest estimates of the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) place the economic growth rate of Tamil Nadu for 2011-2012 at 9.39%, much above the national average of 6.5%," he said.
"While we are remedying the State’s fiscal situation, substantial financial support is required from the Government of India for the raised investment needs of the State’s 12th Five Year Plan. Unfortunately, the 11th Plan has shown disappointing trends. The untied funds available to the States for financing their Plans through Normal Central Assistance (NCA) have not increased proportionately and today, these funds constitute a very minor component of the Plan resources of State Governments," she said.
She also urged that the proliferation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes should be checked for several reasons. "Not only are States deprived of untied funds that were available previously, but these Centrally Sponsored Schemes are designed without reference to specific ground realities and the needs of the population within the States that may face relative deprivation. The resulting rigid “one size fits all” guidelines deny a fair share to a progressive State like Tamil Nadu," she said.
She listed the steps taken by her government to improve the state's economy on the agriculture and other fronts. She also listed the schemes for which the state needed financial support.
Regarding the economic and social indicators, she said she was seriously concerned about inter-district and inter-regional growth disparities within the State. In order to correct these regional disparities in sectors like health, education, poverty and unemployment through targeted programmes, the state government has created the State Balanced Growth Fund with an initial outlay of Rs 100 crore this year which will be increased in coming years, she said.

Jayalalithaa sanctions cash reward of Rs 2 crore for Vishwanathan Anand

Vishwanathan Anand
Vishwanathan Anand

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today sanctioned a cash reward for world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, who retained the title for the fourth time in a row by beating challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel 2.5-1.5 in a thrlliing speed chess decider of their championship match in Moscow on May 30.

"Viswanathan Anand has won the World Chess Championship for the fifth time and fourth time consecutively. He has brought laurels both to Tamil Nadu and India. 
"In order to recognize his unique achievement in conquering and retaining the World Chess Championship crown a number of times the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu  J Jayalalithaa is pleased to honour him by sanctioning a cash reward of Rs. 2 crore," a press release from the state government said.
The tie-breaker was resorted to afer the two players ended their 12-game championship match with a 6-6 stalemate.
In the tie-breaker, Anand, 42, won one of the four rapid chess games, while the other three games ended in draws. 

Jayalalithaa urges PM to stop Karnataka from building check dams on Pennaiyar river

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to advise the Karnataka government to stop forthwith the execution of any check dams or diversion structures across the Pennaiyar river.

The river originates in Karnataka and flows through the districts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.
In her letter dated May 19, Ms Jayalalithaa said the river irrigates an ayacut of nearly four lakh acres.
"I understand that the Government of Karnataka has proposed to construct check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River which is causing great alarm and pprehension in Tamil Nadu.  Any attempt to withhold the flows by constructing check dams and diversion structures across the Pennaiyar River will be a serious breach of the existing Inter-State Agreement on this issue," she said.
She said this would also be a body blow to the farmers of Tamil Nadu besides affecting the basic drinking water supply position. 
"As you are aware, the Pennaiyar is an Inter-State River and is also one of the Rivers mentioned in Schedule ‘A’ annexed to  the Madras-Mysore Agreement of 1892.  As per clause-II of this Agreement, the upstream State should not, without the previous consent of the downstream Tamil Nadu State, build any new anicut or any structure to obstruct, divert or store the waters of the river across any part of the river," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the government of Karnataka had neither sought the consent of the government of Tamil Nadu. She said the Tamil Nadu government had taken up the matter with the Karnataka government and sought details of the schemes but had not received any response. The Tamil Nadu government had also urged the Karnataka government not to commence any work on the projects without its consent.
"I, therefore, request you to kindly intervene in this matter urgently and advise the Government of Karnataka to stop forthwith the execution of any check dams or diversion structures etc., across the Pennaiyar River," Ms Jayalalithaa added in her letter to the Prime Minister.

Jayalalithaa urges PM to convene meeting of Cauvery River Authority

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that Karnataka was not ensuring the flows in the Cauvery river as per the monthly pattern prescribed in the orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the crucial months of June to September.

