8th Progress Report as on December 31, 2007

point SUMMARY
point REGISTRATION
point GOVERNANCE
point RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
point INTELLECTUAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION
point OUTREACH

ANNEXURE 1     Strategic Business Plan Executive Summary
ANNEXURE 2     Tentative Calendar of Event


1. SUMMARY

This eighth progress report summarises developments of CIRC during the period July to December 2007. The Strategic Business Plan SBP) is in its final stages of completion; search for hiring premises in the National Capital Region (NCR) is in full swing; and registration for CIRC is in the final stages. The expert groups have been kept involved and actively engaged in CIRC by seeking their guidance in designing courses for training programmes and also involving them in writing articles for the newsletter. In this reporting period, collaboration has been secured from the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds, UK to provide capacity building solutions in the transportation sector. In terms of events, two training programmes and one academic lecture on Commercial Diplomacy, and a panel discussion on ‘Political Economy of Regulation in India – What do we need to do’ followed by a report release was successfully organised by CIRC. In addition to the above, CIRC is preparing for several events, which are discussed at length below.

For updates and further details on the activities mentioned above, please visit: http://www.circ.in/about.aspx

2. REGISTRATION

Registration of CIRC as a Society under the Societies Act 1860 is in the final stages with Registrar of Societies (RoS), Delhi. The approval letter from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has been sent to the RoS. Upon registration of CIRC, other formalities like opening a bank account, registration under Section 12 A and 80 G of Income Tax Act and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) will be taken up.

3. GOVERNANCE

3.1 Governing Council:

The Governing Council (GC) is closely involved in the development and finalisation of the SBP prepared by Ernst & Young. SBP draft report was circulated among the GC members for their valued guidance for finalisation. The SBP would provide a way forward to CIRC in positioning itself as an institute of repute offering quality programmes to its clientele.

 

The subject-expert groups for the three core activity areas namely Competition Policy & Law; Economic Regulation; and Commercial Diplomacy have been formulated as a result of the discussions held during the Second GC meeting held on March 22, 2007. Their contribution is discussed at length in para 3.3 in this report.

 

With respect to recruitment of a Director and three to four core faculty for running of the institute, CIRC is on the look out for the right people. Advertisements have been posted on www.naukri.com; www.monster.com; Regulation List; and on forums such as Functional Competition Policy Forum (FunComp) and Competition Online Forum (COLF), being run by CUTS. Several responses have been received and the process of shortlisting and interviewing has begun.   

Preferred location for CIRC would be National Capital Region (NCR), as decided by the GC members and also suggested in the SBP. In the initial years, CIRC would run from a hired premise in the NCR and thus, search is in progress for the same.

For the constitution of the 18-member Governing Council please see: http://www.circ.in/govrn_council.htm

3.2 Managing Committee: The seventh meeting was held on November 21, 2007 at New Delhi. The meeting was held just after the World Bank organised roundtable on the SBP. The roundtable meeting had a multi-stakeholder participation and also set the platform for a discussion on “Capacity Building Institute for Regulatory & Competition Issues in Indian Infrastructure”.

3.2.1 The key issues of the above-mentioned meeting are as follows:

  1. Director: Various prospective candidates for the post of Director were discussed in the meeting and it has been decided to follow up with each one of them.

  2. Start-up activities: It was suggested to divide the managerial activities of CIRC into two streams: academic and administrative, and not burden the Director with both sets of tasks. It was suggested to advertise on www.monster.com and www.naukri.com for recruitment of three-four faculty members and a Director;

  3. Course structuring: CIRC should begin the process of course structuring instead of waiting for the Director’s recruitment. Discussed in detail in para 5.2;

  4. New names for MC: In order to recruit some younger and experienced members into the GC who can also contribute to MC, some names have been suggested. They are as follows: Shri Kishan Rana, Senior Fellow, E-learning Faculty, DiploFoundation, Malta & Geneva; Shri Subir Gokarn, Chief Economist, Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd. (CRISIL) and/or Shri Amit Kapur, Partner, J Sagar & Associates.

