Competition Law and Policy
It is now conventional wisdom in most countries of the world that competition has a key role to play in ensuring productive, efficient, innovative and responsive markets. Competitive forces drive firms to innovate, to develop more efficient production, processes and to adjust their products in response to changing consumer demand. Policies to stimulate competition are a key driver for improving the micro and macroeconomic performance of an economy.
It is recognized more than ever before that the consumers are ensured availability of 'goods' and 'services' in abundance of acceptable quality at affordable price. Competition law and policy also result in equity among producers and reduce rent seeking behavior on their part. It is this imperative which has persuaded the countries to either enact new law or to modernize their existing competition law. This is amply proved by the fact that the number of countries having a Modern Competition Law has risen from 35 in 1995 to around 100 as on date.
In line with the international trend and to cope with changing realities, India has reviewed the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 and has enacted the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act) with many innovative features w.e.f.14.1.03. The Act seeks to repeal the M.R.T.P. Act and to dissolve the M.R.T.P. Commission from the date it is notified as such by the Central Govt. Such a notification is yet to be issued by the Central Government.
In exercise of the power conferred under Section 7(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, the Central Government has established the Competition Commission of India with effect from 14th October, 2003. The Commission has since launched its website namely: www.competition-commission-india.nic.in and the details regarding Commission's jurisdiction, powers and its present activities can be had there from.
The duties of Competition Commission of India, inter alia, include competition advocacy, creating awareness and imparting training on competition issues. The Commission feels that in order to create greater awareness of competition law and competition issues, it is important that the Competition Act, 2002 and the role of the Competition Commission of India should form part of the syllabus of faculties/schools of management, law and other relevant institutes. This would also enable the students to take up professional practice in the field of competition law and policy. Besides, its knowledge will be helpful in dealing with various issues coming up for their consideration in discharge of duties at their place of work.
It will be relevant to mention that the M.R.T.P. Act has been a part of syllabus since long for law, management and allied courses including that imparted by professional institutes.
As a part of its statutory duty to create awareness and to build strong competition culture in the country, the Competition Commission of India has already taken up the matter with over 144 universities and several professional and management institutes to incorporate the Competition Act as a part of syllabus in their various undergraduate and post-graduate courses. The Commission has also set up Competition Commission Advisory Committee on Academic Curriculum which in its 1st meeting inter alia, decided to step up its work in this direction. The Commission has also evolved a model course curriculum (available on the Commission's web-site under the menu 'Advocacy') on Competition Law & Policy which, inter alia, incorporates the contents of the course, the details of suggested readings/references, information relating to library and sites, form of teaching and assessment. The revised course curriculum suitable for different disciplines will be put on the web-site as soon as these are finalized.