Written with the razor-sharp insights of a conscientious civil servant, this lucid and observant book offers detailed and scholarly analyses of the country’s key accountability agencies—from the parliament to temple administrations—whose functions underpin and affect all facets of life in India.
Public institutions support good governance, which, in turn, promotes sustainable economic development and, thereby, nurtures the welfare of the people. The vital bond between a people and its government is that of trust, and these public institutions help maintain that trust. They serve as the pillars supporting the foundation of a robust and vibrant democracy.
In Rethinking Good Governance, Vinod Rai highlights the strength of each of these pillars and analyses the circumstances that may have led to their weakening, resulting in the foundations of our democratic fabric being somewhat shaken. From numerous occasions when parliamentarians failed to adhere to the decorum expected of lawmakers in the House, the serious deficit of impartiality and integrity within the Central Bureau of Investigation, to the issue of governance that has plagued the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and the imbroglio around the perceived lack of cohesion between the government and the Reserve Bank of India, Rai reveals how each of these instances led to a gradual decline of the independence and autonomy of these institutions over the decade.
About the author: Starting his career in the Indian Administrative Service in 1972, Vinod Rai rose to become the eleventh Comptroller and Auditor General of India in 2008. He demitted office in May 2013 after a very active and illustrious tenure.
In 2016, Rai was appointed the first chairman of the newly created Banks Board Bureau. He is presently the Chairman of the Supreme Court-mandated Committee of Administrators of the BCCI.
Rai is a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, in the National University of Singapore. He is also on the Global Board of Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, London.
He has authored Not Just An Accountant, and co-edited Seven Decades of Independent India. Rai was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2016, in recognition of his services to the nation.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
‘Here is a hugely important book for India and Indians, especially those who should be the guardians of the nation and rulers delivering good governance. Vinod Rai has been at the centre of the structure which counts as the State. He has now exposed the various faults and failures from which the structure suffers.’
—Lord Meghnad Desai, Life Peer at the House of Lords
‘Anyone seeking to understand the workings of the Indian government should read Rethinking Good Governance. This lucid and observant volume offers detailed and scholarly analyses of the country’s key accountability agencies—from the Parliament to temple administration—whose functions underpin and affect all facets of life in India. Written with the incisive insights of an insider, Vinod Rai provides a balanced and honest assessment of the public institutions that constitute the pillars of the Indian State and explains how their functioning or failures have come to define the state of parliamentary democracy and governance in India.’
—Professor Tan Tai Yong, President, Yale-NUS College
‘Unlike China, India has taken the more difficult path of building a democracy along with economic growth. Its democratic institutions are challenged by loosening animal spirits of both its businesses and its politicians. Reining them in is often necessary. Vinod Rai’s candid book presents challenges and solutions.’
—Arun Main, business leader; Chairman, HelpAge International; and former member of India’s Planning Commission