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that Karnataka was not ensuring the flows in the Cauvery river as per the monthly pattern prescribed in the interim order in force or as per the final order dated February 5, 2007 of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in the crucial months of June to September.
In a letter dated May 18, Ms Jayalalithaa urged the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority forthwith to decide this and related issues.
She pointed out that the Authority had last met on February 10, 2003 and said that its meeting was long overdue.
Ms Jayalalithaa recalled that, in a letter dated October 17, 2011, she had requested the Prime Minister to issue instructions to the Ministry of Water Resources to notify the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal  in the Gazette of India and to place in position the Cauvery Management Board for the effective implementation of the order.
"However, the Minister of Water Resources informed me that it would be appropriate to consider notification of the Order dated 5.2.2007 of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal once the matter is disposed of by the Supreme Court," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the Karnataka government had been unjustly utilising the water for summer irrigation from February to May by depleting the storage in its four major reservoirs.  The combined gross storage in the four major reservoirs of Karnataka as on February 1 this year was 58.50 TMC ft, she said. According to her, this had come down to 28.176 TMC ft as on May 14.
"The Government of Karnataka has depleted a storage of about 30.33 TMC ft. from 1.2.2012 to 14.5.2012, besides utilizing the flows of about 11 TMC ft. Thus, the total utilization from 1.2.2012 to 14.5.2012 is about 41 TMC ft.  Due to depletion of storage during summer months, the Government of Karnataka impounds all the initial monsoon flows in its reservoirs and releases water only when they start surplusing, thus affecting the inflows into the Mettur Dam, which consequently affects the Kuruvai crop very badly and also delays the cultivation of the Samba crop," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the finalization of the Distress Sharing Formula evolved by the  Central Water  Commission is eluding a  solution  which has ultimately deprived Tamil Nadu of adequate water which should have been released by Karnataka either as per the Interim Order of the Tribunal or by the formula evolved.  
"The Cauvery Monitoring Committee in its 24th meeting had decided to refer the formula to the Cauvery River Authority for consideration when noticeable distress condition occurs in 
future.  Such a distress situation may arise at any time. There is another issue which requires immediate consideration by the Cauvery River Authority," she said.
She said the interim order of  the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal which was in force specifies that  the Government of Karnataka shall not increase its area under irrigation beyond 11.20 lakh acres.  The Government of Karnataka is not furnishing yearwise details of the area under irrigation, she added.

Jayalalithaa urges all parties to support Sangma for President's post

A day after coming out in support of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma for the office of President, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Friday urged all political parties to support his candidature for the post.

File photo of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai on May 15, 2012.
File photo of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai on May 15, 2012.

A day after coming out in support of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma for the office of President, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa today urged all political parties to support his candidature for the post.

