India Today Conclave South: The south is a powerhouse that rest of India should emulate, says Aroon Purie

first_imgThe India Today Group’s first South Conclave was opened in Chennai on Monday morning by the AIADMK’s new General Secretary VK Sasikala and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.A visibly emotional Sasikala opened a special photo exhibition on late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.Describing the occasion as one tinged with sadness following Jayalalithaa’s recent passing, India Today Group Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie said the first South Conclave underlined the group’s connect with the south of India.”When I see the six states of south India, I don’t just see breaking news. I see a powerhouse the rest of India should emulate. Which is why the India Today Conclave South is not looking at each state in isolation but all of them together. That way, the south becomes a bigger united force to reckon with. At the same time, each state has its own unique culture and individual identity. Our job as a national media house is to provide a common platform for them to engage with each other,” he said.ALSO READ | Sasikala inaugurates India Today Conclave South with special tributes to JayalalithaaAt the South Conclave, five chief ministers will be in attendance. Besides the Tamil Nadu chief minister, the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, and Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy will also participate.”The north gets more than its fair share of news coverage and we are aware of this bias. That is why not only do we want to showcase the best of the South but we also want to have a dialogue with the North,” Purie said.advertisement”Your states invariably make headlines, and as someone in the business of news, there’s no way you can keep us away. Just look at the last few years. You’ve had two states where there was one, an ambitious new capital, a new government in Kerala, and the tragic passing away recently of a titanic leader. Good, bad or unfortunate, there’s never a dull moment when you’re in the south.”The India Today Group’s annual conclave has set the gold standard in bringing the best from various walks of life under one roof and engaging with them on issues that people relate to.On Monday and Tuesday, leading figures in politics, business, art and culture, and sports will talk, debate and exchange ideas on subjects as diverse as entertainment, investment growth, social development, among others.The Central government will be represented by Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar*.Other political leaders include, K Pandiarajan, Minister for School and Sports and Youth Welfare, Tamil Nadu; Dr Palanivel Thiagarajan, DMK MLA, Madurai Central (DMK); Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Sabha MP, former Union minister, economist; Oommen Chandy, former Chief Minister of Kerala; Dr Ambumani Ramadoss, Lok Sabha MP, former Union Minister; MK Stalin, former Deputy Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu; RV Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, Karnataka; Thiru MC Sampath, Minister for Industries, Tamil Nadu; MM Pallam Raju, Former Union Minister; Priyank M Kharge, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information Technology and Tourism, Karnataka; Kadakampilly Surendran, Minister for Cooperation, Tourism and Devaswoms, Kerala.Launching the conclave, Purie said the south’s development experience held lessons for the rest of the country.”The south’s literacy rate, percentage of population above poverty line and GDP are all significantly higher than the national average. The combined GDP of the states put them among the top 30 economies of the world. They contribute over 24 per cent of India’s GDP, 28 per cent of its employment and 30 per cent of its tax revenues. The states also produce 38 per cent of India’s engineering graduates, almost half of its medical graduates and a quarter of its post-graduates each year. These are all very impressive statistics.” he said.”I believe if you want things talked up, stay in north India. If want something done, come to the south.”WATCH VIDEO HERElast_img read more