For the constitution of the Managing Committee, please log on to http://www.circ.in/manag_comt.aspx

3.3 Subject Expert Groups:

Due to non availability of all concerned at a given time, it has not been possible to organise a formal meeting of the Academic Council (AC) though the members have been in touch electronically. It had, therefore, been suggested to create subject expert groups. As per the core activity areas of CIRC, three subject groups have been formulated. Their guidance is sought primarily on the course material and modules. These experts are kept informed about the developments taking place at the institute. They are invited to send write-ups for the institute’s newsletter CIRCULAR; advice is sought in designing course modules and content of the training programmes; comments are sought on the feedback analysis reports received after the training programme in order to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the trainings and how to improve and do better.

CIRC is planning to organise subject expert groups’ meetings in New Delhi. The meeting is tentatively scheduled sometime in April’2008 and is subject to availability of these experts to seek their valued guidance in the new sectors identified in the SBP and the course modules to be designed.

4. RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

4.1 Fund Raising 

4.1.1 World Bank
World Bank in association with CIRC organised a multi-stakeholder meeting on November 21, 2007 at New Delhi. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the Plan of Action for CIRC, which is an outcome of the SBP. It was a part of the World Bank’s on-going Analytical & Advisory Activities (AAA) approved by the Government of India to enhance regulatory efficiency in infrastructure sector.

  • 4.1.1.1 SBP
    The SBP would identify ways and means for CIRC to build itself as an institute of eminence. The consultation process undertaken was a useful indicator for identification of capacity building needs of the various sectors and gaps that exist. The SBP specifies objectives of CIRC as follows:

    • To be a specialised, premier capacity building institute reaching out to the developing world in Asia and Africa, with focus on India;

    • Develop research based products for capacity building around the work programme of CIRC;

    • Be a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder institute; and

    •  Be a financially viable and self-sustainable institute.

    The SBP offers a clear insight as to where the Institute should position itself in the market on capacity building solutions in the area of infrastructure regulation. The SBP Executive Summary is attached as Annexure 1.

4.1.2 Additional Central Assistance
One-time grant under Additional Central Assistance (ACA) would be sought once the issue of land with the Government of Rajasthan is sorted out. (See para 4.2.1 for more details)

4.1.3 Funding Agencies
Discussions are on with several donor agencies, which have not been formally approached for support as yet. They are being updated on a regular basis about the activities of CIRC and the status of the SBP. Upon completion of the SBP, the interested agencies would be approached for funding.

4.1.4 Corporate Houses
Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) convened a lunch meeting of business houses in Mumbai on October 16, 2007 to have a discussion on CIRC. On behalf of CIRC, C Rangarajan, Nitin Desai, Vijay Kelkar, S L Rao, besides Pradeep Mehta and Udai Mehta participated.

As a result of the above mentioned lunch meeting, IDFC has agreed to lead a ‘Friends of CIRC’ (FoC) network in Mumbai. The FoC would help to raise the needed start up capital. CIRC requires bridge funding and for which potential philanthropists in Mumbai would be approached under the FoC network. One way to raise the required funding, is to encourage potential philanthropists in supporting Chairs in CIRC. Private sector companies such as Tatas; IDFC; BSES; NTPC; Airtel; Shell, British Gas etc could be approached for this purpose over time.

4.1.5 Funding under the MPLAD Scheme
Under Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, funds can only be utilised for brick and mortar purposes and not for procurement of land. Therefore, it has been decided that the funds would be apportioned towards the development of the campus once land has been secured. Hence, follow up with MPs and nominated members of Rajya Sabha are being done gradually, as land has still not been procured. Moreover, CIRC is also following up on the suggestion of hired premises to start with, as land procurement and then building thereon would take a significant amount of time and funds. In response to the letters of support sent by CIRC, some of the MPs have shown interest and they are being kept informed on the progress of CIRC.

