Events of 2017

June, 2017

“GST a big game changer, with potential teething troubles” – Rupesh Sharma.

PRSI, Chennai Chapter, on 19th June 2017, organised a very interesting and lively programme on GST, which would have effect on every Indian citizen in the days to come.

Advocate Mr Roopesh Sharma, an associate of Mr K Vaitheesweran, Chennai based tax consultant and advocate, dealt at length on the possible pros and cons of GST.

Mr Sharma was sure of GST implementation from 1 st July and explained that implementation has to be before 15th September, 2017, as the amendment to the constituition Article 366 -12A, would expire on that date and other taxes like VAT would expire by the same timeline.

On balance, Mr Sharma expects the GST to be a game changer. Part of tax streamlining, as it is a single tax for goods and services, it would bring every conceivable transaction to visibility and will increase the tax base. Importantly, it will eliminate the irrational cascading effect in taxation, by offering offset.

Mr Sharma expects the total tax revenues of the Central and State governments to increase. He noted that while adapting good features from GST prevailing in other countries, India has adopted a more complicated system with four tax slabs, as against, say a 5% single slab in Malaysia - but then, India is a vast and complex market.

Considering the unprecedented magnitude of the transactions to be captured, we must be cautious of the burden on the proposed system. The Government has sought the services of Infosys, to execute the same.

Singapore, Malaysia are some of the countries, he said, have implemented GST. But he pointed out Malaysia has implemented a uniform and one rate of service tax. Whereas India has adopted a combination of four rates: 8, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. He added the Government can impose up to 40%. Further, the taxes can be levied on manufacturing, supply, within the same entity transfers, rendering of services within the state, outside the state as well as outside the country. Initially, before things settle down, discretionary interpretations and disputes cannot be ruled out.

Mr Sharma appreciated the Government move as it would be a path breaking step towards harmonisation of taxes. However, he said GST would involve more cash out flow upfront affecting liquidity. Therefore, efficiency and speed in tax refunds will be crucial.

He cited many examples of GST implementation on the products, services etc., For instance, under the category of supply, GST will be levied less on chocalates but a higher rate on sweets when distributed separately.  But if chocolates and sweets are distributed as one combined packet, the entire contents would attract the higher rate of tax.

GST, he pointed out, is neither in the state or Union list, hence for any amendment should be referred at the All India level.

Earlier the Chennai Chapter honoured its Excutive Committee member Mrs Ramya Prasad, Head of Dept., Public Relations, Stella Marris College for her contributions to the Chapter and wished her the best as she was set to taking up an assignment in Amrita University, in Mysore.

April, 2017

Communication Challenges in Implementation of Innovative PDS Smart Card System By Smt. Madumathi, I.A.S..

PSD smartcard: Communication challenges

This year Public Relation Society of India is planning its All India PR conference in December 2017 with the theme "Emerging India: Smart Cities - Smart Communication". Aligning  with the national conference theme, the PRSI Chennai Chapter initiated in association  with the Civil Supplies and consumer protection department, Tamil Nadu Government, a meeting on "Communication Challenges in Implementation of Innovative PDS Smart Card System".

Speaking on the occasion Smt Madumathi, I.A.S., Commissioner of Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection Department, Government of Tamil Nadu explained vividly about the PDS system starting from procurement, storage and distribution, and she was confident that technology upgrade in implemeting the system would plug the loopholes in the system. She further added that all annual registers and written bills would be replaced with SMS-linked billing system and a live online register would track the movement of good distributed. More importantly towards better customer service, the public would soon be able to access any ration shop for supplies, not just the one their card linked to.

Tamil Nadu Government recently launched the family smart card and is in the process of linking Aadhaar cards listing all family members and enetitlement of their supplies. The new digitised ration cards called the smart cards are being distributed to families through a number of Fair Price Shops or ration cards in the State. She also said that when PDS goes cash less , families belonging to economically weaker section would be able to pay even the nominal cost for their supplies through their AAdhaar numbers which are linked to their smart cards Mrs Madumathi I A S solicited the cooperation of the members of PRSI chennai chapter to give wide publicity of the  features of Smart Card through their channel of communications for the benefit of all citizens of Tamil Nadu.

While Chairman of the Chapter Dr Daniel Chellappa welcomed the chief guest, G krishnan, current national council member spoke in brief about the chapter activities. Mr R K Dharan, past chairman. proposed the  vote of thanks. Mr Thiru Narayanan,the member,conducted the proceedings, which was held in CRA Conference Hall, "Ezhilagam" ,Chepauk, Chennai..

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March, 2017

“Tradigital”, blending traditional and digital, is the way : Ram Subramanian.

Mr. Ram Subramaniyan, Principal Consultant, Axiom-Perception Management, Communication + Strategies. delivered the a memorial lecture in honour of Gyan Haksar and M.Gopalakrishnan, jointly organised by PRSI Chennai and Stella Maris College on March 18, 2017.

Social Media and PR- Changing Landscapes- was the topic.

