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Rethinking Public Institutions in India$
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Devesh Kapur, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and Milan Vaishnav

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199474370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199474370.001.0001

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New Regulatory Institutions in Infrastructure

New Regulatory Institutions in Infrastructure

From De-politicization to Creative Politics

Chapter:
(p.225) 6 New Regulatory Institutions in Infrastructure
Source:
Rethinking Public Institutions in India
Author(s):

Navroz K. Dubash

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199474370.003.0007

This chapter examines the rise, design, and functioning of new infrastructure regulatory institutions in India, with particular attention to the process through which regulators are embedded in a local context. Regulatory performance is often benchmarked against an effort to insulate decision making from undue political influence by delegating powers to technocratic agencies. By this benchmark, regulators have been relatively unsuccessful. But conceptualising the regulatory process as one to be re-made around technical rules is too simple; the Indian context requires regulators to constructively engage with negotiations that occur over regulatory decisions. For this reason, rather than atomistic agencies, “regulatory space” is a more appropriate construct through which to examine the regulatory process, with the judiciary and civil society as particularly important actors. From this broader perspective, regulatory outcomes are more diverse, particularly in their ability to create new spaces for creatively engaging politics.

Keywords:   regulation, regulatory agencies, judiciary, civil society, electricity, telecoms, petroleum and natural gas, coal

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