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Sebi issues guidelines for business continuity plan for market infra institution.

Sebi has come out with guidelines for business continuity plan and maintaining disaster recovery site for market infrastructure institutions, including clearing corporations. In June 2012, the watchdog prescribed framework for Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) for stock exchanges and depositories.

In a circular issued by SEBI it said that, with the advancement in technology and improved automation of processes in terms of transitioning time, wherein the operations can be moved from the Primary Data Centre (PDC) to the DRS, it was felt that the extant framework needs to be re-examined.

Now, the framework has been revised and would also be applicable for clearing corporations.

The circular further mentioned that, the stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories (collectively referred as Market Infrastructure Institutions) should have in place BCP and DRS so as to maintain data and transaction integrity.

To ensure zero data loss, stock exchanges and clearing corporations are required to have a Near Site in addition to DRS. The depositories should have to adopt a suitable mechanism. According to Sebi, the DRS should preferably be set up in different seismic zones and there should be a minimum distance of 500 kilometres between it and the DRS so that both the systems are not affected by the same disaster.

Additionally, the institutions are required to have Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of not more than 4 hours and 30 minutes, respectively.

Also, updates made at the PDC should be reflected at DRS/ Near Site immediately.

Disaster recovery drills should be conducted on a quarterly basis and include running all operations from DRS for at least one full trading day without any operational support from the staff based at PDC, the circular said.

Live trading sessions from DRS should be scheduled for at least two consecutive days in every six months on normal working days.

SEBI further mentioned that,the results and observations of these drills should be documented and placed before the governing board of stock exchanges/ clearing corporations/ depositories.

Subsequently, the same along with the comments of the governing board should be forwarded to Sebi within a month of the disaster recovery drill, Sebi said. The regulator has asked the institutions to define 'disaster' depending upon their line of business.

Stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories are advised to submit their revised BCP–DR (Disaster Recovery) policy to Sebi within 3 months, the circular said.