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Sudha Mahalingam’s book Independent Energy Regulation in a Developing Economy, co-authored with Kapilan Mahalingam, parses select landmark disputes in India’s electricity and petroleum sectors with a view to highlighting the differing perspectives of stakeholders on key provisions of the regulatory statutes. The legal disputes examined by the book include the three mega power projects collectively known as Mundra projects promoted by Adani, Tata and Essar, as well as disputes relating to other big projects promoted by Hinduja, L&T, GAIL etc.
The issues addressed in the book focus on sanctity of contracts and interpretation of contracts in a liberalised economy. The study points out how the quintessential Indian response of ‘jugaad’ to address the ills of India’s beleaguered power sector has led to much sparking between the stakeholders and is in danger of a devastating conflagration.
The session will begin with a talk by Sudha Mahalingam followed by a discussion with Vedamoorthy Namasivayam. An audience Q&A will follow.
Dr. Sudha Mahalingam, energy economist with over 35 years of professional experience across oil, gas and electricity industries is author of book titled Independent Energy Regulation in a Developing Economy written during her tenure as Dr. Raja Ramanna Chair Professor at NIAS from 2019-22 and co- authored with Kapilan, her son and a doctoral student of economics.
Sudha was full-time member of India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board from 2017-22, energy member of National Security Advisory Board, international trainer of regulators and was visiting fellow at Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University where she co-authored a book on energy. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Delft University in The Netherlands, has been a Nehru Fellow at Teenmurti, and an award-winning scholar of strategic studies. Sudha has also contributed chapters to several books on energy, published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written opinion pieces on energy in all major newspapers and lectures regularly at prestigious institutions.
Sudha’s areas of interest encompass the geopolitical, economic, environmental and regulatory dimensions of all forms of energy including oil, gas, electricity from nuclear, hydro, gas and coal. She holds a Ph.D in Economics of Regulation from University of Technology, Sydney, and an LLB Degree from Delhi University. Sudha’s other interests include travel writing and photography. Penguin Random House published her travel book titled The Travel Gods Must be Crazy and IGNCA, her coffee table book titled Mustang, Mystique of a Mountain Kingdom, both in 2019.
Vedamoorthy Namasivayam is currently a member of the Kerala State Planning Board. Namasivayam has over 37 years of consulting experience of which over two decades have been spent on leading several large, complex multi-year reform engagements in various sectors and more specifically in electricity. He was Deloitte India’s Energy and Resources Industry and Government Sector Leader until his retirement in March 2017. He was a member of the Deloitte Board and Consulting Leadership team.
Before joining Deloitte, Namasivayam was part of the Indian leadership team of PwC and led its Government Reforms and Infrastructure Development Service Unit and Energy, Utility Mining Industries. He was a member of the PwC India leadership team and member of global E R and Government councils. His work experience spans India, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. His in-depth experience in Institutional Strengthening, Capacity Building, Change Management and Reform Implementation has provided a unique understanding of policy requirements for the Indian context. His widespread experience with Indian public and private domain as well as with Regulatory Commissions and various Governments helps to understand the perspectives of different stakeholders.
Namasivayam obtained his MS in Industrial Management from IIT Madras and his post graduate in Social Sciences from Madras University.