4.2 Infrastructure

4.2.1 Land
At present granting a concession to CUTS on the price of the land that the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) has allotted to build the CIRC campus is under consideration. Follow up is being done on a continuous basis.

In a follow up meeting on November 28, 2007 Pradeep Mehta and Udai Mehta met with Shri Sunil Arora, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister of Rajasthan and Shri Umesh Kumar, Commissioner, Bureau of Investment Promotion, Rajasthan. In the meeting it was agreed that if CUTS gets land at concessional price, two nominees from Government of Rajasthan would be proposed on the Governing Council of CIRC. One would be Director, HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration and another would be a reputed academic in the field of competition and regulation.

The proposal will be put up in the next meeting of Board of Infrastructure Development and Investment (BIDI), sometime in February/March for approval.

5. INTELLECTUAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION

5.1 Visiting Faculty: The Visiting Faculty members are constantly updated on the progress of CIRC. They contribute as resource persons in the training programmes and other activities of CIRC.

List of the Visiting Faculty members is available at: http://www.circ.in/visit-fac.htm

5.2 Course Development: The SBP has identified certain niche areas for CIRC. To begin with, State Governments like Haryana and Rajasthan may be approached with a proposal for organising specialised courses for their staff in the government and utilities, especially in the fields of water supply, waste disposal and urban infrastructure reforms.
Courses are being developed on:

  • Competition Policy & Law;

  • Economic Regulation;

  • Commercial Diplomacy;

  • Public Private Partnership;

  • Contract Management and Negotiations; and

  • Doing Business in India

As a step to develop these courses, CIRC has identified experts in these areas, approached related organisations for tie-ups and have gained affiliation from some, while others are being pursued.

5.3  Some of the trainings that are on CIRC’s agenda include:

  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Indian Railways has shown interest in having a series of basic introductory courses for Senior Management level officials. CIRC would be conducting these courses with support from IDFC and Institute for Transport Studies (ITS).

  •  A series of training programmes (nine) on Commercial Diplomacy for various levels of officials in the government and in private sector starting from year 2007 till 2010.

  • Three-day training programme on Competition Policy & Law in New Delhi in the second quarter of year 2008.   

5.4 Tie Ups and Affiliations:
CIRC is on the lookout for organisations and centres having common interests and similar work area for prospects of collaboration either on a long-term or case-to-case basis. These collaborations help CIRC build its brand as an institute of its own kind in providing quality training programmes, course material and a wide range of renowned and experienced people.

During this reporting period, tie-up with ITS, UK has been formalised. The two institutes would work together on capacity building activities and educational programmes of mutual interest with special reference to economic regulation and infrastructure.

Enlisted below are the rest of the affiliations obtained till date:

  1. Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND), Geneva

  2. The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA), Arusha

  3. Institute for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy (ITCD), Virginia

  4. British Institute of International & Comparative Law (BIICL), London

  5. American Antitrust Institute (AAI), Washington, DC

Discussions are on with several other organisations to secure collaboration. They are:

  • National Law University, Jodhpur, India

  • International Financial Services (IFSL), UK

  • ASEAN Competition Institute (ACI), Indonesia

  • DiploFoundation, Switzerland

  • Institute for Public Private Partnerships (IP3), USA

  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, USA

6. OUTREACH

6.1 Website - www.circ.in

The website is updated from time to time to reflect the activities taking place. Once CIRC launches online courses, it would engage a full-time web developer to maintain the website. The website has been linked to various search engines. Groundwork for starting online courses has already begun, which includes collating materials on various online courses, their pattern of delivery, identification of resource persons, etc.

6.2 Newsletter – CIRCular

During the period July to December, 2007 two issues were published. The quarterly newsletter carries special articles on the subject that CIRC covers, along with other news. Issue 3 carries a special article on Contract Negotiation and Management by Dr Jaivir Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Issue 4 carries an article by Pradeep S Mehta on Competition and Regulation.

