Regulatory reforms are gaining pace in the developing world, with an increasing number of countries enacting competition and sectoral regulatory laws. For example, the Indian Competition Act, 2002 and regulatory laws covering electricity, fuel, ports, airports, telecom & broadcasting, established a completely new set of rules unfamiliar to most companies doing business in India and to the regulatory staff themselves and stakeholders.
These have called for professionals in the field with relevant knowledge and good understanding of competition and regulatory affairs with practical knowledge. There is a severe shortage of institutional capacity to both implement the reforms and facilitate the spread of knowledge on regulatory matters in developing countries.
Current efforts are largely piece-meal and fragmented. Adequate emphasis is not given on learning from cross-sectoral and cross-country experiences. There is a clear gap in terms of research and its utilisation in course curriculum. Even the approach taken by the existing training programmes is not as broad based, as it should be. With this backdrop, CUTS has initiated the inception of the CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition (CIRC) in India, which aims to fill in the prevailing gaps and enhance knowledge on regulatory issues.
CUTS, THE PARENT BODY
Established in 1983, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) has built up a formidable reputation as a leading research, advocacy and networking group engaged with issues of international trade and development, competition, investment, economic regulation, human development and consumer protection. It has five overseas centres: three in Africa, one in the Geneva and one in Vietnam with staff strength of over 100 persons.
The aim is to offer educational and training programmes on the referred subjects, while maintaining international standards.
1. Facilitate research to enhance understanding and explore inter-disciplinary linkages among the identified subjects
2. Create and maintain a knowledge database
3. Offer consultancy services to governments, regulators, business, etc
Cater to specific needs by offering customised training programmes.
WHO IS IT MEANT FOR ?
It focuses on civil servants, staff of regulatory bodies, civil society organisations, researchers, professionals and business. Career aspirants are also amongst the target clients.
The Real thing: Local content in course curriculum (real life situations) will be the basis of the study material.
Quality Matters: Global quality standards and Inter-disciplinary approach will form the basis for all disciplines.
Widening Horizons: CIRC will employ a multi-stakeholder approach and in doing so aim to maintain a rich tapestry of resources both in terms of faculty and institutional affiliations.
CIRC CORE ACTIVITIES
CIRC offers a wide range of programs aimed at the existing scenario and will cater to the unmet demand of trained personnel in the following areas:
1. Economic Regulation
2. Competition Policy and Law
Lectures, case analysis, interaction with experts are being used as tools to provide strategic understanding, develop core skills and encourage in-depth knowledge of the dynamics involved. Online courses are being/ will be offered utilising techniques that will be relevant and adapted to the particular needs of recipients. In doing so the aim is to share knowledge, exchange experiences and build networks.
1. Certificate and Diploma Courses for students / practitioners in Competition Law and Economic Regulations
2. Training courses for practitioners are special features wherein modules are being crafted in specification to their needs and demand.
3. Conferences/Seminars/Workshops are the media through which the CIRC program are being promoted. Besides this and much more the Institute will extend professional expertise through Research Journals, Policy Briefs, etc.
4. CIRC will offer Consultancy services to regulatory bodies, governments and business for better markets.
THE CUTTING EDGE
Well-designed course modules with the help of the best faculties and experts available.
THE LEARNING NETWORK
While drawing from experiences of developing countries will be a unique feature of CIRC, the quality of educational and training programmes is at par with the developed countries. This is being achieved through association with renowned western universities/institutions in the identified subjects. The course curricula are being designed jointly by CIRC and the respective university/institute.
CIRC offers a practical focus on learning. The faculty on board explore the challenges involved in relation to real life experiences. Emphasis will be laid on the key issues, supported by research. Visiting fellows, both academics and practitioners, are available at the Institute for delivering lectures, offering expert views on course development, writing papers, developing training modules and conducting training programs. CIRC will eventually have a core faculty for teaching, research, and training assignments.