Persons in News 2017

Rajiv Kumar takes charge as NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman

Noted economist Rajiv Kumar took over as the Vice-Chairman of government National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. He succeeds Indian- American economist Arvind Panagariya who had resigned to return to academia.

As a Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, he will hold Union Cabinet Minister rank. Prime Minister is ex-officio Chairperson of the Aayog.

Rajiv Kumar

Mr Kumar was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in economics from Oxford and PhD from Lucknow University. He also served as Secretary General of industry association, FICCI.

He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board between 2006 and 2008. He also had served as the Chief Economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and held senior positions in the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Indian Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Finance. He has authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It is non-constitutional and non-statutory body established formed through resolution of Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. It had replaced had replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission established in 1950.

NITI Aayog is an advisory body with mandate to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre. It acts as quintessential platform of Central Government to bring States to act together in national interest and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism. It also designs strategic and long term policies and programmes for Central Government of India and also provides relevant technical advice to Centre.

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Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed as the next Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. He will succeed Shashi Kant Sharma who is going to demit office on September 25, 2017.

Rajiv Mehrishi

Mehrishi is IAS Officer of 1978 batch and belonged to Rajasthan cadre. He has degree in business administration from Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow. He also did BA (History) and MA (History) from St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years and has served in various key posts in both Centre as well as in Rajasthan government.

He had been Chief Secretary of Rajasthan, Principal Resident Commissioner of Rajasthan, Principal Secretary (Finance) etc. and also served as the Union Finance Secretary, Secretary (Overseas Indian Affairs) and Secretary (Fertilizers) in the Centre. He was appointed the Union Home Secretary in August 2015 and retired in July 2017.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India

CAG is constitutional office under article 148 and is appointed by President of India by warrant under his hand for period of 6 years or up to age of 65 years, whichever earlier. The conditions and services of CAG are prescribed by Parliament via CAG (conditions and services) Act, 1953 as amended in 1971. Allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of persons in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).

Removal of CAG is as difficult and similar to removal of a Supreme Court Judge. CAG is not be eligible for any office under GOI post-retirement. It is because of these conditions of independence given to CAG’s office, the report of CAG are given due respect and made as reference.

Functions of CAG

CAG suggests the account keeping of union and state with the approval of president. It exercises power in relation to account of union and state or any other enterprise funded by GOI as may be prescribed by law made by parliament. The CAG reports to the president and governors regarding the accounts of union and state respectively. The president presents report to the parliament. In 1976 the accounting was separated from auditing form the CAG’s duty. Now accounting is done by other agencies.

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