1. The Executive Committee Meeting and Annual General Body Meeting of COSIDICI :
The Executive Committee Meeting and Annual General Meeting of COSIDICI were held on 22nd September, 2000, at ‘Tagore Chamber; Scope Convention Centre, Scope Complex, New Delhi. 21 representatives from Member Corporations attended the Executive Committee meeting, besides the Secretary General COSIDICI, while 20 representatives of Member Corporations participated in the Annual General Body meeting. There was a lot of discussion among the members on various aspects of the State Financial Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2000. The Executive Committee was happy to note that the Govt. of India, Ministry of Finance (Banking Division) had set up a High Level Committee to look into the functioning of State Financial Corporations and make recommendations for their restructuring and revitalisation. The establishment of the Committee was the culmination of strenuous efforts COSIDICI had been making during the past couple of years. The Executive Committee appreciated the efforts of COSIDICI in this regard and desired that COSIDICI should convey to Government its gratefulness for setting up High Level Committee to look into the functioning of SFCs and make recommendations for their restructuring and revitalisation. The Committee, however, found to its dissatisfaction and dismay that while constituting the Committee the claim of COSIDICI to be represented thereon had been ignored by the Ministry of Finance (Banking Division), despite the fact that COSIDICI has been making relentless efforts in this regard. This was later on conveyed by the Secretary General to the Government.
2. It was also noted by the Executive Committee that some important decisions had emerged from the discussions COSIDICI delegation had with the CMD SIDBI on 13th July, 2000. Since none of the decisions taken at the meeting were so far implemented by SIDBI, the Executive Committee expressed its dissatisfaction and anguish over its delay and desired that the matter may be suitably taken up with SIDBI by the Secretary General.
3. The proposal to arrange training facilities for the officers of State Level Financial Institutions at the Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune, was discussed at length among the members. Shri Man Mohan Singh, IAS., MD MSFC, also apprised the Members about his personal experience in arranging training programmes for the officers of his Corporation. Keeping in view the need for upgrading the operational and conceptual skills of the officers of SLFIs, as also the reasonable participation fee to be charged by the above Institute, the Executive Committee advised the Secretary General to have further discussions with the Director of the Institute, finalise the scheme in all its details and circulate it among the Member Corporations. To begin with, General Managers/Deputy General Managers of the Member Corporations would be sent for training in batches, and each batch would consist of at least 30 participants. The Member Corporations were requested to identify the names of officers, who could be sent for training. The Executive Committee also approved, in principle, the proposal to hold two-day workshops on important subjects such as Financial Sector Reforms and Role of SLFIs, Recovery of Overdues and NPAs, Mobilization of Resources, Risk Management, Customer Service, Legal Matters, etc. The workshops will be arranged at the zonal level, i.e. at Chennai, Pune, Calcutta and Delhi. The senior officers of the Member Corporations in the respective zones would be invited for participation. The EC desired that COSIDICI should work out the modalities of the scheme and circulate it among the Member Corporations.
4. The contents of the Annual Report of the Executive Committee of COSIDICI for the year 1999-2000 were noted and approved by the General Body, which also approved the audited statements of account for the year 1999-2000.
5. The Secretary General briefed the Members about the latest developments with regard to the acquisition of land from DDA for constructing COSIDICI building at New Delhi. The Members were informed that in response to our request, DDA had offered a plot of land admeasuring 2,000 sq. meters at Dwarka/Janak Puri Institutional Areas instead of Vasant Kunj Institutional Area, as originally planned. The EC endorsed the stand taken by the Secretary General in advising DDA that they may consider allotting a plot of land admeasuring 1,000 Sq. meters in Vasant Kunj Institutional Area instead of Dwarka or Janak Puri Institutional Area. The Executive Committee desired that the Project Committee constituted for the said purpose may follow up with DDA for allotment of a plot of land in Vasant Kunj Institutional Area and advised the Secretary General to again write to the Member Corporations for making contributions towards the Building Fund. Smt. Gita Sagar, IAS, CMD DFC, was nominated on the Project Committee and was requested to help COSIDICI in this regard.
