SEBI: Overview, History, Objectives, Financial Markets, Powers, Functions, Organisational, Structure, Mutual Funds Guidelines and More

SEBI 2024:- SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is a vital institution in India’s financial market. Acting as a guardian, SEBI supervises and manages the functioning of the securities market to ensure investor protection, fairness, and transparency. Essentially, it safeguards investors’ interests. Imagine being in a large marketplace where people buy and sell various goods and services, such as fruits, clothes, bonds, and stocks. This setting resembles the stock market, where individuals exchange bonds and stocks.

While understanding every market isn’t necessary, being aware of key ones can be beneficial. For example, there are two primary stock markets often used by regular investors: the “primary market” and the “secondary market.” In the primary market, businesses sell newly issued shares to investors. Conversely, the secondary market is where previously issued equities are traded, bought, and sold between investors.

SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is an autonomous organization operating under the administrative supervision of the Union Finance Ministry and accountable to the Parliament. This is a significant topic for the IAS Exam. This article will discuss the functions and structural organization of SEBI. Candidates can also download the notes PDF at the end of this article.

SEBI Overview

Established on 12th April 1992 under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, SEBI aims to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote and regulate the securities market. Owned by the Government of India and headquartered in Mumbai, SEBI has four regional offices located in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata. Initially formed in 1988 as a non-statutory body for regulating the securities market, SEBI acquired statutory status on 30th January 1992.

SEBI Overview

SEBI full formSecurities And Exchange Board of India
Year of formation1988
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra
SEBI ChairmanMs. Madhabi Puri Buch

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History of SEBI

Before SEBI, the securities market in India was fragmented and disorganized. Various government bodies attempted to regulate it, but the absence of a central authority led to confusion and numerous problems. In 2014, significant changes occurred when the Indian government granted SEBI more authority. This empowered SEBI to conduct searches for evidence and impose penalties on those who engaged in market fraud. This marked a crucial step towards creating a fairer and safer market environment.

Today, SEBI acts as a guardian of the Indian securities market, ensuring that everyone adheres to the rules. Like a referee in a game, SEBI steps in to prevent cheating or market manipulation, maintaining order and fairness. SEBI’s role is vital in fostering investor confidence. When people invest, they seek assurance that the market is fair and transparent. SEBI’s regulations ensure that companies and traders act honestly, building trust in the market and encouraging more people to invest.

Over the years, SEBI has earned international acclaim for its regulatory work. It is regarded as a model regulator, demonstrating to other countries how to effectively oversee their markets. SEBI’s rules and enforcement actions have strengthened the Indian securities market, making it more reliable. In summary, SEBI’s history is a narrative of progress. From a market rife with uncertainties to a well-regulated and trustworthy space, SEBI has made significant strides. As it continues to evolve and adapt, it will keep safeguarding investors’ interests and ensuring the integrity of the Indian securities market.

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What is SEBI?

SEBI, or the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is a statutory regulatory body established by the Government of India in 1992. Its primary role is to protect the interests of investors in securities and regulate the securities market. SEBI also oversees the functioning of the stock market and mutual funds.

Objectives of SEBI

  • Regulate the Indian Capital Market: Ensure the smooth functioning of the securities market.
  • Safeguard Investors’ Interests: Monitor and regulate the market to protect investors.
  • Create a Safe Investment Environment: Implement rules, regulations, and guidelines for investment.
  • Prevent Malpractices: Combat fraudulent activities in the stock market.
  • Ensure Transparency and Fairness: Promote integrity in securities transactions.
  • Promote Investor Education: Enhance awareness and understanding among investors.
  • Support Economic Growth: Facilitate the development of the securities market.

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What is the Financial Market?

The term “market” refers to platforms where buyers and sellers meet to trade assets and funds. Well-known markets include:

  • Stock Market: Where stocks are bought and sold.
  • Bond Market: Where bonds are traded.
  • Foreign Currency Market: Where foreign currencies are exchanged.

A market ensures fair pricing by balancing buy and sell orders, facilitating ongoing transactions. With globalization, markets have become interconnected, with exchanges competing to attract participants.

Key Components

  • Fund Settlement Systems: Handle the receipt and payment of funds.
  • Securities Settlement Systems: Manage the delivery and preservation of securities.
  • Clearing Institutions: Process transactions involving derivatives and securities.
  • Trade Information Stores: Collect and disseminate transaction data for derivative trades.

Financial market infrastructure ensures the stability and efficiency of the financial system by processing transactions, clearing, settling, and recordkeeping.

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What is IR Service?