CIRCular can be viewed at http://www.circ.in/publication.aspx

6.3 Marketing

To reach out to the target clientele CIRC uses multiple platforms. Some of them are:

Advertising through Internet to clientele as per the database: Each issue of the newsletter is e-mailed to a list in the database. The database contains CIRC’s target clientele i.e. civil servants, staff of regulatory bodies, civil society organisations, researchers, professionals, academicians and business and is updated on a regular basis. Event specific E-templates are also sent out to our target clientele.

Write-ups and discussion forums: Write-ups have been sent to Learning Curve, Economic Times. ET Knowledge Curve etc. The CIRC-Forum, which has been designed and used as a platform to spread information about CIRC, is kept active by way of postings and announcements of events that are being conducted under CIRC banner. Drawing from real life cases, the forum offers a platform to inform various clients about the relevance of the capacity building solutions offered by CIRC. The members of this forum include CIRC’s target clientele as mentioned above. Other than this, the participants of various CIRC workshops and events are added as members of this forum on an ongoing basis.

Registration in the group can be done at: circ-forum@googlegroups.com

Collateral: Brochure, Inserts, event-specific fliers, nomadic stand etc: Event-specific fliers and E-templates are designed and sent to the clientele for promoting the event and gaining participation. Nomadic stand for CIRC has been designed and is used during various events. The brochure for CIRC is on hold awaiting some more affiliations.

Press/News Release: Press releases are also made prior to the events as a marketing tool. The various press releases can be viewed at the following link: http://circ.in/media.htm

Classified Advertisements: This activity is event specific and is undertaken for participant mobilisation.

6. 4 Major Activities

6.4.1 Academic Lecture Series (ALS)
During the period July-December, 2007 one academic lecture was organised on October 26, 2007 at HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (RIPA), Jaipur. It was an interactive session with Prof. Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economic and Political Science, Cairo University, Egypt on “Current State of the Doha Round of Negotiations”.

The participants in the interactive session were government officials, academics and experts based in Jaipur. The report could be read at: http://www.circ.in/erALS08.htm

6.4.2 Training Seminars
CIRC has so far organised seven training seminars on Competition Policy & Law (CPS) and three on Commercial Diplomacy (CDS). A combination of Indian and international resource persons have contributed to these events. For more information on these events please visit:
http://www.circ.in

  • July-September 2007, National Training Workshops on Competition Policy and Law in seven Eastern and Southern African Countries for Government officials. For more information please visit: http://www.cuts-international.org/NTW/index.htm

  • Training programme on “Developing Skills on Commercial and Economic Diplomacy” (CDS.03) for junior-level Civil Servants and Executives from October 22-26, 2007 at Jaipur. The Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India supported CIRC to conduct the training programme to address the need to fill the vacuum that exists in terms of absence of institutional base to offer training/educational programmes on commercial and economic diplomacy in India. It had 32 participants comprising government officials from various ministries/departments of the Government of India handling work related to international trade and negotiations on various bilateral and multilateral issues. For more details please visit: http://circ.in/erCDS03.htm

6.4.3 Miscellaneous

Panel Discussion on ‘The Political Economy of Regulation in India – What do we need to do’ was organised in Mumbai, on October 16, 2007. (http://www.circ.in/pdf/PanelDiscussion.pdf). A new CUTS study entitled, ‘Competition and Regulation in India, 2007’ was also released by Dr C Rangarajan on the occasion. For more information, please visit: http://www.cuts-international.org/icrr.htm

6.5 Events Planned

  • Training programme on Commercial Diplomacy for Senior Level – Joint Secretaries/Additional Secretaries from January 9-12, 2008 at Jaipur.

  •  Training workshop on ‘Competition Policy and Law’, 2008 (first quarter), for select government officials, requested by the Ministry of Industry, SMEs, Commerce & Cooperatives, Government of Mauritius.

  • Training programme on Competition Policy & Law, requested by the Ethiopian government, would be custom-designed for participants from government agencies including Members and Staff of the Trade Practices Investigation Commission Secretariat, Ethiopia and is tentatively scheduled for March 2008.

  • Training Seminar on Competition Policy & Law, second quarter of 2008 at New Delhi.

