Vinod Rai, born 23 May 1948 in parsa (India), is an ex-IAS officer who was the 11th Comptroller General and Auditor General of India. From 7 January 2008 to 22 May 2013, he was elected to office. He is currently the chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors, Honorary Advisor to Railways, and a member of Railway Kaya Kalp Council. He has a master’s in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Masters in Public Administration (Harvard University). He is widely regarded as a symbol of anti-corruption and is credited for turning the office of CAG into an effective force for accountability in modern India. Vinod Rai’s most notable actions were the report that claimed that 2G spectrum allocations by the government caused a loss in excess of 1 lac crores for the government. Many ministers from the UPA were forced to resign and some were even arrested. The report by CAG is widely believed to have been the biggest setback for the UPA government. After many years of hearings at the CBI court, Delhi, the judge exonerated all accused. He said that not one piece of evidence was admissible. Vinod Rai was appointed chairman of the Banking Board of India in the NDA government. Rai was appointed interim president of Board of Control for Cricket in India by the Supreme Court of India on 30 January 2017. The Government of Kerala appointed him as the head of the advisory committee of Kerala Infrastructure and Investment Board.
- 1 Vinod Rai Biography
- 2 Vinod Rai Education and early life
- 3 Vinod Rai Career
- 4 Vinod Rai in United Nations Panel of External Auditors
- 5 Vinod Rai as CAG of India
- 6 Vinod Rai as Chief of BCCI
- 7 Vinod Rai Suggested Reforms
- 8 Major Audits By Vinod Rai
- 9 Vinod Rai’s Head on With Governments
- 10 Vinod Rai Personal Details
Vinod Rai Biography
Vinod Rai, an Indian economist, was the 11th Comptroller General and Auditor General of India from 2013 to 2013. He is currently the chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors. Rai is widely regarded as a symbol for the anti-corruption movement. He is also credited with turning the CAG into an effective force for accountability in modern India. Forbes described Rai among the rare breed of civil servants who know how to get work done at government.
Rai was appointed interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India by the Supreme Court of India in January 2017.
Rai is chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors, and a member of the Governing Body of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. The UN panel of external auditors plays an important part in strengthening governance mechanisms and promoting accountability.
He was the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and initiated changes in the Banking and Insurance departments. As a director on the boards of ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India and Infrastructure Development and Finance Company of India, he was also a Director. He also established the India Infrastructure Finance Company, which has a London office.
Vinod Rai received the Padma Bhushan award in India, the third highest civilian award. This was in recognition of his contributions to India.
Vinod Rai holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Delhi School of Economics University of Delhi, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School Harvard University.
Vinod Rai Education and early life
He was the son of a Bhumihar family in Ghazipur (Uttar Pradesh).  He attended Birla Public School, Pilani, Rajasthan. He graduated from Hindu College University of Delhi. He holds a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from Delhi School of Economics University of Delhi. In 1988, he also received a MPA degree from Harvard University, USA. In 1987, he was a District Collector and Magistrate in Kerala, India. He decided to pursue Financial Administration at Harvard Kennedy School.
He is married with three children.
Vinod Rai Career
Rai is a 1972-batch Kerala cadre officer in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). His career began as a sub-collector in Thrissur District. He was later promoted to Collector, and spent eight years in Thrissur City. For his contribution to the development of Thrissur, he was called the second Sakthan Thampuran. From 1977 to 1980, he was the Director of Kerala State Co-operative Marketing Federation. Later, he was named Principal Secretary (Finance), State Government of Kerala. He has held senior positions in India’s Ministries of Commerce and Defence. Before he was appointed as CAG, he held the positions of Secretary, Financial Services, and Additional Secretary in Banking Division, which includes banks under Ministry of Finance.
Rai was instrumental in the establishment of the India Infrastructure Finance Company. He was also on its Board. Rai has served in both the state and federal governments. He was also a director of several boards, including the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India and Infrastructure Development and Finance Company of India.
