CIRC Progress Report - July 2008 to December 2008

point SUMMARY
point INFRASTRUCTURE
point GOVERNANCE
point FUNDING
point INTELLECTUAL RESOURCES
point OUTREACH


ANNEXURE 1 CIRCULAR Issues July-September and October-December
ANNEXURE 2 Tentative Calendar of Events

  1. SUMMARY

This report summarises the progress made during the second half of the year 2008 beginning from July till December. The highlights during this period are as follows: i) Human Resources: Appointment of Director General, Director and faculties ii) Funding: An amount of INR 62,50,000 (Rupees sixty two lac fifty thousand only) was collected as part of the bridge funding (through advertisement subscription and donation). iii) Land: Land has been allotted at concessional price and an extension of six months has been granted to CIRC to pay the amount and acquire the land. iv) Courses: CIRC in consultation with subject experts developed certificate courses on competition policy and law & public private partnerships to be launched in 2009.

For further details, please visit: http://www.circ.in/about.aspx

  1. INFRASTRUCTURE

2.1) The Government of Rajasthan has agreed to allot 5000 sq mtrs land at 40 percent (about INR 92lacs) of the prevailing institutional reserve rate, with other conditions of allotment remaining unchanged. CIRC is trying to arrange the necessary amount for procurement of land. The government has granted a period of six months to deposit the required amount.

  1. GOVERNANCE

3.1) Governing Council (GC): The third meeting of the GC was held on August 11, 2008 at the CIRC’s Delhi office. The action points that emerged from this meeting are as follows:

Funding: More funders need to be approached for larger contributions. Since, many contributors could not oblige stating that larger contributions require board approvals hence it was proposed to publish a policy document souvenir (Souvenir). The souvenir will fetch in smaller contributions through advertisement subscription in the said publication, since such contributions do not require board approvals. The souvenir will carry a rich collection of articles written by experts and will also carry advertisements. More details about the fund raising through advertisements at para 4.3.

Nandan Nilekani has kindly agreed to extend his offer of the challenge grant from October 31, 2008 to December 31, 2008. This grace period will provide CIRC an opportunity to meet the target.

High Level Event: It was decided to organise a high level event in January, 2009 to push the agenda on infrastructure regulation and set the stage for the release of the policy document souvenir on the occasion.

Director: The meeting suggested scanning the list of recently retired IAS officers for the post of Director.

Land: It was suggested by the members that CIRC should ask for softer payment terms by asking for installments.

For the constitution of the Governing Council please see: http://www.circ.in/govrn_council.aspx

3.2) Managing Committee (MC): The tenth MC meeting was held on December 20, 2008 at New Delhi. Key issues discussed at the meeting are as follows:

Director: It was suggested to depute Bipul Chatterjee (Deputy Executive Director of CUTS International and Head, CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment) as the Director of CIRC from January 2009.

Dean: Pradip Chattopadhyay has regretted joining in April, 2009 since he is unable to sell his house, given the economic turndown in the US. As per the Strategic Business Plan it is envisaged that Dean would be required when CIRC launches postgraduate and doctoral courses in about 3 to 4 years. The search for Dean would be taken up later.

Director General: Dipak Chatterjee (former Commerce Secretary & Ambassador of India to EU) may join CIRC as its Director General.

Faculty: Some knowledge staff have been recruited.

It was also decided to invite S L Rao, a member of the Governing Council based in Bangalore, into the Managing Committee as he takes active interest in CIRC.

The process of building the General Body of CIRC is in progress. Several people have been invited to become members of the General Body as Life Members. More on Annual General Meeting at para 3.3.

For the constitution of the managing committee members, please log on to http://www.circ.in/manag_comt.htm

3.3) Annual General Meeting: The first Annual General Body meeting (AGM) was organised on October 18, 2008 to discuss the overall progress of CIRC, reviewing the balance sheet and appointment of auditor, adoption of procedure for induction of life members and institutional members.