  • A series of four training programmes on PPP for Indian Railway senior management officials. CIRC in collaboration with IDFC and ITS would be offering these trainings.

  •  Short-term joint courses for executive management education in India on “How to do Business in India” with Melbourne Business School.

  • Launching online diploma courses and certification of courses.

The tentative calendar is annexed at Annexure 2.

Annexure 1

  1. Background

Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) has set up the CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition (CIRC) with the objectives of catering to the demand for capacity building on infrastructure regulation, which can contribute to the development of the infrastructure sector. In pursuit of the stated objectives the CIRC intends to offer training, research, and education targeted to the capacity building requirements of various stakeholders.

Ernst & Young (EY) has been mandated by the World Bank to develop a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) for undertaking research based capacity building. EY has had extensive discussions with the key stakeholders, potential recipients of CIRC’s capacity building solutions and services, researchers and academia, civil society groups, World Bank staff and senior members of the Governing and Academic Council of CIRC through the course of the assignment. Review of the existing capacity building institutions that cater to the needs of the various infrastructure sectors has also been undertake. Thus, both the demand and supply sides were assessed in deriving the capacity building needs on regulation and competition that CIRC could seek to serve.

The EY team has been in close contact with the counterpart teams at CIRC and the World Bank through the course of the assignment. The methodology of execution was based on preparation of interim drafts, which were discussed through brainstorming session between CIRC, World Bank, domain experts and EY. At the outset the following goals and objectives of CIRC were agreed upon:

  •  To be a specialised, premier capacity building institute in the area of infrastructure regulation and competition, with an object of reaching out to the developing world in Asia and Africa, with a focus on India

  • Develop research based products for capacity building around the work program of CIRC;

  • Be a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder institute catering to inter-alia utilities, regulatory bodies, policy makers, legislators, academia and, most importantly, civil society;

  • Be financially viable and self sustainable.

The primary domain of the analysis would be India (and the strategic business plans should focus on this), but it was acknowledged that CIRC could build on the strengths of CUTS to reach out to a more global clientele.

It is CIRC’s intent to become a High Performing Knowledge Institute (HPKI) and to take actions that are consistent with the characteristics of such institutions, some of which have been identified in the report.

  1. Prioritisation of focus sectors and services

Certain infrastructure sectors were identified as potential candidates, including Power, Oil & Gas, Water Supply & Sanitation, Telecom, Roads, Railways, Ports, and Airports. For each of these sectors, the overall sector organisation, key issues related to regulation and competition, and the corresponding capacity building requirements were identified. The review of the sectors provided useful pointers to the size of the capacity building requirements and the specific nature of needs, and eventually led to inter-se prioritisation between the sectors for CIRC’s soultion.

An external consultation process undertaken through a combination of structured questionnaires and freewheeling discussions also provided very useful indicators for the identification of capacity building needs of the various sectors and the gaps that exist. The consultation process threw up significant findings, including the fact that across most of the sectors there is a very significant unaddressed capacity building need on economic regulation and competition in terms of availability, quality and relevance of the solutions currently on offer. The consultation process also revealed certain important insights on the target space for CIRC:

  1. A large majority of respondents reiterated that there is a very significant unaddressed need for capacity building;

  2. Shortage of competent staff has been identified as a major impediment to capacity building. However, a majority of respondents also stated that there is no alternative to training existing staff;

  3. Willingness and ability to pay are not particular concerns, so long as the capacity building needs and costs are reflected in the annual budgeting processes;

  4. There is a high demand for customized solutions that cater to the specific needs of the recipient entities. Current courses do not adequately address the specific needs;

  5. Very significant emphasis placed on high quality of curriculum and faculty.

With a large potential opportunity space available, it is imperative that CIRC prioritizes its solutions. Based on the needs the capacity building solutions can largely be classified around two broad categories.

