The Securities and Exchange Board of India has a three-tier structure consisting of the Board Members, the Executive Directors, and the operational departments.

Board of Members

The SEBI Board comprises of a Chairman and Members appointed by the central government. Currently, the Board includes:

  • Chairman – Shri Madhabi Puri Buch
  • Two Whole-time Members
  • Three Part-time Members

The Chairman provides leadership for achieving SEBI’s mandate. Whole-time Members oversee specific operational aspects like corporate finance, legal affairs etc. Part-time Members represent various fields like accountancy, law, finance, economics etc.

Executive Directors

The SEBI Chairman is assisted by several Executive Directors (EDs) appointed through merit-based selection. EDs head various operational departments in SEBI.

Some key ED positions include:

  • ED – Integrated Surveillance Department
  • ED – Investment Management Department
  • ED- General, Corporate Finance Department
  • ED – Market Regulation Department
  • ED – Market Intermediaries Regulation & Supervision Department
  • ED – Enforcement Department

Operational Departments

SEBI carries out its regulatory responsibilities through five core operational departments:

1. Integrated Surveillance Department

  • Monitoring trading activities
  • Identifying market manipulations
  • Conducting investigations

2. Corporation Finance Department

  • Registering & regulating intermediaries
  • Developing disclosure standards
  • Overseeing corporate takeovers

3. Investment Management Department

  • Registration and regulation of mutual funds
  • Framework for collective investment schemes

4. Enforcement Department

  • Insider trading cases
  • Violations of SEBI Act, Rules, Regulations etc.

5. Market Regulation Department

  • Regulations for stock brokers, sub-brokers
  • Monitoring stock exchanges, clearing corporations

Additionally, SEBI has departments for Legal Affairs, Economic & Policy Analysis, Office of Investor Assistance & Education etc.

Powers and Functions of SEBI

SEBI draws its authority from the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992. This empowers SEBI to regulate the capital markets and protect investors.

Here are some of the key powers and functions of SEBI:

Regulatory Powers

  • Drafting regulations for the securities market
  • Approving byelaws of stock exchanges
  • Registering and regulating market intermediaries
  • Levying fees on market participants
  • Conducting investigations against market manipulations
  • Imposing penalties on defaulters

Developmental Functions

  • Promoting investor education and training intermediaries
  • Conducting research and publishing studies on securities market
  • Advising the government on major policy matters
  • Facilitating the growth of securities markets
  • Encouraging self-regulatory organizations
  • Supporting infrastructure institutions like depositories, clearing houses etc.

Registration Authority

  • Registering stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, bankers to an issue, trustees of trust deeds, registrars to an issue, merchant bankers, underwriters, portfolio managers, investment advisers and such other intermediaries who may be associated with securities markets in any manner.
  • Registering and regulating the working of stock exchanges, brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, trustees, registrars and various market intermediaries.
  • Promoting and regulating self-regulatory organizations including stock exchanges.

Regulatory Authority

  • Prohibiting fraudulent and unfair trade practices relating to the securities market.
  • Promoting fair practices by intermediaries like merchant bankers, brokers, share transfer agents etc.
  • Calling for information, undertaking inspection, conducting inquiries and audits of stock exchanges, intermediaries and self-regulatory organizations.
  • Levying various kinds of fees on different market participants.

Enforcement Powers

  • Imposing penalties and fines for violations of securities laws.
  • Initiation of prosecution under the securities laws and SEBI Act.
  • Attaching assets or bank accounts for recovery of penalties.
  • Seeking imprisonment for offenses under securities regulations.
  • Settling administrative and civil proceedings.

Investigative Powers

  • Summoning and examining any person associated with the securities market.
  • Appointing auditors or investigating authorities to inquire into the books of accounts or affairs of intermediaries.
  • Calling upon any intermediary or issuer to furnish information, books of accounts, records etc.

This wide array of powers enables SEBI to effectively regulate and police the capital markets.

Achievements and Impact of SEBI

Over the past three decades, SEBI has played a pivotal role in reforming and modernizing the Indian securities markets. Its key achievements include:

Strong Regulatory Framework

  • Implemented robust regulations covering all intermediaries and market segments.
  • Standardized disclosure requirements for issuer companies.
  • Strict corporate governance and investor protection norms.
  • Comprehensive guidelines on insider trading, mergers & acquisitions, buybacks, delistings, takeovers etc.

Market Infrastructure Reforms

  • Automated screen-based trading systems for transparency and efficiency.
  • Dematerialized trading and settlement through depositories.
  • Robust clearing and settlement mechanisms.
  • Electronic book-building for IPOs.

Investor-centric Initiatives

  • SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES) for grievance redressal.
  • Nationwide investor education programs on capital market functioning.
  • Simplified KYC and onboarding processes.
  • INDIA VIX volatility index for assessing expected market volatility.

Policing the Markets

  • Surveillance systems like alerts, reports, analytics for tracking abnormal activities.
  • Investigations into cases like insider trading, market manipulation.
  • Stringent enforcement actions including bans, monetary penalties, prosecution etc.

Reforms in Commodities Markets

With the merger of the Commodities Market Regulator FMC in 2015, SEBI has undertaken major reforms including:

  • New rules and products for commodity derivatives trading.
  • Allowing new participants like Mutual Funds, Portfolio Managers.
  • Increased transparency through disclosures, reporting.
  • Stringent penalties for manipulations.
  • Improved governance systems and risk management.

International Cooperation

  • Memoranda of Understanding with global regulators for information sharing.
  • Secretariat of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
  • Actively assists other regulators especially in South Asia.

Supporting Market Growth

As a result of SEBI’s progressive regulations and initiatives, the Indian securities markets have grown exponentially in the 1990s and 2000s.

  • Market capitalization of BSE Sensex has grown from INR 598 billion (1990) to over INR 210 trillion (2022).
  • Trading volumes have expanded enormously. Average daily turnover on NSE increased from INR 0.5 billion (1990s) to over INR 630 billion (2022).
  • The IPO markets have boomed with billions raised through first-time issues.
  • Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) flows have surged with simplified registration norms.
  • The commodities derivatives markets have grown rapidly with SEBI’s robust framework.

Thus, SEBI has played a pivotal role in transforming the Indian capital markets and protecting the interests of investors. Its robust regulatory oversight has instilled global confidence among foreign investors and companies.

Moving forward, SEBI aims to further deepen regulations around emerging areas like mutual funds, collective investment schemes, REITs, InvITs, municipal bonds, startup funding etc. It also aims to further leverage technology and encourage financial inclusion. With the Indian markets poised for rapid growth in the coming decade, SEBI’s progressive regulations will continue to steer their development.


The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the watchdog of the capital markets in India. Over the past three decades, it has been at the forefront of financial reforms that have transformed the securities markets.

SEBI’s robust regulatory framework benchmarks global standards for safeguarding investors, maintaining efficient markets and mitigating systemic risks. Its wide-ranging powers enable decisive regulatory oversight and strong enforcement actions against violations.

Through progressive regulations, infrastructural reforms and investor-friendly initiatives, SEBI has instilled tremendous confidence among investors and intermediaries. This has catalyzed exponential growth in market capitalization, trading volumes, foreign investment flows and fund raising activity.

As one of the most powerful and autonomous regulators globally, SEBI continues to steer the development of India’s capital markets. Its emphasis on governance, transparency and market integrity will further deepen the markets, usher more retail participation and channel growing savings into productive investments. SEBI’s critical regulatory role will continue to be pivotal in powering India’s future growth story.