6th Progress Report as on March 31, 2007

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. MANAGEMENT

  3. RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  4. INTELLECTUAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION

  5. OUTREACH

ANNEXURE 1                                  


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 The sixth progress report provides a summary of developments at CIRC between the period of January to March 2007. It also provides the strategy and action plan for the future. CIRC has done reasonably well by way of organising training seminars, workshops and providing a platform for debates and discussions.

1.2 The second quarter of the year has begun with planning and preparation for a series of workshops especially designed for government officials at various levels in the stream of Commercial Diplomacy. In addition to the above, CIRC and Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) are in the process of formalising a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) wherein CIRC would be conducting Public Private Partnerships (PPP) trainings for various clients with IDFC’s support. These have been discussed later in the report. For updates on the activities discussed above, please visit:
http://www.circ.in/about.htm

1.3 After a long process of getting a Government of India approval, the World Bank has agreed to support the development of a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) for CIRC by Ernst & Young (E&Y). They have planned to submit the SBP by end May 2007. Most of the future activities outlined in this report are planned and would be reconciled with the recommendations and directions that would be provided by the SBP.

2. GOVERNANCE

2.1 The 18-member Governing Council (GC), chaired by Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, meets once every year to provide policy guidance to CIRC. The second meeting of the GC was organised on March 22, 2007 at New Delhi. The meeting had a high participation of 11 members. A consolidated progress report was tabled at the meeting which reflected CIRC’s journey so far. A ‘work-in-progress’ presentation for the SBP was given by E&Y at this meeting. Some key suggestions made during the meeting were on: a) choice of right faculty in order to identify a niche for CIRC; b) dual focus of the institute: training and research; c) full-time scholar-administrators are required for the running of the institute, who are also involved in research on a continuous basis; d) preferred location for CIRC could be either Delhi, Gurgaon or Jaipur.

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

2.2 Managing Committee: The Governing Council has appointed a 5-member Managing Committee (MC) meeting, whose IV meeting was held on January 16, 2007. It was an extended meeting that witnessed the presence of some GC members situated in New Delhi and key stakeholders, representing the Deptt of Economic Affairs; Department of Commerce; Competition Commission of India and IDFC. The first three meetings were held under the able guidance of Dr Vijay Vyas as the chair, who did not wish to continue as Chairman, but to remain as a Member. Subsequently Dr Nitin Desai was elected as the Chairman with the approval of Dr. Rangarajan. Some major action points that emerged from the IV MC meeting were: a) ‘subject-specific Expert Groups’ to be constituted comprising of experts from India to guide the institute in course composition and designing; b) relevant background materials to be collected and compiled for training modules, and these be sent to the groups and members abroad for their comments/approval; c) collaborating with HCM-RIPA for using their premises for training workshops; d) next MC meeting to be held at New Delhi a day before the Launch Meeting on the SBP to focus primarily on the Agenda for the II GC Meeting and CIRC’s SBP.

2.2.1 Thus the V MC meeting was held on February 28, 2007 in New Delhi. The key issues that emerged from the said meeting were: a) finalisation of the agenda for the GC meeting; b) SBP’s focus would lie primarily on Economic Regulation and Competition Policy & Law and not on Commercial Diplomacy since the funding is from the infrastructure regulation window of the PPIAF; c) it was suggested that Ambassador Kishan Rana could incorporate elements of Commercial Diplomacy in the SBP. The same could be presented to E&Y and their opinion could be taken into consideration; d) certain sectors were identified that CIRC should start work on, such as Energy, Transport (Tourism and Aviation), water regulation.