  1. Sectors with solution requirements that are specific to the sector;

  2. Cross-cutting needs, where solutions developed for such needs can be customised for the sector.

Sector specific requirements: The sector specific requirements largely emanate from the regulation and competition related requirements arising from specific legislation(s).  In terms of size, the Power sector clearly offers the largest space, followed by Water Supply & Sanitation (WSS) and Oil & Gas. While WSS is not regulated independently (barring exceptions), proposed changes in policy and institutional structures is likely to result in increased demand for capacity building. Even otherwise, the criticality of the sector makes it imperative for an organization like CIRC to undertake the necessary research and advocacy roles on institutional development and regulatory reforms in the sector.

Telecoms have specialized and sophisticated requirements, and even as the overall space is relatively small, the evolving nature of the issues could make it a candidate sector.  The ports sector represents the smallest opportunity space at this time, although the size is likely to increase in future if the state maritime boards undertake a greater regulatory role.

Cross-cutting needs: Based on the analysis conducted, two areas of cross-cutting needs have emerged. The larger area is around PPP/PSP, the needs are large and pervasive, starting from policy and legislation, to Public Private Partnership (PPP)/ Private Sector Participation (PSP) framework design, implementation and monitoring. The needs vary among the individual sectors analyzed, with urban infrastructure and transport offering the largest space. Relatively smaller are WSS and Power. Capacity building solutions in this space can be customized to the needs of the specific sectors as needed, but otherwise would reflect a common approach to the generic issues involved.

Around the PPP/PSP frameworks, but not necessarily limited to them, a specific need for solutions relating to bid process design and management, contract design and negotiation, and dispute resolution has emerged. From CIRC’s perspective this is well aligned to the current suite of capabilities and solutions, and could distinguish it from other entities providing capacity building solutions in infrastructure sectors.

A smaller but more specialized area of capacity building, encompassing primarily the Telecoms and Oil & Gas sector (and to some extent the ports sector), is around issues related to competition. This would include issues related to industrial economics, competition policy, mergers & acquisitions, abuse of dominance, anti-competitive behaviour etc. In particular in the infrastructure sectors these matters often assume greater proportions and wider significance since infrastructure sectors are not easily amenable to competition. Hence the need for research based capacity building interventions is substantial. It would be important for CIRC to focus adequately on such competition related aspects, more so because of the strengths that CIRC and CUTS already possesses on such matters.

Research vs. capacity building: CIRC also has to strike an appropriate balance between the research requirements and the capacity building solutions that it proposes to develop. Research can be expensive, and hence the need to develop the balance. For example, the water sector requires strong research and advocacy skills, but the immediate prospects for remunerative capacity building solutions are low (unless CIRC is able to access donor/external funding for the same). CIRC would need to develop appropriate strategies for the solutions, as portrayed in the adjacent graphic.

  1. Supply Side Assessment

As a part of the study, the supply side in the focus sectors was analysed in reasonable detail. The power sector capacity building needs are targeted by a reasonably large number of institutions and programmes. However there are quite a few aspects that remain unaddressed. In particular there is limited or no effort by the existing service providers to reach out to some of the most important players in the sector – the distribution utilities, civil society, and state level policy makers and implementers. The design, content, and quality of the capacity building solutions available fall significantly short of the needs identified. Other sectors like WSS and Oil & Gas face requirements related to policy, regulatory framework design etc, that are currently not addressed adequately. On cross cutting needs like PPP, there are existing solutions offered by institutes like ASCI. However the demand far outstrips supply, and there is much to be done even on this.

  1. Designing the programs

The proposed activities of CIRC have been categorized into logical groupings, which are described hereunder.

Flagship or Core Capacity Building Programs - The core courses would address the fundamental issues around which the regulation and competition framework would operate. The following core programs are proposed to begin with:

  1. Core program on energy sector regulation and competition

  2. Core program on Public Private Partnerships

  3. Core program on bid process management, contract negotiations and alternate dispute resolution

  4. Core program on infrastructure economics and regulation

While we anticipate that at least one such core course would be held per year for each of the subjects identified, the more popular courses could be organized more frequently. It is also anticipated that over time CIRC will deliver such courses with increasing frequency, and at multiple locations. In particular if there is donor support available, there could be substantial demand in Africa and South East Asia that such courses could address.

