The system of selecting the CAG so far, as Ramaswamy R. Iyer has pointed out (Feb. 21), has been opaque. The administrative machinery at the Centre was in a flux in the post-independence years. Many outstanding stalwarts from the ICS were in key positions then. Leaders like Nehru and Patel relied on them and many important appointments like the CAG were officially notified after being vetted by an elite group of senior ICS men. This was common knowledge among the babus of the day. Mr. Iyer mentions the possibility of conflict of interests if a Secretary to the government is selected as the CAG. The track record of T.N. Seshan as the Chief Election Commissioner and Vinod Rai as the CAG proves otherwise.

Without a system of continuous and realistically structured in-service training in place, it may be difficult to find a suitable candidate from the IAAS pool.

K. Ananthapadmanabha Iyer,

Thiruvananthapuram

The appointment of the CAG cannot be compared with that of the Central Vigilance Commissioner or the National Human Rights Commissioner. The CAG is a constitutional body whereas the CVC and the NHRC are statutory bodies. Constitutional functionaries are selected by the executive. The CAG is ultimately responsible to Parliament as compared to the CVC who reports to the executive. Therefore, it is necessary to have a selection committee for the CVC and the NHRC. The quality of the CAG has more to do with institutional efficiency. That comes with procedural competence of the institution as a whole.

Barsha Talukdar,

Guwahati

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