2.2.2 The SBP is expected to be received by end-May, which would provide recommendations and suggested plan of action for CIRC and future activities would be pursued accordingly. Post receipt of the SBP report and brainstorming on the recommendations put forth in the same, a clearer future plan should be in place by June-July 2007. For the constitution of the managing committee members, please log on to
http://www.circ.in/manag_comt.htm

2.3 Academic Council: A physical meeting of the Academic Council (AC) is yet to take place, which could not be done because many of the members are from outside India. However, the AC members are kept informed about the progress of the institute via e-mail and personal discussions. The AC is authorised to take decisions on matters such as affiliations/collaborations with other institutions; offer expert views on course development and implementation. A list comprising names of members of the Academic Council is available at
http://www.circ.in/acad_council.htm

2.4 Subject Expert Groups: In view of the fact that an AC meeting has not been held, it was suggested that we create subject matter groups of the best possible expertise available in India. A decision to this extent was adopted at the IV Managing Committee meeting held on January 16, 2007 at New Delhi. CIRC is in the process of establishing expert groups in the three subjects relevant to our work: Economic Regulation, Competition Law & Policy and Commercial Diplomacy. The endeavour is to identify the best possible persons in India for serving on these expert groups. The expert group's guidance would be sought primarily for:

  • preparing and commenting on course design and course modules; and

  • participating and brainstorming in meetings, as and when convened.

3. RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

3.1 Fund Raising

3.1.1 World Bank: Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has been facilitating CUTS’ interaction with the World Bank, New Delhi office. In response to a formal request from the DEA, the World Bank has approved a proposal to support CIRC. A support of USD 60,000 has been approved for preparation of a detailed SBP.

The World Bank has now initiated this work with the tentative appointment of the consultancy firm Ernst & Young. Though the formal contract is yet to be awarded, the launch meeting was held in New Delhi on February 28, 2007. This was the first consultative workshop, focused on brainstorming on the work-plan. The SBP is expected to be tabled by end-May 2007. Ernst & Young would advise CIRC on:

  • training themes: finalising the themes/areas of capacity building;

  • geographic coverage with financial modelling primarily for India and basic coverage for other countries in regions such as: South Asia, South East Asia and Far East and Africa;

  • target clientele for capacity building;

  • marketing and outreach;

  • modes of service delivery;

  • options of affiliations with other institutes (overseas/domestic);

  • fund raising;

  • staffing; and

  • location.

3.1.2 Additional Central Assistance: The Secretary (Finance), Ministry of Finance, Government of India had written to the State Government of Rajasthan to send a request to the Planning Commission for a one-time grant under Additional Central Assistance (ACA) in the next financial year. We are in constant touch with the office of the Chief Minister (CM), Rajasthan. The matter is under review with the CM.

3.1.3 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. On the completion of the SBP, the interested agencies would be approached for funding as per the SBP.

3.1.4 Corporate Houses: Corporate houses have been identified and letters for support have been sent out to them. They are being pursued on a continuous basis. The SBP is expected to provide guidance and direction to CIRC’s efforts for partnership and fundraising with corporate houses. The IDFC has offered to convene a meeting of business houses in Mumbai once the SBP is ready.

3.1.5 Funding under the MPLAD Scheme: Letters have also been sent out to all Rajya Sabha MPs (Rajasthan) for seeking support under the MPLAD Scheme. Letters for support have also been sent to Nominated Members of Rajya Sabha. Interest has been expressed by some, which is being followed up. As this funding cannot be utilised to procure land thus it has been decided that the funds would be apportioned towards the development of the campus once land has been secured.

3.2 Infrastructure

3.2.1 Land: Government of Rajasthan continues to uphold its support to CIRC. 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. It is expected to be reviewed by the next meeting of the BIDI, the body which promotes investment in the State of Rajasthan.

4. INTELLECTUAL RESOURCE MOBILISATION

4.1 Visiting Faculty: The Visiting Faculty members are kept involved in the activities of CIRC by constantly being made a part of the training seminars and academic lectures. Some of them participated in the training workshops and Academic Lectures organised during this period. List of the Visiting Faculty members is available at: http://www.circ.in/visit-fac.htm

4.2 Course Development: There are three exclusive subject/streams on offer. These are:

  • Competition Policy & Law;

  • Economic Regulation; and

  • Commercial Diplomacy.

4.3 Some of the trainings that are on CIRC’s agenda in 2007 include:

  • To better prepare the government officials, to increase participation of the stakeholders in designing, planning and implementing PPPs, at the invitation of IDFC, a leading infrastructure finance company, CIRC has designed a 5-days certificate course titled, “Fundamentals of P3”.
     

