Session 1: Data Transparency and Accountability Within Government

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Outline

Rajiv Mehrishi, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India; and former Home Secretary of India, in conversation with Ajay Shah, Economist; and former Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy on Data Transparency and Accountability Within Government. The discussion focused on Mehrishi’s recent proposal for a Data Accountability and Transparency Act, which would digitise government transactions at the state, Union Territory and Central levels.  

Speakers

Rajiv Mehrishi

Rajiv Mehrishi is the former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, and was Vice Chairman of the United Nations Board of Auditors from 2017 to August 2020.

As an Indian Administrative Service officer from the 1978 Rajasthan cadre, Mehrishi’s career has spanned the Indian bureaucracy. At a state level, he has served as Chief Secretary of Rajasthan, Principal Resident Commissioner of Rajasthan and Principal Secretary (Finance), among other roles. He subsequently served in various capacities at the Union level as the Finance Secretary, Fertilisers Secretary, and Overseas Indian Affairs Secretary, and finally, as Home Secretary until his retirement in 2017. 

Ajay Shah

Ajay Shah studied at IIT, Bombay and USC, Los Angeles. He has held positions at Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR), Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and National Institute for Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). 
He does academic and policy-oriented research on India, at the intersection of economics, law and public administration. His second book, co-authored with Vijay Kelkar, is "In service of the republic: The art and science of economic policy", and was published in 2019 by Penguin Allen Lane. His areas of focus are macroeconomics, finance, health, and technology policy. His work can be accessed on his home page () and on the blog that he edits.

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