Custom programs – These would be designed and delivered from time to time based on emerging demand. Such courses could be of varying duration, and the mode and location of delivery would vary depending on the origin of the demand.

Partnership Programs - One of the key findings of the supply side analysis has been that there are few programs available from the present set of capacity building institutes that have been proactively working with the client organizations to develop and deliver custom programs, and to deliver them based on the needs of the client organizations. In fact, CIRC can work with the client organizations right from the identification of capacity building needs, design and delivery of the programs, to the measurement of effectiveness of training delivery.

CIRC’s needs to approach its overall delivery plan in phases. Four stages of phasing/development are proposed, as depicted below.



 

We believe that there is a viable market for a post graduate diploma program that CIRC could undertake in the later stages of the planning process. This would also help it to attract and retain talent. The last phase of the plan indicated reflects the same.

The above plan only provides a template for development. As an adaptive institution CIRC, in practice, has to periodically review its performance against the plans and make necessary to changes both to the plans and also the execution process that it follows.

  1. People aspects

Based on the analysis and user feedback this document has emphasized the need for quality faculty for CIRC to achieve its objective of being recognized as a premier institute. However CIRC faces several challenges and issues in this regard, the key among which include:

  1. Ability to attract and retain talented faculty;

  2. Building a strong organization and leadership within CIRC

  3. Appropriate mix between internal and external faculty;

The office of the Director would play a central role in providing the leadership that is so essential to attract and retain quality faculty. We believe that CUTS and the Governing Council of CIRC will have an important role to play in identifying a suitable candidate and attracting the person to CIRC. CIRC could look for an Indian Director presently working abroad, and well versed with the working of high quality international capacity building institutes.

The courses will be delivered by a combination of internal and external faculty resources. Based on the program proposed, CIRC would require 3 -4 core faculty by year 2, and rely on the balance requirements on external faculty. It is important that even when the visiting faculty teaches core courses, the course design and content should not change significantly. Visiting faculty and experts can add to the content and supporting literature without compromising on the basic content. CIRC should also have firm contractual arrangements with the visiting faculty for delivery of the courses to ensure commitment and quality.

It is also important to identify the attributes that make an institution of this nature successful. A policy paper by Tusshar Shah identifies the attributes that distinguish some of the more successful institutions from others. These include the following:

  1. High Performing Knowledge Institutions (HPKIs) treasure talent and engage in a constant process of competency building;

  2. Early in their life they come up with a core portfolio of institutionally committed offerings that define their organisation as a socio-technical system;

  3. They tend to adopt a non-heirarchical, matrix type oganisation designs which promote a collegial organisational climate;

  4. Their culture stresses self regulation and openness, peer group accountability, creativity and innovation;

  5. Their overall management tends to be “light”; also tend to be strategic in their output, outcome and impact orientation;

  6. HPKIs acquire infrastructure that is appropriate to their needs, make intensive use of it, and keep it in excellent condition;

  7. HPKIs tend not to be acquisitive but generate the resources they need to grow from grants, fees and other sources without compromising their mission sanctity.

Most of the above relate to people issues that CIRC has to address. In deciding upon the core attributes for CIRC later in this report we have kept in mind such aspects and our recommendations consider the same.

A key aspect that will influence CIRC’s ability to attract talent is the location of the institute. While CIRC already has available infrastructure in Jaipur, there is merit in locating the institute at a location that is more accessible for attendees and faculty. Based on this, locating the institute in the National Capital Region (NCR) could hold merit. However this issue needs to be considered further by CIRC considering all relative merits before a final decision is taken in this regard.

