Energy Security: How Decision-Making Processes in India’s Energy Bureaucracy Shape India’s Energy Policy

Niharika Tagotra is a PhD scholar in international politics at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
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  • September 2018

    Energy security has evolved to become strategically important for countries, such that the domestic availability of energy resources, coupled with the national energy demand, as well as import and export dependencies on energy resources, have important implications for a country’s economic growth, human development and strategic autonomy. This is especially important for India, which is heavily dependent on imports to meet its domestic energy demand. In India, the fragmentary nature of the institutional apparatus of the energy sector serves to become one of the major limitations on the process of energy policy-making. It leads to competitive and clashing interests, overlapping areas of responsibility and ambiguous lines of command leading to unintended costs, delays and overall incoherence. This article studies the dynamics of energy policy-making in India by exploring the processes of decision-making in the energy sector. It examines the structural challenges linked to systemic conditions and institutional capacities, as well as the functional challenges linked to legislations, policies, politics and personalities in the area of policy-making in the energy sector by studying the roles of various institutions relevant to policy-making, as well as the processes of decision-making specific to given institutions in the energy sector.