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

SEBI: SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is a vital institution in India’s financial market. Its role as a watchdog involves overseeing and regulating the operations of the securities market to ensure investor protection, fairness, and transparency. By safeguarding investors’ interests, SEBI plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of India’s financial landscape. To comprehend the significance of SEBI’s function, envision a bustling marketplace where a variety of goods and services are bought and sold, including fruits, clothing, bonds, and stocks.

This marketplace closely mirrors the stock market, where individuals engage in the buying and selling of bonds and stocks. While it may not be necessary to understand every facet of the market, having knowledge about key components can prove advantageous. For instance, there are two primary stock markets commonly utilized by everyday investors: the “primary market” and the “secondary market.” In the primary market, companies issue new shares to investors. On the contrary, the secondary market is where previously issued equities are traded among investors.

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SEBI 2024

In addition to overseeing these markets, SEBI also plays a pivotal role in regulating other entities such as mutual funds and merchant bankers. By setting guidelines and enforcing regulations within the financial sector, SEBI contributes to fostering trust and stability within India’s investment environment. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is an independent organization that falls under the administrative oversight of the Union Finance Ministry and is answerable to Parliament. This is a crucial topic for the IAS Exam.

This piece will explore SEBI’s functions and structural framework. Aspirants can access the PDF notes at the conclusion of this article. Formed on April 12, 1992, under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, SEBI’s primary objectives are safeguarding investors’ interests in securities and overseeing the securities market. A government-owned entity based in Mumbai, SEBI has regional offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata. Initially established in 1988 as a non-statutory body for market regulation, SEBI attained statutory recognition on January 30, 1992.

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SEBI Details

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

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History of SEBI

Prior to the establishment of SEBI, the securities market in India was chaotic and disordered. Despite efforts by different government agencies to oversee it, the lack of a central governing body resulted in confusion and multiple issues. In 2014, a pivotal transformation took place as the Indian government enhanced SEBI’s powers. This enabled SEBI to carry out investigations and enforce sanctions against individuals involved in fraudulent activities in the market. This development signified a significant move towards establishing a more equitable and secure market landscape.

Today, SEBI plays a crucial role as a protector of the Indian securities market, overseeing compliance with regulations. Similar to a referee in a sports game, SEBI intervenes to deter fraud or manipulation, upholding integrity and equity. SEBI’s function is essential in bolstering investor trust, as individuals expect a level playing field and transparency when investing. Through its guidelines, SEBI promotes integrity among companies and traders, nurturing market confidence and enticing greater participation in investments.


SEBI has gained global recognition for its regulatory efforts over time, establishing itself as a role model for overseeing markets effectively. Its regulations and enforcement actions have enhanced the reliability of the Indian securities market, transforming it from a volatile environment to a secure and dependable space. SEBI’s journey reflects substantial progress, with ongoing commitment to protecting investors and upholding the integrity of the Indian securities market.

What is SEBI?

SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, was established by the Government of India in 1992 as a statutory regulatory body. Its mission is to safeguard the interests of investors in securities and supervise the securities market. SEBI plays a crucial role in overseeing the operations of both the stock market and mutual funds, ensuring transparency, accountability, and fairness. Additionally, SEBI is responsible for enforcing regulations to prevent malpractices such as insider trading and fraudulent activities within the financial markets. Through its regulatory framework and enforcement mechanisms, SEBI aims to foster investor confidence and maintain the integrity of India’s financial system.

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” pertains to platforms where buyers and sellers come together to exchange assets and funds. Common 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 maintains equitable pricing by managing buy and sell orders, enabling continuous transactions. Due to globalization, markets are now interconnected, with exchanges vying for 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 guarantees the stability and effectiveness of the financial system through transaction processing, clearing, settlement, and recordkeeping.

What is IR Service?

Investor Relations (IR) services offer essential financial information to investors, aiding them in making well-informed investment choices. Numerous companies improve their IR strategies by managing specialized web pages containing current details regarding their financial well-being and achievements.

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Organizational Structure of SEBI

SEBI has a corporate structure with different levels of leadership and departments supervising its operations.

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

  • Supervise the overall operations of SEBI.

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

Other departments oversee legal, financial, and enforcement matters to ensure governance and supervision are effective.

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 overseen by the Supreme Court of India and the Securities Appellate Tribunal to guarantee responsibility and impartiality in its regulatory activities.

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 websites offer comprehensive information crucial for investors, such as financial results and the business’s societal influence. These platforms need to be easy to navigate, regularly refreshed, and structured to avoid any ambiguity.

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.


SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) plays a crucial role in maintaining a fair, transparent, and efficient securities market in India through its robust regulatory framework. By overseeing market participants, encouraging investor education, and enforcing stringent guidelines, SEBI ensures the integrity and stability of the financial market. This fosters trust and confidence among investors, ultimately contributing to a healthy investment environment in India.

SEBI’s regulatory efforts extend beyond just monitoring transactions; the board also focuses on preventing market manipulation, insider trading, and fraudulent activities. Through continuous surveillance and enforcement actions, SEBI works to safeguard the interests of investors and maintain the credibility of the Indian securities market.

Moreover, SEBI’s initiatives in promoting corporate governance practices among listed companies help enhance transparency and accountability, further bolstering investor trust. By introducing regulations that emphasize disclosure norms and ethical business conduct, SEBI aims to create a level playing field for all market participants while protecting the rights of shareholders.  Overall, SEBI’s commitment to upholding market integrity and investor protection underscores its pivotal role in shaping India’s financial landscape and driving sustainable growth in the securities market.


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?

Ensure the protection of investors' interests, maintain a safe investment environment, prevent malpractices, promote transparency and fairness, enhance investor education, and support economic growth by regulating the Indian Capital Market.

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.

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