"In continuation of my statement dated 17.5.2012 announcing the AIADMK’s support to Mr P.A. Sangma in the forthcoming Presidential election, I now appeal to all political parties to rise above political considerations and support Mr P.A. Sangma and ensure that he becomes the next President of India," she said in a statement issued in Chennai today.
The AIADMK was the second regional party, after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha to come out in support of Mr Sangma for the august office. 
Ms Jayalalithaa said in a statement yesterday that she had taken the decision following a letter received from Mr Sangma and his meeting with her in Chennai on May 15.
She also said that she had held consultations on the issue within the AIADMK as well as with BJD leader and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
"During the past 60 years of the Republic of India, while eminent personalities belonging to various communities and diverse walks of life have graced the office of the Rashtrapathi no one belonging to a tribal community has had the opportunity so far," Ms Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
Mr Sangma and his supporters have for some time been campaigning for a tribal to be elected as the next President of India.
She said Mr Sangma not only belonged to a tribal community but was also eminently qualified to be the President of the nation.
"As such, the AIADMK takes pride in supporting the candidature of Mr P.A. Sangma for the office of President of India," the statement had added.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Patnaik told journalists in Bhubaneswar that his party would back Mr Sangma for President and that Ms Jayalalithaa was also supporting him.
Mr Patnaik and Ms Jayalalithaa had met in Chennai on May 11, when the coming Presidential elections and related issues were understood to have been discussed.
After that, Mr Sangma and his daughter, Ms Agatha Sangma, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, had met Ms Jayalalithaa in Chennai to pitch their case for a tribal candidate for the President's post.
However, Mr Sangma's own party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is a constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to come out in his support. The two parties are also sharing power in Maharashtra.
NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is understood to be of the view that, given the party's limited strength, it could not aspire for such a major post. 
NCP spokesman D P Tripathi told reporters yesterday that Mr Sangma or Mr Patnaik had not discussed the matter with the party. He said Mr Pawar was clearly of the view that the President must be chosen by consensus and that, as a member of the UPA, the NCP must act with responsibility and dignity in the matter.
The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the post, but in recent days the names of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President M Hamid Ansari have been doing the rounds as possible candidates.
The term of office of the current President, Ms Pratibha Patil, will end on July 25 this year and a successor will be elected before that date.
Mr Sangma, 64, who has taken MA and  LL.B. degrees, was associated with the Congress for a long time and was eelcted to the 6th, 7th and 8th Lok Sabha. He served as Union Deputy Minister for Commerce and later as Minister of State for Commerce and Minister of State for Home Affairs. He also held independent charge of Labour as Minister of State.
Between 1988 and 1990, Mr Sangma served as Chief Minister of Meghalaya before returning to the Lok Sabha in 1991. He held independent charge of Coal and then Labour as Minister of State before being appointed Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting in 1995-96.
On re-election to the 11th Lok Sabha for a fifth term in 1996, he was elected Speaker of the House. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004. He resigned from the Lok Sabha on October 10, 2005 as a member of the Trinamool Congress and came back to the House in February 2006 as an NCP candidate. He resigned from the House again on March 20, 2008.

Eros International acquires Tamil theatrical rights of Maatran


Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it had acquired the Tamil theatrical rights of  Maatran, produced by AGS Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a film production and distribution house.

Eros has been assigned the Tamil theatrical rights for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka and the Tamil audio rights of the movie, a press release from the company said. Maatran is slated for release on August 15 this yar.
Maatran is a Tamil action thriller film directed and co-written by K V Anand and scripted by Subha. It stars Suriya, who portrays two different roles along with Kajal Aggarwal. Harris Jayaraj has composed the tunes and the tracks in the music album.  

Jayalalithaa slams Centre on NCTC, wants sub-committee of CMs to examine proposal

