Vinod Rai’s Expose of Scams as CAG, High Quality Talent Aspiring to End Corruption

April 15, 2015 · Author: · Category: business 

Whilst Vinod Rai’s successor as the CAG has not exactly set the world on fire, the 600 officers who report into the CAG seem to have been galvanised by the remarkable impact of the reports that Mr Rai published over 2010-2013 exposing the Most Corrupt Congress led Government which produced scams such as CWG, 2G, Coal Gate, etc Credit must also be given to VK Shunglu who was the first CAG to lay down a clear process for investigating, documenting and publicising malfeasance in the public sector. A 100-page investigation and report-writing manual was published by Mr Shunglu around 15 years ago and how successive versions of the manual have evolved.

Officially, this cadre of the India civil service – containing 600 officers and 25,000 audit & accounting staff – is known as the Indian Audit & Accounting Service (IA&AS). So, just as India’s IAS officers are trained in their famous prep school in Mussoorie (called the National Academy of Administration), the IA&AS officers are trained in Shimla for a year before being sent into the field.

The 27 trainee IA&AS officers are not second-rate by any stretch of imagination, not least because they had made it through a 13-month selection process which weeds out 99.9% of those who sit for the UPSC exam. An examination of their CVs showed me that most of them had B.Tech degrees from reputed engineering colleges and had then worked in respectable organisations such as Accenture, PwC, SEBI and the RBI, organisations which are not known for charitably dispensing entry-level jobs.

Vinod Rai effect on taking the Corrupt in India
What was also apparent – amongst the senior officers and the trainees – was the galvanising effect Vinod Rai had had on them. As one senior officer told us

You have a choice in life – either you sit quietly in your office and dutifully shuffle paper until you retire or you say that I know better than anybody else how the system works and because the Constitution gives me considerable protection, I will now make a conscious choice to make a difference. Mr Rai showed us that the latter course was not just possible to take, it is also the right course to take. He elevated our profile. He raised our morale. As a result, we have more people wanting to join the IA&AS than ever before.

Congress Government’s SEZ Land Scam & PSU Bank Loan Next on CAG Radar
There is a likelihood that the plethora of scams that flourished under the UPA will get looked into at some stage. So, for example, how the Centre and the state governments gave land to the private sector is a subject that needs more examination. Similarly, how the public sector banks ended up lending close to 10% of their book to companies who have no intention of repaying these loans is another issue which needs greater scrutiny. The greater the public outcry around these issues, the more likely it is that the NDA Government will ask the CAG to examine these issues. In this regard, writing open letters to the newspaper of opinion columns in the press is one way of nudging the CAG in the right direction.

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