Rai was elected the Chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB) in February 2016. This body advises the government about top-level appointments at banks public sector banks, and how to deal with bad loans.
Vinod Rai in United Nations Panel of External Auditors
He is chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors (INTOSAI) and member of its Governing Board. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, has expressed appreciation for the panel and the outstanding service provided by external auditors to improve governance within the United Nations. Vinod Rai, the panel’s leader, discussed with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon the major business transformations taking place at the United Nations. The Panel of External Auditors is an important part of the UN’s accountability and governance strengthening efforts. On 29 February 2012, Mr. Rai assumed the presidency of the Governing Board of ASOSAI (Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions).
Vinod Rai as CAG of India
Forbes described Rai among the rare breed of civil servants that know how to get work done within government. Rai’s ability to cut through bureaucracy is a hallmark of a former colleague. With the support of P. Chidambaram, finance minister, he appointed him as Comptroller General and Auditor General for India. He has produced unfavorable audit reports, which have placed many government departments above the baseline.
His unforgiving audits have been a constant feature of his news, starting with the report about the poor preparation for the Commonwealth Games and ending with the most recent on spectrum allocations for 2G telecom services.
Rai’s supporters claim that his office has become a strong force for transparency and accountability in modern India, thanks to a vibrant media and an active Supreme Court.
Vinod Rai as Chief of BCCI
A four-member panel was appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the administration of BCCI.
The BCCI’s administration was to be managed by Vikaram Limaye, an ex-CAG, historian Ramachandra Guha and Diana Edulji, former women’s cricket captain.
Vinod Rai Suggested Reforms
Vinod Rai suggested that all private-public partnerships, “Panchayti Raj Institutions”, and societies which receive government funds be included in the scope of the CAG. PPP is a popular method for executing infrastructure projects that cost millions of rupees. These projects are not audited annually by the CAG. 60% of government spending is not currently subject to the CAG’s scrutiny.
Major Audits By Vinod Rai
2G Spectrum allocation
His report on the issue of Licences and Allocation of 2G Spectrum By United Progressive Alliance government is well-known. It caused a lot of controversy in India. According to the report, there was a presumptive loss estimated at Rs1,766.45 trillion (US$27 Billion). The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet on April 2, 2011. It estimated that the loss was Rs309,845.5 Million (US$4.8 Billion).
The Supreme Court of India declared spectrum allotment “unconstitutional” and arbitrary on February 2, 2012. It also quashed all 122 licenses issued during the tenure of A. Raja, then minister for communications & IT of the United Progressive Alliance. A. Raja, the main accused, was also charged with “wanting to favor some companies at the expense of the public exchequer” as well as “virtually giving away an important national asset”.
The Presumptive Revenue Loss calculation, however, has not been proven and is at best conjecture. The Supreme Court directed that the Govt of India revise the spectrum price to Rs 140 Billion as the reserve price for 2G spectrum. On August 3, 2012, the Government of India decided to sell radiowaves in Delhi and Mumbai, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Pan India for the 1800 MHz band. However, the response was not encouraging. Following the second round of the 2012 spectrum auction which started on 11 March 2012, the Government announced that it would sell the spectrum remaining in the 1800 MHz spectrum band. This was to comply with a Supreme Court Order. In addition, the government reduced the reserve price of 1800 MHz by 30%, and 800 MHz by half the amount from the 2012 spectrum auction. The 2013 spectrum auction received very little response. MTS India was also the only bidder for spectrum in the 800 MHz band. There were no bidders in the 1800 MHz or 900 MHz bands. Due to the high price of the auction, Airtel and Idea were reluctant participants in the spectrum auction.