  • The PPPs cell of the Indian Railways has shown interest in having CIRC conduct a basic introductory course on PPPs for Senior Officials - The Hows and Whys of PPPs. Preliminary discussions have been held and an offer in collaboration with IDFC will be submitted in April, 2007.
     

  • Systematic training on commercial diplomacy is virtually absent in India and therefore, Department of Commerce has sponsored a 3-year project valued at Rs.120lacs to conduct customised training workshops for Indian government officials at all levels. By conducting this three-year programme (from April 2007 to March 2010) CIRC is seeking to fill an existing gap by organising training workshops for the following three levels of Indian government officials:

    • Senior Level: Joint Secretaries
    • Middle Level: Directors
    • Junior/Fresher Level: Under Secretaries, Section Officers, Freshers

4.4 Tie Ups and Affiliations:

The status for long-term collaborations is the same as reported in the earlier reports. Discussions are on with several other organisations to secure collaboration, either on a long-term basis or project-to-project basis. They are:

  • IDFC: Certificate courses and workshops on PPPs would be organised with IDFC’s support.

  • Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA): They have shown interest in collaborating with CIRC on issues related to Commercial Diplomacy and an MoU has been sent.

  • Institute for Public Private Partnerships (IP3)

  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA

  • Australian Centre of Regulatory Economics (ACORE), Australian National University (ANU);

  • Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa (TRALAC)

  • Regulatory Policy Institute (RPI);

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law; and

  • The Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC).
     

5. OUTREACH

5.1 Website - www.circ.in

The web site is being updated from time to time to reflect the activities taking place. CIRC aims to engage a full-time web developer to maintain the web site. The website has been linked to various search engines. For starting online courses the CUTS IT Department has started preparatory work for the activities to start in 2007.

5.1.1 As an outreach activity the Research Symposium entitled “Political Economy Constraints in Regulatory Regimes in Developing Countries” organised under the banner of CIRC (discussed later in the report) was given a live web cast. The archived web cast of this momentous two and half day research symposium can now be watched at the given link:
http://www.circ.in

5.2 Newsletter

Volume 2, Issue 04 of ‘CIRCular’ has been published. The Newsletter so far was published at a frequency of two months but from now onwards it would be published quarterly. It carries special articles on the subject that CIRC covers, along with other news. The issues can be read and downloaded at http://www.circ.in/publication.htm

5.3 Marketing

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

Internet Advertising and E-mailing to clientele as per the database: Each issue of the newsletter is e-mailed to the 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 being regularly updated.

Write-ups and discussion forums: Write-ups have been sent to Learning Curve, Economic Times. ET Knowledge Curve is also being explored. 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 also included as members of this forum.

Registration in the group can be made at:
CIRC-Forum-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Collateral: Brochure, Inserts, event-specific fliers, nomadic stand etc: Event specific fliers are designed as per the event requirement. Event-specific fliers and E-templates are sent to the clientele for promoting the event and gaining participation. Nomadic stand for CIRC has also been designed and is used during the various events. The brochure is being kept on hold as CIRC is waiting for some more tie-ups to take place.

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.

5. 4 Major Activities

5.4.1 Academic Lecture Series (ALS): No Academic Lecture could be held during the first quarter of the year 2007 but two training workshops and one International research symposium were already on the agenda and all efforts were directed to make them successful. For a recap on the events held so far, please visit:
http://circ.in/event-archives.htm

5.4.2 Training Seminars: CIRC has so far organised four Training Seminars on Competition Policy & Law (CPS) and one on Commercial Diplomacy. The duration of these seminars varied from half a day to five days. A combination of Indian and international resource persons have contributed to the seminars as resource persons.

A regional training workshop on Competition Policy and Law was organised by CIRC, in collaboration with Institute for Global Dialogue, in South Africa on February 15-17, 2007, Pretoria, South Africa. Resource persons comprised academicians and experienced practitioners from the region and outside, having years of expertise on competition issues. The participation was diverse with representation from young competition authorities of the region, along with officials from relatively older competition authorities from other parts of the continent. Trade and Commerce Ministry officials from countries that are in the process of evolving new competition regimes also participated. The workshop was covered under CUTS 7Up3 project.

