GUIDELINES FOR FUNDING FOR RESEARCH STUDIES ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Ministry of Corporate Affairs
(Research & Analysis Division)

GUIDELINES FOR FUNDING FOR RESEARCH STUDIES ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

1.1. The primary objective of the scheme viz.,“Funding for Research Studies on Corporate Governance” of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is to better utilise the repository of corporate sector data available with the Ministry under the MCA21 e-governance system, explore and expand the scope of utilization of MCA-21 Database, formulate research studies. This is to be done with a view to extract knowledge from data that will eventually generate actionable inputs for policy making and facilitate decision making for improvement of corporate governance in a market driven economy.

1.2. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs constituted an Expert Committee (EC) under the chairmanship of Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) to GoI with the mandate to identify areas/issues/ topics/subjects for research studies/research papers, newsletters by extensively utilizing MCA-21 Database; that outcome of the research to serve as actionable policy input for the Ministry/Government. This will also include conduct of Research studies by using the MCA’s database as well as other sources of research materials having implications for better corporate governance to faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.

1.3. The procedure for approving grant-in-aid, monetary ceilings, advances, instalments etc. would be as prescribed in the following paragraphs. Aspects not directly covered in these guidelines will be regulated by the provisions of the General Financial Rules of the Government of India.

2. Scope and areas for Research Studies:

2.1. The indicative list of subjects and areas for research are given below:-
(i) Integration of MCA 21 Database with other databases: Integration of MCA 21 database and databases of other departments and regulators will not only aid in avoidance of multiple filing requirements but also strengthen enforcement.
(ii) Data Characterization: An exhaustive coverage of name and definition of the data fields of various MCA forms may enable developing algorithms for periodic analysis.
(iii) Corporate Governance Index: Along with measuring companies’ performance on the Corporate Governance benchmark, such an index may offer solutions to identified shortcomings.
(iv) Network Analytics: An analysis of systemic differences in reporting in different branches of a network could be matched through analytics to identify the gaps.

(v) Related Party Transactions: Related Party Transactions lie at the heart of the triangle of money laundering, wilful default and tax evasion. These need to be studied to identify the gap.
(vi) Bankruptcy Prediction: Use of MCA 21 database to study financial statements of bankrupt firms to develop a model for prediction of probability bankruptcy in firms.
(vii) Use of AI tools and Machine learning: for analysis of topics like insolvency forecast, financial stress analysis in different sectors, etc.
(viii) Utilization of XBRL format: Use of XBRL data to study the data on the threshold with respect to coverage of information filed and quality of filings, etc.
(ix) Auditor’s role
(x) Accounting Standards and their monitoring: with respect to compliance by firms and their congruence with the global financial landscape.

Note: The list is merely indicative, not exhaustive and subjects for research may change as per the recommendation of the of EC in this regard.

2.2. It will also be considered for grant-in-aid under the guidelines to conduct further research studies based on outcome/results of a Research Study conducted, or otherwise, on the subjects, fulfilling the objectives.

2.3. The proposals for conducting Research Studies are referred to as ‘proposals’ hereinafter in these guidelines.

3. Eligibility

3.1. Institutions/Organisations/Agencies which are registered under the statute of the Central or State Governments such as Societies Act, Trust Act, Co-operatives Act, Companies Act, etc with normally three years research experience after registration or UGC approved academic/research institution engaged in research activities and fulfilling the following Expertise and Standing specifications will be eligible to apply for funding/ grant-in-aid under these guidelines:

(a) Specifications of Standing:
(i) Applicant (Institution/Organisation/Agency) must have distinctive merit and academic repute in the research domain.
(ii) Applicant (Institution/Organisation/Agency) must have been working in research/ survey projects in the past for at least three years preceding; and
(iii) Educational qualifications and research capabilities of the full-time professionals and technical human resources should commensurately reflect domain knowledge.

(b) Expertise, wherewithal and level of commitment: The Institution/Organisation/Agency must:
(i) possess expertise in designing research and statistical analysis for economic interpretation;
(ii) be equipped with hardware and tools for handling large-scale data; and
(iii) be able to dedicate experts/ professionals during the period of the research/survey project so as to ensure adequate levels of commitment and timeliness in delivery of the results.

3.2. Individual applicant not attached to/with any such Institution/Agency/Organisation and also applicants retired from the aforesaid Institution/Agency/Organisation and with proven levels of commitment and research expertise on the relevant subject will also be considered under the guidelines for funding/ grant-in-aid for research studies. However, the individual applicant shall engage himself/herself on a whole-time basis and shall not accept any other assignment during the period of study without the prior permission of the MCA. An undertaking to this effect and fulfilment of other terms of reference(agreement, bond, etc) as may be prescribed by the Government shall have to be executed in favour of the President of India.

3.2(i) Provided that the condition of whole-time engagement with a research project shall be of relevance only to applicants not attached to/ with any Institutions/Agency/organizations and also to applicants retired from such institution/Agency/Organisation.”

3.3. No organisation which has commercial interest in the proposal shall be considered for grant under these guidelines.

3.4. Breach of any condition contained in the sanction letter, or suppression of any material fact concerning the eligibility/ ineligibility of an applicant would render the defaulting party liable for being black-listed or debarred from receiving any grant under these guidelines for a period specified by the Expert Committee.

3.5. The Institution/Organization/Agency/Individual may publish the research work undertaken under the programme of “Funding for Research Studies on Corporate Governance” of the MCA provided specific mention should be in the publication about funding by the MCA, data access, guidance and advice rendered by the EC in shaping/finalysing the research report, etc.

  1. Other Conditions:
    (i) The timeline of the projects should be around 6 months. However, upon a request from the grantee instutition/individual, the MCA may consider/grant extension of time to complete the research report in a special circumstance, as recommended by the EC.

ii) The research studies should involve substantial use of MCA21 data. Also, all cleaned data files along with methodology adopted in cleaning the data would have to be shared with MCA in detail.
(ii) MCA21 data would need to be purchased from CDM Division of MCA.

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