CAG and so much more.

We were done with mid terms last week. One word to describe it – grueling! So when we were told we would have a distinguished speaker from the CAG, the entire batch jumped at the opportunity. What a welcome break from books, notes yada..yada.. Given the vocal atmosphere that exists in all our lectures this was promising to be a very lively session.
The CAG or the Comptroller Auditor General of India is the august constitutional body that is responsible for auditing the expenditure of the Government of India, the states of India and government owned institutions. A herculean task by any means! Thanks to CAG, we are now aware of the financial irregularities in the 2G spectrum, Commonwealth games and a slew of other cases. Our speaker was Mr. K.P. Sashidharan, Director CAG. An alumnus of London School of Economics, Mr. Sashidharan has more than stellar career behind him. The batch expected a serious bureaucrat. But to our surprise Mr. Sashidharan turned out to be one of most jovial speakers we have had so far at IIMB.
The session began with the speaker talking about his educational experience at LSE – the bonding, camaraderie between classmates that exists even today. Comparing IIMB to the best ivy-league schools in the world, the speaker exhorted the batch about the importance of Corporate Governance.
Despite the current issues plaguing our country, Mr. Sashidharan asked the batch to continue to believe in the India story. He reminded us that Rome was not built in a day and that we have come a long way from 1991 when the country opened its economy to the outside world. Today India is ranked amongst the top countries in the world in GDP and is invited to share the same table with the most developed nations.
After highlighting a whole host of Corporate Governance issues – from alleged insider trading by a well respected and recognized individual to Enron/Worldcom leading to the creation of the Sarbanes Oxley Act to the recent Dodd-Frank Act in the US, the speaker spoke about his vision for corporate governance. He envisages the “Triple point bottom line” for corporate organizations. Instead of just focusing on the financial bottom line, corporate organizations need to address deficits in three areas – Economic/Development, Environmental, Social /Cultural. The discussion moved from socially responsible “Green” organizations to carbon credits to the Kyoto protocol and a whole gamut of topics concerning us all.
The speaker went on to talk in detail about the critical role that CAG plays today – auditing PSU’s, PPP’s and even the work of Parliamentary committees. By the end of it, the entire class had a much greater appreciation for CAG and its relevance in today’s India.
Mr. Sashidharan ended the session highlighting the deficit of ethics as being the single root cause of the ills that ail our society today. Addressing the batch as future leaders, Mr. Sashidharan implored each of us to do more than our share in reducing this deficit.
From the entire EPGP IV batch, we would like to thank Mr. Sashidharan for an extremely informative and insightful session.

Sukanya presenting the souvenir to K.P. Sasidharan

Sukanya presenting the souvenir to Mr. Sasidharan

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