Centre for Regulatory Studies, Governence and Public Policy

Past Research Work

Sl. No. Title of the Research Project Project Details
1. Changing Role of Executive Magistrates in the districts of West Bengal The Centre, upon the directions of the State Government, initiated research on the functioning of EMs in the state, their role in matters of law and order, preventive action, police accountability and administration of prosecution mechanism. The Centre commenced this work with extensive doctrinal research on the subject; it later carried out an empirical study in the districts West Bengal: Bidhannagar in Kolkata, Kharagpur and Jhargram in Paschim Mednipore and Bolpur and Rampurhat in Birbhum to trace and study the trend on the “Changing Role of Executive Magistrate in the Districts of West Bengal” in terms of cases filed with the Sub-divisional EMs, calculation of time taken for disposal of cases, analysing trends from the collected case studies to find out the nature of complaints. The Centre concluded its study in October and submitted a Report on the findings in November 2016.
2.  Trend Analysis of Right to Information Applications in the Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats in the State of West Bengal Administrative Training Institute, Kolkata asked the Centre to conduct a study on the changing trends in RTI applications in the Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats of West Bengal. To draw inferences for the study and prepare an extensive report, data was collected from four sample districts of the state of West Bengal- Paschim Midnapore, Howrah, Dakshin Dinajpur and Nadia district (Kalyani subdivision). Appropriate tools were designed and used by the researchers of the Centre to collect data from the year 2005 to 2015 as to the number of applications filed under the Right to Information Act, 2005, nature of applications filed, number of applications responded to within 30 days, number of appeals filed with the First Appellate Authority or Second Appellate Authority, number of trainings conducted, number of awareness campaigns held and the designation of the officials who acted as Public Information Officers at the Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samitis. The Centre submitted the final report of its first independent project in January, 2017.
3. Revamping the Preventive Provisions of the Bengal Excise Act  The Excise Commissioner, West Bengal requested the Centre to do a study on the topic titled ‘Comparative Analysis of the Provisions Envisaged under the BE Act, 1909 Regarding Preventive Aspects with that of Other States’ Excise Laws, and Suggestive Measures to Revamp the BE Act in Light of such Comparison’. The Centre readily agreed to conduct such work and jointly decided to formulate a work plan following which the Excise Directorate asked the Centre (among other things) to (a) make a comparative study of the features of the Bengal Excise (BE) Act mainly focusing on the interpretation and preventive parts of the Act (b) undertake an empirical study in some of the Excise districts with a view to assess the reality regarding disposal of alamats. The Centre made a comparative study of various states’ Excise laws and also interacted with all relevant stakeholders involved in the process of enforcement of Excise laws in the state of West Bengal. It also conducted an empirical research to ascertain the reality regarding disposal of alamats of pending cases. The primary aim of both the doctrinal and empirical work was to know the factors that are plaguing prosecution under the preventive provisions of the BE Act. The work commenced in June 2017 and ended in early February 2018. The findings, both normative and empirical, were incorporated in a Report, which was submitted to the Excise Directorate in late February, 2018. In line with the findings, the Report suggested the replacement of the BE Act with West Bengal Excise Act, 2018, which was appended in Annexure A of the Report.