6. The Executive Committee was informed that an Essay Competition was held under the aegis of COSIDICI COURIER on the subject entitled ‘Financial Sector Reforms and the Role of Development Banking in the Small and Medium Sector’ to impart a sense of participation among our Member Corporations. The EC expressed its happiness over the overwhelming response the Essay Competition had received from the employees of Member Corporations and desired that this competition should be made an annual feature by COSIDICI. The Executive Committee also congratulated the officers of KFC, Trivandrum, and TIIC, Chennai, who had won the second prize.
7. The Annual General Body unanimously elected Smt. Yasmin Ahmed, IAS., Chairperson, SIPCOT, Chennai, as the President of COSIDICI for the year 2000-2001 and also 6 Vice-Presidents and 8 Executive Members. S/Shri A.K.D. Jadhav, IAS., MD SICOM, Mumbai, S.P. Elvangovan, IAS., Chairman, TIIC, Chennai, Man Mohan Singh, IAS., MD MSFC, Mumbai, K.M. Shivakumar, IAS., MD KSFC, Bangalore, S.K. Nanda, IAS., MD, GSFC, Gandhinagar and Smt. Gita Sagar, IAS., CMD, DFC, New Delhi, have been elected as Vice-Presidents for the year 2000-2001. Shri Balbir Singh, IAS., CMD ANIIDCO, Port Blair, Dr. Vishvapati Trivedi, IAS., MD MPFC, Indore, Shri V.N. Garg, IAS., MD PICUP, Lucknow, Dr. J.C. Mohanty, IAS., MD APSFC, Hyderabad, S/Shri P.K. Gupta, IAS., MD HFC, Chandigarh, D.P. Patra, IAS., MD WBIDC, Calcutta, V.K. Gupta, IAS., MD J&K SFC, Jammu and Smt. Lida Jacob, IAS., MD KFC, Trivandrum, were unanimously elected EC Members. Besides, Smt. Kushal Singh, IAS., CMD RFC, Jaipur, and Shri A. Anbarasu, IAS., MD PIPDIC, Pondicherry, were co-opted as EC members for the year 2000-2001. A proposal to bring amendment to Regulation 7(d) of the Memorandum of Association of COSIDICI was also unanimously approved in the Annual General Meeting. Besides, certain legal issues concerning the provisions of the SFCs Act were also discussed in the meeting.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST INVENTION OF THE LAST MILLENNIUM?
Asking this question brings lot of things to mind : atomic energy, space travel, or computer, consider the list : automobile, skyscraper, the subway, the dynamo, the turbine. Consider yet another list : the typewriter, the gramophone, the dictaphone, the sewing machine, the refrigerator, canned foods, pasteurised milk, the lift (or elevator),, the eraser, the blotting paper, the electric fan, the safety razor, the barber's chair, the safety pin, bicycles with gears and pneumatic tyres, and so on. And of course there is penicillin and other antibiotics which have saved millions of lives all over the globe.
But if one goes by what Umberto Eco, writing in the New York Times Magazine, says it is none of the these things. According to him, there were at least two "Middle Ages" one lasting from the fall of the Roman Empire (fifth century AD) to the year 999, and the other, beginning in the year 1000 and continuing at least until the 19th Century. Middle Ages before 1000 AD in Europe were a period of indigence, hunger and insecurity. Undue population combined with under cultivated land left nearly everyone undernourished. Europe in the seventh century had shrunk to 14 million inhabitants.
According to Eco, when in the tenth century, the cultivation of legumes began to spread, it had a profound effect on Europe. Working people were able to eat more protein: as a result they become more robust, lived longer, created more children and repopulated a continent. Without beans, the European population would not have doubled within a few centuries. He thus contests convincingly that the place of honour should go to beans rather than machine-based inventions.
As for non-Europeans, Eco claims unfamiliarity with the history of beans on other continents but asserts that without European beans the history of these continents would have also been different as would have been the commercial history of Europe without Chinese silk or Indian spices.