Mr G.Krishnan, Past Chairman and current Executive member to the National body of PRSI set the context for the memorial lecture. He highlighted the contributions of the veterans of PRSI, Gopalakrishnan and Gyan Haskar who were instrumental in commencing of the Chennai Chapter and academic courses related to PR in few city colleges. Gyan Haskar, Goapalakrishnan and mr Bharathan approached the then Vice Chancellor, Malcolm Adiseshaiah with the course content for a 3 year course on Public Relations. University of Madras in 1975approved a three year B A  Course with 20 seats for men and 20 seats for women. Stella Marris college was given the honour of conducting the above course .

Today, PR is a cross-platform communications action reliant upon traditional and digital PR strategies, as well as social engagement, content marketing, brand publishing, media relations, inbound content, SEO strategies and limitless creativity, said Ms.Ramya K.Prasad, Head, Department of Public Relations, Stella Maris College,.

Mr.Ram mentioned that PR includes social media, blogging, online reputation management, brand journalism, content strategies, thought leadership and more. PR is now an extremely broad and diversified field – it is no longer anchored to crisis communications, press releases and media alerts only. In his words, “Tradigital is the new form of communication with the art of blending traditional and digital media.”

There exists today a churning, swirling mix of initiatives that all, at their respective cores, are inherently linked to the actions of a corporation, enterprise, organization or individual to promote activities – public relations.The pitch we land on will power our press release content, media alerts and even serve as inspiration for social media shares. Pitches don’t just go to editors and reporters. “Anybody with a smart phone is a media person today!!”, says Mr. Ram. PR pitches target bloggers and online experts with impressive Twitter personas and consistently updated, insightful blogs.

Social media platforms have given rise to a whole new crop of new age journalists and market watchers – with followers galore. Popular bloggers, Twitter greats and LinkedIn influencers are now very important targets in public relations campaigns. Incorporating social influencer outreach and engagement is now a part of any comprehensive PR strategy.

Content is now more powerful than ever, as it carries awareness and supports brand identity, plus the opportunity to strategically generate leads, links and conversions. PR plans today include content audits and content assessments, enabling PR professionals to determine areas of weakness and winning measures occurring in active campaigns.

“There is an increasing need to spread the awareness about social media policy, as the lines between personal and profession spaces are blurring. Further there are no gate keepers in social media and it offers a shared space for everyone with no reservation. The new age medium provides the younger generation (Gen –Net) the right and power to post anything and everything online. The challenge in PR is not image creation, but is the reputation management through continuous engagement in all possible opportunities on the converged media. Glocal is the mantra to be remembered despite a huge transition from Word of mouth to world of Mouse”, were some of the many significant pointers of the sessions. Content-context-connect and Media-Message- Method were a few cliché words that gripped the audience to the theme.

The event concluded with Mr. Thomas T Abraham, former Chairman and currently Advisor to PRSI, Chennai Chapter, presenting a memento to the invited guest speaker and Mr. Daniel Chellappa, Chairman PRSI Chennai chapter, proposing the vote of thanks.

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February, 2017

​Arts for healing, the NalandaWay way.

A successful corporate leader turned into social activist, Mr Sriram Ayer has received numerous awards, including one as one of the top 50 social entrepreneurs in India, ​The passion and the vision came through as Mr Sriram Ayer, the founder of the award winning NGO, NALANDAWAY Foundation, address​ed  the members of PRSI, Chennai chapter, on 22nd ​ February.

Being an accidental witness to mindless, vicious mass violence during travel for work was the turning point in his life. That prompted him to throw away a flourishing career, to do something meaningful in life. An ardent lover of the arts, he found in it the answer.

Mr V Kalidos, Vice Chairman felicitating Mr Sriram Ayer,

Giving his own example, he highlighted how​ fear deterred the  growth of the children. Generally the society builds a system to create "fear." Parents also encourage the fear psyc​hosis as a legitimate motivation to development. In these circumstances, he stressed "mentoring" would help ​children ​to overcome these situations.

He pointed that the cause for the failure of many projects was due to the fact that one does not agree or see the other point of view. People do not talk to each other to ease traffic jam on  a  busy road where every citizen driving his two wheeler or a four wheeler has equal rights.  

Sriram said that no child was dumb. He illustrated with his own example.

​ How he feared maths, studied but discontinued C A but has become a writer, social entreprenure and member of ​many​ advisory board​s​.  He said  that most students felt that school syllabus was not relevant to their successful future.

Quoting studies, he emphasised how children who participate in atrs do better in academics and more. Education can be made interesting by using art, craft, storey-telling,books etc.

Based on Nalanda Way experience with underprivileged children in four states, Sriram concluded how use of visual and performing arts can heal, besides improv​ing​ the ease and efficiency of learning amongst children.

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February, 2017

Mr Thomas Abraham, Advisor and Past Chairman PRSI Chennai Chapter during his welcome address held on 22nd Feb 2017 at Vivekananda Hall, P S Higher Secondary school,Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.

February, 2017

Enter poster contest on prostrate cancer and win prizes. Last date: 20th February, 2017

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