The report is being criticized for its inability to fulfill its constitutional mandate. It attempted to alter the Government of India’s policy, which was at the time to promote telecom growth. This was done by arguing that spectrum could only ever be sold through auction and creating Presumtive losses. In the Presidential Reference (2012), however, the Honble Supreme Court of India upheld the Government’s right to set policy and stated that “The norm of “common goods” must be understood and valued in a holistic way. It is evident that the best way to serve the common good cannot be determined by any constitution. This would depend on the economic or political philosophy of the government. The common good is not only possible through revenue maximization. Auction would be a preferred method to serve the common good if revenue maximization is the goal of a policy. However, it may not be the only way. Auction would not be appropriate if revenue maximization is not the goal of a policy. Revenue considerations can be secondary to development considerations. 1
CoalGate (Coal Mines Allocation)
Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010
Audit of Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The Supreme Court of India issued an interim decision on 24 April 2014, stating that Vinod Rai would oversee special audits of temple property. This was based on the recommendations of Gopal Subramaniam, amicus curiae-senior attorney. Rai replied that he was “very humbled” and stated that he would take on the task.
Vinod Rai’s Head on With Governments
Rai raised many questions about the faulty policies of various state governments and Union governments run by Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and BJP-led Governments in Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat. This was part of his duty. Rai had criticized the Union government for its allocation of spectrum to 2G mobile operators, conduct the 2010 Commonwealth Games and running of its flagship rural employment guaranteed scheme. He also criticised the Union government’s spending in KG D6 oil blocks by Reliance Industries. He also highlighted the improprieties in allocating coal blocks and Union government’s generousity to GMR in a airport project. CAG lashed out at Haryana government for its forest policy delay and Haryana government for a loss of more than Rs10 billion (US$160m) due to “deficiency in imposing taxes like stamp duty and registration fee for land deals and taxes for vehicles in more that 4,000 cases per year.
Ministers from the ruling Congress coalition government have criticised CAG at times. V. Narayanasamy, the Minister of State in PMO, stated that “CAG does not have the authority or right to comment upon the government’s policy, but it has questioned their authority which is completely unwarranted” and contrary to the mandate they were given. CAG Vinod Rai, however, defended his position at the Economic Editor’s Conference 2011. He stated that he did not believe the CAG was exceeding its jurisdiction. The basic responsibility of the CAG to determine if there has been a lapse. He challenged the government to pinpoint the breach of its mandate.
Vinod Rai Personal Details
Real Name: Vinod Rai
Nickname: Second Sakthan Thampuran
Profession: Civil Servant
Major Designations: • Passed out Indian Administrative Service (IAS) from Kerala Cadre in 1972. • In 1972, became the sub-collector of Thrissur District, Kerala. • Served 8 years as Collector of Thrissur District, Kerala. • From 1977 to 1980, served as the MD of Kerala State Co-operative Marketing Federation. • Served as the Principal Secretary (Finance) in the State Government of Kerala. • Served in the Ministries of Commerce and Defence, Government of India. • Served as Secretary, Financial Services and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. • In December 2011, chosen as the chief of UN external audit panel. • Served as the 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 7 January 2008 to 22 May 2013. • In February 2016, became the chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB). • On 30 January 2017, appointed as the Interim President of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by the Supreme Court of India.
Height (approx.) in centimeters: 173 cm in meters- 1.73 m in Feet Inches- 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.) in Kilograms: 66 kg in Pounds- 146 lbs
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: White
Date of Birth: 23 May 1948
Age (as in 2021): 68 Years
Birth Place Ghazipur: Uttar Pradesh
Zodiac sign/Sun sign Gemini
Hometown Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh
School: Vidya Niketan — Birla Public School, BPS Pilani, Rajasthan, India
College: Hindu College.
University of Delhi, Delhi, India , Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Educational Qualifications: Masters of Economics (University of Delhi), Masters of Public Administration (Harvard University)
Father: Name Not Known (Army Personnel)
Hobbies: Playing Lawn Tennis, Playing Cricket, Mountaineering, Gardening, Reading, Writing