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Conference of Chief Ministers on National Counter-Terrorism Centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2012.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Conference of Chief Ministers on National Counter-Terrorism Centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2012.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today hit out at the Union Government for allegedly constituting the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) without consulting the States and said the fight against terrorism could be successfully waged only in a spirit of cooperation.
"The proposed NCTC needs a total overhaul and for this I suggest that a smaller sub-committee of Chief Ministers be set up," she said in her address to the Conference of Chief Ministers on the NCTC convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The conference was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was addressed by, among others, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
She said the NCTC, as has now been notified, should be kept in abeyance till the sub-committee of Chief Ministers gives its report. "As a matter of fact, any discussion on NCTC is infructuous as long as the notification of NCTC is in force," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said the proposed NCTC had met with a lot of opposition from many States and even Congress-ruled States had expressed misgivings about it.
"Hence, as stated by me earlier, the office memorandum on the constitution of the NCTC should be kept in abeyance and a sub-committee of Chief Ministers constituted to devise an effective counter terrorist strategy. The Minister of State, Home Affairs, may represent the Ministry in the Committee. Once the recommendations of the sub-committee of Chief Ministers are available, it will be advisable to chart out the way forward based on that. I do hope the Central Government will appreciate the points raised by me and display a sense
of statesmanship," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said it was surprising that neither the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs constituting the NCTC, nor the agenda note circulated to the Chief Ministers, mentioned the gaps and deficiencies in the architecture of counter terrorism capabilities that necessitated the
formation of the new agency.
She noted that the Second Administrative Reforms Commission recommended that personnel for the Counter Terrorism Centre should be drawn from different intelligence and security agencies, instead of confining the selection to the personnel of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alone.
"This, in my view, is the first indictment made about the inability of the Intelligence Bureau to co-ordinate with various State Intelligence Agencies. Instead of rectifying this, the Ministry of Home Affairs proposes to establish an Operations division of the National Counter Terrorism
Centre in the Intelligence Bureau and also equip the Additional Director, Intelligence Bureau with the powers of the Designated Authority under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. This is not only irregular, but also not reflective of the views of the group of Ministers and the
Administrative Reforms Commission," she said.
She pointed out that the Head of the NCTC would be an officer from the IB of the rank of an Additional Director and that its core staff would be drawn from the personnel of the IB
"Officers of other agencies such as RAW, DGMI, NCB etc., who will be taken on deputation to the National Counter Terrorism Centre will not be allowed into the core team and can only function in the outer ring. By this, it is implied that they only enjoy secondary status. Further, there is not even a mention of taking officers on deputation from the State Intelligence Agencies, from State cadres. The National Counter Terrorism Centre is thus going to be dominated only by the Intelligence Bureau and the manner in which the staff is sought to be selected for the National Counter Terrorism Centre provides the ammunition for rifts among the various Intelligence Agencies, which is in itself clearly a regressive step," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa stressed that intelligence gathering was greatly dependent on the State police networks, since many of the Central Agencies are unfamiliar with the local language, terrorist activities, and so on.
"Therefore, sharing of intelligence in a co-ordinated fashion is the right way forward. Confining the core group selection to the Intelligence Bureau personnel, and providing a second grade status to other agencies, such as Military Intelligence and the Research and Analysis Wing and excluding the State Cadres entirely is going to spell doom and greatly diminish the level of
operational capabilities. A caste structure in a Counter Terrorism outfit with the Intelligence Bureau personnel uppermost in the hierarchy is the best recipe for strengthening the hands of terrorists," she said.
She wondered what were the deficiencies noticed in the Multi Agency Centre mechanism that
led to the formulation of a Counter Terrorism outfit in the proposed form of the NCTC.
"The State Governments were not consulted at all before the NCTC was notified. In fact, my Government did not even receive a copy of the order," she said, saying it was the Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Naveen Patnaik, who had shared his copy with her.
"Such is the casual attitude displayed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which borders on absolute disdain for the Tamil Nadu State Government. The fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs did not deem it fit to even send a copy of the order to the State Government reveals the utter contempt the Central Government has for the State of Tamil Nadu," she alleged.
Ms Jayalalithaa said any counter-terrorism mechanism that is developed should take into account the views of all the stake holders, namely, the various Central intelligence agencies and the State Governments. 
"And there cannot be one nodal centre sitting in the Ministry of Home Affairs, whose nod is required before any counter terrorist response is undertaken," she said.
"Ironically, this Counter Terrorism Centre seeks to accumulate more powers under itself and distance the other stake holders. This will only strengthen the enemy," she said.