Investor Relations (IR) services provide investors with crucial financial information, helping them make informed investment decisions. Many companies enhance their IR efforts by maintaining dedicated web pages with up-to-date information about their financial health and performance.

Organizational Structure of SEBI

SEBI’s structure is corporate, with various levels of leadership and departments overseeing its functions.

Board of Directors

  • Chairman: Appointed by the Indian Union Government.
  • Two Members: From the Union Finance Ministry.
  • One Member: From the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Five Members: Appointed by the Union Government of India.

Senior Management

Department Heads

  • Supervise individual departments.


  • Information Technology Department
  • Foreign Portfolio Investors and Custodians
  • Office of International Affairs
  • National Institute of Securities Market
  • Investment Management Department
  • Commodity and Derivative Market Regulation Department
  • Human Resource Department

Additional departments manage legal, financial, and enforcement-related affairs, ensuring effective governance and oversight.

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Functions and Powers of SEBI


  • Protect Investors: Safeguard the interests of Indian investors in the securities market.
  • Promote Market Development: Ensure efficient functioning of the securities market.
  • Regulate Business Operations: Oversee various market participants.
  • Educate Investors: Enhance knowledge about securities markets.
  • Prevent Malpractices: Prohibit fraudulent and unfair trade practices.
  • Monitor Takeovers: Oversee company takeovers and acquisitions.


  • Adjudicate Fraud Cases: Pass judgments on market fraud and unethical practices.
  • Ensure Market Transparency: Facilitate accountability and fairness.
  • Inspect Accounts: Examine books and documents to gather evidence against violations.
  • Formulate Regulations: Develop rules to protect investor interests.
  • Eliminate Malpractices: Formulate rules to combat market abuses.

SEBI is supervised by the Supreme Court of India and the Securities Appellate Tribunal, ensuring accountability and fairness in its regulatory actions.

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Mutual Funds Guidelines of SEBI

Outlined in the Securities and Exchange Board of India Regulations, 1996, SEBI’s guidelines ensure transparency and accountability in managing mutual funds in India.

Key Guidelines:

  • Registration: Mutual funds must register under the Trusts Act, 1882, and with the RBI if dealing with the money market.
  • Asset Management Companies (AMC): Must be SEBI-approved and monitored by trustees.
  • Regulations: Set limits on shareholding, board representation, sectoral index weights, trading frequency, and investment in liquid assets.

These guidelines ensure mutual funds operate within a framework prioritizing investor interests, transparency, and market stability.

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Understanding Financial Data and IR Services

IR sites provide extensive information essential for investors, including financial performance and business impact on society. They must be user-friendly, frequently updated, and designed to prevent confusion.

Types of Investors

  • Individual Investors: Participate independently in various investment strategies.
  • Institutional Investors: Large-scale investors like government financial institutions and private companies.
  • International Investors: Foreign institutional and private investors with a significant market presence.

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SEBI’s robust framework ensures a fair, transparent, and efficient securities market in India. By regulating market participants, promoting investor education, and enforcing strict guidelines, SEBI upholds the integrity and stability of the financial market, fostering trust and confidence among investors.


What is SEBI?

SEBI, or the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is an autonomous organization established to regulate and oversee the securities market in India, ensuring investor protection, market transparency, and fair trading practices.

What are the main objectives of SEBI?

Regulate the Indian Capital Market Safeguard Investors' Interests Create a Safe Investment Environment Prevent Malpractices Ensure Transparency and Fairness Promote Investor Education Support Economic Growth

When was SEBI established?

SEBI was established on April 12, 1992, under the SEBI Act, 1992. Initially formed as a non-statutory body in 1988, it gained statutory status on January 30, 1992.

What is the structure of SEBI?

SEBI's structure includes a Board of Directors with a Chairman appointed by the Indian government, members from the Union Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and additional members appointed by the government. It also has senior management overseeing various departments such as IT, foreign portfolio investors, international affairs, investment management, and more.

What are the functions of SEBI?

Protecting Investors Promoting Market Development Regulating Business Operations Educating Investors Preventing Fraudulent Practices Monitoring Takeovers

What is the financial market?

The financial market is an infrastructure that facilitates the clearing, settlement, and recording of financial transactions involving funds, assets, and contracts. It includes fund settlement systems, securities settlement systems, clearing houses, and trade information stores.

What is an IR service?

Investor Relations (IR) services provide investors with crucial financial information to make informed investment decisions. These services often include dedicated web pages with up-to-date financial data and performance metrics.

Who are individual investors?

Individual investors are private individuals who invest in the market independently, employing various strategies such as day trading or long-term investments.

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