  1. Alliances

CIRC needs strong alliances for obtaining knowledge capital and experiences in the focus areas, accessing faculty, enhancing the geographic domain of its activities, spreading networks and marketing reach; and complementing research capabilities and undertaking joint research. Typically the alliances would have a long term focus, hence it is important to choose its alliance partners carefully based on objective criteria. Such criteria would include, reputation of the organization, relevance for CIRC’s objectives, experience in developing/transitioning countries, etc. The report suggests some possible candidates, including the Central European University at Budapest, the World Bank Institute, National Law University, Jodhpur, and the Public Utility Research Centre, University of Florida. However these are only indicative of the categories and types of organizations that CIRC could look at.

  1. Reaching out to civil society

Reaching out to civil society is one of the most important objectives of CIRC. At present there is no organization that has such focus on capacity building in civil society on competition and regulation related matters (except for isolated one-off efforts). In the detailed curriculum development plans for the key sectors we have articulated specific aspects on which CIRC can reach out to this important constituency. Even though such programs would typically involve a lower degree of complexity as compared to advanced curricula for regulators, policy makers and the industry, there would be inevitable logistical challenges due to the fragmented nature of civil society. Delivery of such programs would mostly be local, at towns spread across the geography. It is important that CIRC develops partnerships with utilities, local government, NGOs and consumer forums for effective and efficient delivery. A well thought out plan for implementation of the civil society capacity building program needs to be developed. We recommend that CIRC commences this program in a few states (Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi suggested) before expanding to others over time.

Policy inadequacies and lack of appreciation of roles among the policy makers has also been identified as a key lacunae in current capacity building initiatives in the infrastructure sectors. CIRC is already engaged in such programs in Rajasthan, and should extend the coverage progressively to other states and at the national level. CIRC could draw upon the resources and reach of CUTS as necessary for this purpose.

  1.  Communication Tools

The wide variety of CIRC’s courses and clientele will require a corresponding range of communication tools. For example, the distance learning programs will require advanced communication technologies like video conferencing, electronic resource rooms (e-rooms), digital libraries, etc. At the other end, the local capacity building initiatives will require newsletters and graphic representations that are easy to comprehend. In the initial years in particular this will present considerable challenges since such tools are often resource intensive to develop and implement.

  1.  Summary observations on operating and financial projections

On the whole the entire venture would be self sustainable since in most of the years it returns a positive cash flow from its operations. Considering amortization of the costs of setting up its own facilities, CIRC would turn a financial surplus in all years except the first two years. However, based on the projections it is apparent that CIRC would need infusion of cash at two stages:

  • The start-up stage, where in the initial years there is significant cash deficit;

  • In the expansion phase when there is considerable need for finances for acquisition of land and construction of its facilities.

In particular we believe that CIRC should make adequate financial arrangements for the start-up phase since this is fundamental to the reputation of the institute, and necessary investments of time and resources for course development, faculty recruitment, marketing and outreach should not be compromised with.

  1. Conclusions and Way Forward

The eventual goal of CIRC is to become a world class organization addressing the width and depth of capacity building needs in the infrastructure space. While this strategic business plan addresses some of these issues, much work would need to be done by CIRC in operationalising the plans. With the right measures consistent with the goals and values it would be possible to become a multi-locational institute of international repute and serve an international need (particularly in the developing world) that remains inadequately addressed at present.

CIRC is in the process of defining the way forward based on the recommendations in this report. Key immediate actions would include the recruitment of the Director and initial core faculty, identification of the premises for housing the institute for the foreseeable future, design of the first set of courses that are to be delivered, and arranging of finances. We understand that CIRC has already commenced action on several of these aspects. A detailed action plan, initially spanning the next 12 to 18 months on each of the aspects is recommended.

Annexure 2

*CIRC – Calendar of Events (April-June, 2008)

S No.

Event

Time

Venue

1

Training Programme on Commercial and Economic Diplomacy 

January 9-12, 2008

Jaipur

2

Training Programme on Competition Policy and Law

First quarter, 2008

Mauritius

3

Training Programme on Competition Policy and Law

March, 2008

Addis Ababa

4

Training Programme on Public Private Partnerships for Railways

 

April, 2008

New Delhi

* This is subject to change. Please check for updates on www.circ.in