A one-day seminar on Competition Law was held on March 21, 2007, New Delhi, in collaboration with Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), which had noted Competition experts from overseas at the event. The one day seminar was organised to discuss the ‘process’ of implementing Competition Laws and covered panel discussions on related areas: Merger Regulation, Anti-Competitive Agreements, Abuse of Dominance and Competition-Sectoral Regulation interface.

An international symposium entitled "Political Economy Constraints in Regulatory Regimes in Developing Countries" was organised under the aegis of CIRC and CUTS Centre for Competition, Investment & Economic Regulation (C-CIER) on 22-24th March, 2007 in New Delhi, India. The symposium was a part of the research programme entitled “Competition, Regulation and Development Research Forum” (CDRF). The research programme was initiated against the background that, in the developing world, there is most often a gap between policy and implementation due to various political economy and socio-cultural factors. In order to address these policy relevant gaps, CUTS has envisioned this programme to undertake research and deliberate on substantive issues concerning implementation of competition and regulatory regimes in the developing world. The research programme is being supported by DFID and IDRC.

The programme was spread over two and half days and witnessed the presence of dignitaries from around the globe. The event was web cast as well, drawing over 1000 viewers from around the world. The archived web cast of this momentous event can now be watched at the given link: http://www.circ.in

The Inaugural session was addressed by Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi Secretary General, UNCTAD, along with several renowned people like Dr. C Rangarajan (Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India), Dr. Frederic Jenny (Judge, Supreme Court, France), and Dr Nitin Desai (Former Under-Secretary-General of UN, India). The second and third day of the symposium (i.e. March 23rd and 24th, 2007) concentrated on interactive deliberations on substantive issues in a focused manner. The sessions were structured in the form of panel discussions for the research papers, where authors made presentations on key findings of their papers. This was followed by comments from panellists and participants, thus making each session very interactive.

For a recap on the events held so far, please visit:
http://circ.in/event-archives.htm

5.5 Events Planned

Towards achieving its objectives, CIRC is now organising demand-based trainings. For example, in response to demands received from the Governments of Ethiopia and Mauritius, trainings on Competition Law are being organised, details of which are provided hereunder.

Training workshop on ‘Competition Policy and Law’, end March-early April 2007, for select government officials, requested by the Ministry of Industry, SMEs, Commerce & Cooperatives, Government of Mauritius.

A 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 mid-June 2007.

Under the three-year project proposal submitted to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry (MoCI), CIRC would organise three trainings per year for 3 different levels of government officials, starting in August. The trainings would be organised for the three levels of government officials as under:
a) Directors/Deputy Secretaries;
b) Under Secretaries, Section Officers and Freshers
C) Joint Secretaries

An orientation workshop would be conducted in the month of July for all levels of government officials after the completion of the Diagnostic Need Assessment Survey.

CIRC is entering into an informal collaboration with IDFC to organise trainings on PPP. The PPP cell of the Indian Railways has shown interest in having CIRC conduct a basic introductory course on PPP for the Senior Officials - The Hows and Whys of PPP. Preliminary discussions have been held and an offer in collaboration with IDFC will be submitted soon.

Launching online diploma courses to test the market is also an activity which would be taken up as per SBP’s recommendations

Certification of courses is also on the agenda and would be done as per SBP’s recommendations

The tentative calendar is annexed at
Annexure 1.

Annexure 1

Sr. No.
Event
Time
Venue
 

1.

ALS.07

April, 07

Mumbai

2.

CPS.06

April, 2007

Mauritius

3.

CPS.08

June, 2007

Addis Ababa

4.

Orientation Workshop for MoC

July, 2007

New Delhi

  • Competition Policy & Law Seminar (CPS)

  • Regulatory Policy Seminar (RPS)

  • Commercial Diplomacy Seminar (CDS)

  • Academic Lecture Series (ALS)

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