  1. FUNDING

4.1 Additional Central Assistance
One-time grant under Additional Central Assistance (ACA) would be sought once CIRC acquires the land. (See para 2.1 for details on the land issue)

4.2 Funding under the MPLAD Scheme
Funding under Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme is conditional to acquiring land and is restricted for asset creation only. Efforts will be made subsequently.

4.3 Friends of CIRC
Under the ‘Friends of CIRC’ (FoC) network led by IDFC, CIRC has been able to secure bridge funding against the Start-up Cost proposal. Letters of request were sent to potential donors in Mumbai and elsewhere under the FoC network.

On June 24, 2008 CIRC was invited to make a presentation by Nandan Nilekani, CEO & MD, Infosys Technologies Ltd. As a result of the presentation, he committed to contribute up to Rs 1 crore to support CIRC subject to it raising a matching amount of Rs 1 crore by December 31, 2008. Progress regarding the funding is as follows:
Payments received before June 26, 2008: IDFC (15,00,000); HDFC (10,00,000); and CUTS International (20,00,000) i.e. total 45,00,000 (INR)

Payments received after June 26, 2008: ICICI Bank (10,00,000) and IL&FS (7,50,000)

However, CIRC is still short of Rs 82,50,000 in order to meet the target set by Nandan Nilekani. In order to reach this target, it was proposed to publish a policy document souvenir that would be a collection of articles/essays on the theme of infrastructure regulation both from Indian and global perspective. The advertisements will be a means of raising funds for CIRC and will target donors who cannot contribute to CIRC with larger amounts.

As a result of this suggestion, a fund raising drive through advertisements was initiated and till December 31, 2008 CIRC has been able to collect Rs45 lacs. CIRC has been able to generate a total of Rs62.5 lacs (status as on December 31, 2008) to match Nandan’s grant. The policy document souvenir carries about 30 articles from experts across the world. The said document is due to be released at a high level event on January 16, 2009.

However, the process of collecting larger grants continues with Aditya Birla Group, L N Mittal, Anil Agarwal, Gautam Adani etc. In order to attract smaller donations, the Board has decided to invite prominent people to become members of the General Body as mentioned in paragraph 3.3.

4.4 Bilateral Donor Agencies
The funding proposal for the donor agencies will be now be prepared by Bipul Chatterjee, once he joins CIRC as Director.

  1. INTELLECTUAL RESOURCES

5.1) Visiting faculty and subject-expert group jointly formulate the intellectual resources of the institute. Their contributions are sought from time to time and they are kept updated on the progress of CIRC.

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

Subject expert groups have been formulated to provide expert guidance in structuring of the course material and modules. Their advice is sought on project proposals; contributions are sought in the newsletter entitled CIRCular by way of write-ups; comments are sought on event reports in order to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the trainings and how to improve and do better in the future.

5.2) Meeting with Competition Law & Policy Experts: A brainstorming meeting was organised on December 20, 2008 with experts on competition policy & law in Delhi. The meeting was organised to brainstorm on designing certificate courses on competition policy and law. There are two certificate courses that will run simultaneously and will be conducted once a week on Saturdays and Sundays respectively. The certificate course, “Interface between Competition Law and the Economy” is being planned to be launched in the quarter April-June, 2009, when the Competition Commission of India is likely to be made functional.

 

Another brainstorming meeting with experts on public private partnerships (PPP) is due to take place on January 15, 2009. Planning and preparations are on for the same.

List of subject expert group members is available at

http://circ.in/expert-faculty.htm

5.3) 

Tie Ups and Affiliations:

A positive response is still awaited from the Institute of Public Private Partnership (IP3), Washington DC on possibilities of entering into a MoU with CIRC. They are more keen to collaborate on a case to case to basis. Discussions are on with several other organisations to secure collaboration. The list of prospective affiliations is as follows:

 

  • National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur, India

  • Fordham Competition Law Institute (FCLI), UK

  • ASEAN Competition Institute (ACI), Indonesia

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, USA

  • Public Utility Research Centre (PURC), University of Florida,USA

  1. OUTREACH

6.1) Website - www.circ.in

The website is updated from time to time to reflect the activities taking place.

