Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Mumbai | Tuljapur | Guwahati | Hyderabad

Regulation is increasingly seen as a vital mode of governance. Economic liberalization of developing countries has ushered in a new era of re-regulation that goes beyond the conventional narrative of deregulation. The global database of agencification of regulatory governance shows the deep sectoral penetration of autonomous regulatory agencies in the governance of public services.

In India, the re-regulation era is witnessed in the post-1991 economic liberalization. Several prominent regulatory agencies such as the Electricity Regulatory Commissions (1999-2003), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (1999), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (1997), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (2003), Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (2006), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (2008), Competition Commission of India (2009), Warehousing Development And Regulatory Authority (2010), Real Estate Regulatory Authority (2016) are established in India in this period and several are proposed.

This regulatory agencification has extended beyond economic sectors and has also penetrated social and environmental sectors. At the sub-national level also, regulatory governance is transforming through specialized authorities, like the water regulatory authorities in different states. The extensive use of regulatory routes to address public problems along with the widespread agencification brings several opportunities and challenges in developing countries facing a severe democratic deficit and intense distributional politics. It was felt imperative to respond to this challenge through academic research and capacity building. With this intent, the Center for Regulatory Policy and Governance (CRPG) was established at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The CRPG aims at developing relevant research and imparting training that focuses on socially sensitive and environmentally informed regulatory frameworks. The Centre faculty members contribute extensively in providing regulatory analysis and knowledge inputs to state and national-level governance agencies. The members have conducted training for professionals from various government agencies such as the Indian Audit and Accounts Services, Forum of Indian Regulators, and Water Resources Department.

Drawing upon the professional practice-oriented work and the academic research of existing and past faculty members, the Center has been running a two-year master’s program titled “MA/ MSc in Regulatory Policy and Governance” since 2013.  It is a multi-disciplinary and practice-oriented program aimed at developing a cadre of professionals who are socially responsible, environmentally conscious, and aware of politics in the evolving field of regulatory governance in India by taking on board critical social dimensions such as equity, environment, and sustainability concerns. The program is designed to offer the theoretical and perspective discourse on regulation as well as the research and practice-oriented analytical methods that involve cutting-edge modelling tools. The students are also provided with an in-depth introduction to regulation in various sectors through a system of introductory and elective courses on sectoral regulation. The current blend of sectors includes electricity, water, microfinance, and food safety regulation.

The Master’s program is open to students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds ranging from economics, engineering, law, public policy, public administration, management, finance, political science, social work, pharmaceuticals, health, and biotechnology, to name a few. The program continues to attract freshers and young professionals from diverse disciplines to develop careers in public policy and regulatory governance. Many of the alumni work in professional organizations such as regulatory agencies, development and policy consultants, policy think tanks, and NGOs.

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