New Delhi: Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma was on Tuesday appointed the next Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG).

Sharma (61), 1976 Bihar cadre IAS officer will succeed Vinod Rai.

Rai superannuates on Wednesday after five-and-a half years of eventful tenure as the head of the Constitutional body. "The President of India has appointed Shashi Kant Sharma, IAS, as the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, in terms of Article 148 (1) of the Constitution of India," the Finance Ministry said.

Sharma, who holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of York, will take charge as Comptroller & Auditor General on May 23. He will be administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.

Like Vinod Rai, Sharma too has served as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services. He has spent over 10 years in the Defence Ministry in various capacities.

The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years. Sharma's appointment comes at a time when the CAG has come under sharp attack from the government and ruling party for its reports on assessment of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum.

Under Rai's tenure, the CAG was accused of going beyond its auditing ambit and indulging in analysing policy decisions. Rai, however, had hit back saying the government just wanted the CAG to be an accountant.

(Agencies)

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