6.2) Newsletter – CIRCular

CIRCular for the period July to September 2008 and October – December 2008 has been published and is annexed with this report.

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

6.3) Marketing

As mentioned in previous reports, marketing approach remains the same. These include: advertising through Internet to clientele as per the database; write-ups and e-discussion forums (Registration in the group can be done at: circ-forum@googlegroups.com) brochures, inserts, event-specific fliers, nomadic stand; press/news releases, etc.

 

CIRC forum has about 738 members till date which are kept active through regular postings.

 

Extensive marketing tools would be utilised once funding is available.

6.4) Major Activities

During this quarter one academic lecture was conducted, while preparation and planning for other events/activities are going on in a continuous process.

  • Academic Lecture on “How India should deal with Abuse of Dominance and Cartel Busting - Experiences from Across the Globe” by Allan Fels, Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Australia and Former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The event was organised on July 07, 2008 at India International Centre, New Delhi from 1630 to 1930 hours. The three-hour lecture began with the Chair, Pradeep S Mehta, Director General, CIRC welcoming all the participants and introducing Professor Allan Fels to the audience. Mehta spoke highly about Professor Fels’ commendable term as Chairman of ACCC.
    Professor Fels began his lecture by pointing out that competition law in itself involves a paradox; it aims at establishing free economies but at the same time need government’s intervention to achieve it. He also stressed upon the two aspects to promote competition: competition law, which attacks anti-competitive behaviour; and a broader law to attack other government actions and rules that restrict competition (competition policy). He advocated the need to review policies and practices in an independent and transparent manner to see if they are anti-competitive in nature. In this context, he enumerated the Australian scenario as an example to illustrate how competition policy was adopted by several laws with provisions which restrict competition.

For more details please visit:
http://circ.in/eventreportALS-09.htm

6.4.1 Training Programmes

CIRC has organised 18 training programmes, two panel discussions and one international research symposium till date. 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

6.5) Events Planned

  • Roundtable Discussion on Developing Infrastructure through an Ideal Regulatory Framework, Friday, January 16, 2009; 1500-1700 hours, Russian Culture Centre, New Delhi:
    The roundtable discussion is being organised to debate on a consensus on an effective regulatory regime in India so as to attract the required huge investment in the infrastructure sector. Annexed with report is the Backgrounder that will give more information on the Roundtable.

  • Training programme on Consumer Protection in the Power Sector, February 16-20, 2009, New Delhi.
    The aim of the programme is to develop the capacity of the SERCs staff on various issues of consumer protection in electricity sector so that they can play the required role effectively. Participants will be senior and middle level staff from State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs). This will also provide an opportunity to them to share and learn from the best practices followed by certain SERCs on key issues in regulation.

  • Certificate courses on Fundamentals of Public Private Partnerships
    The course has been designed to increase the capacity of various stakeholders involved in implementing PPP projects across India. Each course will be of five days to be held in New Delhi. The first one will be held in July 2009.

  • Certificate courses on Interface between Competition Law and the Economy
    Over a period of three months (12 weeks), there will be two courses running simultaneously on Saturdays and on Sundays in New Delhi.
    The first set of two courses will be held during April-June, 2009. Further courses will be held in subsequent quarters. It is planned to offer similar courses in other metro cities of India, such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahemdabad over time.
     

The tentative calendar is annexed at Annexure 2

Annexure 1

CIRC – Calendar of Events (January-March, 2009)

S No. Event Time Venue
1.

Roundtable on Developing Infrastructure through an Ideal Regulatory Framework

January 16, 2009

New Delhi

2.

Training Programme on Consumer Protection for State Electricity Regulatory Commission officials

February 16 – 20, 2009

New Delhi

*This is subject to change. Please check for updates on our website (www.circ.in)

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