Root out corruption to improve standard of administration: CAG
The CAG also noted that citizen groups have become very discerning and more demanding.
"Unless we destroy corruption in high places, root out every trace of nepotism, love of power, profiteering and black marketing which have spoilt the good name of this country in recent times, we will not be able to raise the standards of efficiency in administration as well as in the production and distribution of the necessary goods of life," he said quoting the speech of first Vice President S Radhakrishnan on the eve of India's Independence, towards midnight on August 14, 1947.
The CAG was addressing the 20th convocation of the North Eastern Hills University here which conferred degrees to 8,035 students including 94 who received doctorate degrees in various disciplines.
Reminding the students that there are great opportunities ahead in their career, Rai warned that "when power outstrips ability, we will fall on evil days."
He said, today the issues of ethics, accountability, probity and transparency have come at centre stage.
"Citizen groups have become very discerning and more demanding. What was earlier the silent and hence probably the suffering majority has begun to speak up," the CAG said, adding, "Time has come when we will all be held responsible for our actions, the way the foundation of an ideal society are laid."
Maintaining that ethical management and leadership is the corner stone for any business enterprise, Vinod Rai said, one "cannot compromise" with integrity whether in public administration or in corporate administration.
Stating that while the world is emerging from a severe economic stress and resetting itself to face newer economic realities, Rai said "India is becoming a major economic power."
The CAG urged the graduates to ingrain integrity and honesty in their subconscious and not to compromise under any circumstances despite the testing times and temptations.
"History tells us that many countries have been destroyed not by external aggression but by internal malfeasance," he said.
Expressing concern that the country’s performance in events such as the Olympics, Nobel Prize and registration of patents globally is low, Rai said, "the performance appears even more discerning in the context of our population, number of universities and contribution to global economy."
He said, "This poses a question of quality of education and a mindset of being content with mediocrity rather than being wrong."
Acknowledging that knowledge is power, Rai said the fact that we were conditioned to the hero worshipping of success and frowning upon failure makes us "risk averse".
"We need to strive for excellence, walk the extra mile with clear vision and mission taking every member of the team along," he said.