Almost all the top names including former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam have resigned from the board of Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), promoted by disgraced founder and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services B Ramalinga Raju.
Kalam quit on Monday in view of the massive fraud admitted by Raju last week. Former chairman of IT industry body Nasscom Kiran Karnik has also resigned following his appointment to the new board formed by the central government to rescue Satyam Computer Services.
With their resignations, the number of members who quit the board has gone up to seven.
Managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank V Kamath, CII chief mentor Tarun Das and Krishna Palepu of Harvard Business School have already resigned. Their resignations came soon after that of Ramalinga Raju both as chairman of Satyam and EMRI. His brother B Rama Raju also quit the EMRI board.
Ramalinga Raju, who admitted committing a Rs 70 billion fraud in Satyam over the years, has already been sent to jail along with his brother Rama Raju and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas.
Rajat Gupta, Raj Reddy, Jayaprakash Narayan, Krishnam Raju and Venkat Chengavalli remained on the board of EMRI, formed in 2005 as corporate social responsibility initiative by Byrraju Foundation run by Satyam's former bosses.
EMRI has been running a 108 ambulance service which has saved many lives of the injured in road accidents.
The Andhra Pradesh government took over the service last year but allowed Raju family to have five percent say in the organisation. According to EMRI CEO Venkat Changavalli, the Raju family has been contributing five percent or Rs 80 million annually.
Following the huge success of the service in Andhra Pradesh, it was last year extended to seven other states - Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Assam.
EMRI is running 1,534 ambulances in eight states and has set a target of reaching 10,000 ambulances. It has a workforce of 10,000, half of them in Andhra Pradesh. It has a vision to save one million lives per annum nationally by 2010.
Chengavalli said the development in Satyam would have no impact on the EMRI operations. The Andhra Pradesh government has also allayed the public apprehensions in this regard.
"I told EMRI management that if they can't raise five percent contribution, the government will bear the entire 100 per cent cost," Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said.
Last year EMRI signed an MoU with the city of Austin in Texas in the United States to share knowledge and processes for better emergency management. It also signed an agreement with Stanford University, US to offer a two-year full time residential Postgraduate Programme in Emergency Care.