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Constitute collegium to appoint CAG

In India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is unique, as it is the only organisation which has access to the working of both Union and state governments’ financial transactions. The recent unearthing of major scams in India by the CAG has pushed the demand for giving more teeth to the Indian audit system. The current method of appointment of the CAG is arbitrary and unfair.

Our constitution-framers knew about the importance of the post so they gave it a due recognition. Historically, it has always been considered a highly technical post and the appointments were generally restricted to the Indian Civil Services/IAS. The first three CAGs in free India were from the IAS. There has been a long time practice of selecting an officer for the post from amongst the IAS, disregarding the basic requirement of special background and experience in accounts and audit as the Union Government has not laid down the minimum qualifications for this post.

Since the present incumbent is demitting office in May, a collegium should be formed to appoint the CAG. The collegium should consist of Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India, Chairman of the UPSC and a subject expert on Accounts and Audit. There’s no point to select a person arbitrarily. The post should be open for all, including Deputy CAGs, as there is no dearth of honest persons across the nation. The CAG should be appointed on merit.

SK KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Vanity numbers

This is with reference to news item ‘Cars with vanity numbers under lens’ (April 15). It is really strange and even absurd that these vanity numbers are being used by people to influence the public in general and the police in particular. Most of the times, the people driving these vehicles are seen threatening the lower-rank police personnel who are manning the traffic at roundabouts and nakas. The recent step taken by the Patiala SSP is in the right direction.  Such types of drives are essential to curb these elements. Also, the senior police officers should spend at least one hour at these nakas daily to pep up the morale of junior officers.


Regulate TV content

A regular dose of soap operas apart, we are now bombarded by reality shows on Television. Prime-time serials, which had the entire family glued to their TV, are slowly giving way to reality shows that feature everything right from games to dances. In these reality shows, there’s a fierce competitive spirit. The stakes are high and contestants, who are pitted against each other, are known to stoop down to the level of hurling abuses at each other to make their presence felt or run down others.

A few weeks ago, a reality show which aimed at driving home the essence of Indian hospitality, ended up in participants smashing crockery. They cribbed about culinary skills of each other. The entire show left a bad taste in the mouth.

It is high time that producers come up with concepts that suit the Indian ethos. Airlifting concepts from foreign shows is not going to help. It’s important to take care of Indian sensibilities.  


Concessions to Dutt

The Supreme Court has given Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt four more weeks to surrender. It has been supposedly done to letting him fulfil his commercial engagements. Apparently, a lot of money is riding on Dutt and producers of his upcoming films are getting the jitters these days. They know they will have to bear massive losses if Dutt goes to jail and is not able to complete his projects.

However, while delivering its order, the court also made it clear that no more extensions would be given to him. I feel that Bollywood’s money riding on him is no reason for giving Dutt more time to surrender. If the court feels that he has reformed and has undergone much mental agony, it could allow him to go to his pending shoots under police escort.


Heavy school bags

With the new academic session every year, the load on children piles up, literally. The school bags are getting heavier with each passing year. Schools are mum on this subject, but the parents are in a fix. Young children are complaining of backache, something that was unheard of a few years back.

School authorities just need to send some compulsory books home with small children. The rest of the work should be completed in the school itself. Most affiliated schools are not following norms regarding class strength, qualified teachers, drinking water and other amenities.

So, the need of the hour is that schools should come up with measures that are beneficial for small children.


Sound shock

Sound pollution is increasing at an alarming rate. Though courts have restricted the use of loudspeakers, the authorities concerned are not paying any heed to the menace. I am a resident of Maraikulam in Alappuzha district of Kerala. Throwing norms to the wind, there is an excessive use of public address system in places of worship and by political outfits.  But, it seems, that nobody is bothered. There is also rampant use of high-decibel fireworks. Imagine the plight of aged and ailing people who have to bear the blaring speakers day and night. I request the authorities to take immediate action to stop excessive sound pollution.


Disputes with Dhaka

The bomb attack on the official car of the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka is a grim reminder of contentious issues, including boundary dispute and Teesta Water row, between the two countries not being taken to their logical end. The anti-India lobby, including Khalida Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is out fishing in troubled water, making things worse for our friendly regime of Sheikh Hasina (editorial ‘India’s B’desh problem’ published on April 15).

It is unfortunate that despite agreements being finalised on both these issues, India is still dithering on getting these ratified by Parliament. Opposition parties, which are taking undue advantage of lack of Congress majority in Parliament, are to some extent responsible for it. But these parties should realise that there is no point doing something which is against the national interest. By blocking the ratification of these agreements in Parliament, a bad precedent is being set for future governments.

I hope that Indian politicians will give up regional bias and come forward to quickly settle these thorny issues with Bangladesh for peaceful co-existence and friendly relations with neighbours.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib



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