"There must be a system of encouraging frequent interaction with the common people living in the border areas and coastal areas, if any intelligence of substance and merit is to be collected. For this, schemes for the development of the coastal areas and border areas should be expanded. And economic incentives for any information that is provided should be given generously. The Central Government can provide funds for this through the State Intelligence Agencies, who will then be enabled to redouble their efforts in this regard. Moreover, a general view seems to have gained ground in the Ministry of Home Affairs that very little of actionable intelligence is provided by the States. 
"It must be understood that a lot of intelligence is collected and immediately acted upon by the State Police themselves. It is then communicated to the Central agencies for purposes of record later. It is not necessary for the State Police to take directions from a Central agency before taking action against an unlawful agency to prevent terrorist activity. If the Ministry of Home Affairs desires that in response to terrorist activities, any action should be taken only after receiving their directions then, I am afraid I can only say that they have no knowledge of practical administration," she said.
"I am sure that the Hon’ble Prime Minister is concerned about the fiscal deficit situation and the deteriorating balance of trade. The consequent downgrading by the credit rating agency  Standard and Poor's has categorised the global outlook on the Indian Economy as negative.
The time has come for the Government of India to concentrate on setting its own house in order rather than spending time advising the State Governments on principles of administration," she said.
"Chief Ministers of States have their feet firmly on the ground and do not keep holding press conferences after a terrorist attack explaining the reasons for their failure. We are proactive and prevent such occurrences. Instead of encouraging us and providing liberal financial assistance, the Ministry of Home Affairs wants to belittle us and treat us like pawns on a
chessboard, who can be moved around at will. This is not only a counter productive idea but also seriously violative of the Constitution," she said.
Ms Jayalalithaa said even imagining that there could be Operations Division under the Intelligence Bureau, independent of the State Police and armed with the powers of arrest and seizure, was preposterous and revealed a total lack of understanding of ground realities.
She said the feeling of distrust between the Centre and the States had to be dispelled. "Nothing tangible can be achieved by setting up an Operations Division in the Intelligence Bureau equipped with the powers of arrest and seizure. Arrest and seizure are a part of the
process of investigation, as per Police practices, and anybody with even a rudimentary understanding of this will not attempt to separate, arrest and seizure from investigation," she said.
According to her, the standard operating procedures provide lame excuses for the justification behind the Office Memorandum, and "are only worthy of outright contemptuous dismissal by all right thinking persons".
"If terrorism is to be fought effectively, a nodal mechanism in the States should co-ordinate with the nodal Central Agency on matters of counter terrorism. A Rapid Action Counter Terrorist Force needs to be created in every State, which will function under the nodal State Agency. On receipt of information, the nodal State Agency should activate the appropriate force to organise the operation in the manner best suited. State Governments should be given
liberal financial assistance by the Centre for raising a Counter Terrorist Force fully equipped with modern weapons and training. This would be, in my opinion, the appropriate strategy for counter terrorist operations," she said.
Referring also to the Centre's move to amend the BSF Act, Ms Jayalalithaa said the Ministry of Home Affairs should alter its approach and come up front with its proposals in a clean and transparent manner. 
"Speaking on behalf of the State Governments, I can confidently say that all of us have the highest commitment to maintaining the unity and integrity of the country and to upholding its sovereignty. But we are afraid that any concurrence given based on good intentions will be
misused for achieving certain goals that are aimed at weakening the States and usurping more powers for the Centre," she said.
She said the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, was an instance of a "brazen attempt at encroachment upon the powers of the States".
"This is clearly a case of the Centre usurping the powers of the State. The very fact that a new agency called National Investigation Agency has been set up, when there is already a specialized agency in the form of CBI, shows that the Centre wanted to by-pass the restrictions imposed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act," she said.

CBI arrests Tamil Nadu IGP from Delhi in alleged corruption case


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Tamil Nadu Inspector General of Police (Armed Police) P Pramod Kumar from here in connection with its ongoing investigation to two cases of cheating and corruption, related to the alleged Paazee Forex Trading Company scam.

A press release from the CBI said the two cases were registered by the agency on the directions of the Madras High Court. These cases were earlier registered by CBCID, Tamil Nadu on June 15, 2011.
The first case is a cheating case against the three directors of the private investment company relating to defrauding depositors to the tune of approximately Rs.829 crores, including the promised interest as well as dividends.

CBI files chargesheet against Anbumani Ramadoss in corruption case


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today filed a chargesheet against former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and ten others in connection with alleged irregularities in the grant of approval to a medical college in Indore.

The chargesheet ws filed in the court of Special Judge, Patiala House, New Delhi against the  Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader and the others in the matter of grant of approval to the college for admissions to its second batch of students in 2008.
Ramadoss, a medical doctor, was Minister for Health and Family Welfare in the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2004 to 2009.
A press release form the CBI said the chargesheet was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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