Monday, November 23, 2015

BIS #45613 MAKING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY WORK

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, NOV 23, 2015: Professionals from the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and several corporates, at a seminar held at Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL) on November 20, stressed that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) would help India deal with the shortfall in skilled workforce.  

 

The joint seminar entitled 'Making CSR Work – What does a Company need to know?' was organised by Don Bosco Institute of Technology and IICA in Kurla. It drew participants from several industries that needed to comply with the CSR law - which was implemented in 2013 - as well as several NGOs, eager to understand the law and how to facilitate the companies to fulfil their responsibilities in this regard.

 

In 2013, the Companies Act mandated all companies with a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crores, a turnover of Rs 1,000 crores, and a net profit of at least Rs 5 crores, to spend at least 2% of their profits on CSR.

 

The Act led companies to focus on skill development since it offers them a chance to create sustainable impact while increasing their core technical expertise. Investment in skill development enables access to skilled resources in the industry and also provides for long-term business value to the corporations and the industry on a whole. 

 

Nikhil Pant, Chief Program Executive, NFCSR, IICA and a host of eminent speakers from KPMG, Voltas, M&M, Bajaj and Dasra addressed the gathering about the various facets of the law and its intent. The key takeaways from the seminar were that, corporates needed to see CSR as not just an expenditure outside the purview of their regular business, but rather as a way to increase goodwill and thereby help business as a whole.

 

It was also stressed, at the meeting, that the Bombay Stock Exchange and IICA had recently signed an agreement to collaborate on developing a CSR index to assess impact and performance of companies listed on the BSE in CSR activities. 

 

The speakers added that according to CSR, the outcome and impact are more important than just activities. NGO's were informed that IICA has instituted a screening process by which NGOs will be identified as being professional implementing agencies. This is to help corporates identify suitable NGOs.

 

Participants were informed that through different compendiums, that IICA has identified gaps for CSR expenditure and that corporates should not view CSR and Sustainability separately.

 

A report published by IICA in October, this year, stated that millions of young adults are graduating every year in India, but less than three percent of the workforce is equipped with the skills to do a job. A skill gap analysis conducted by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2014 reported a requirement of 109.73 million skilled workers by 2022 across 24 key sectors. It estimated that a mere 4.69 percent of the total workforce in India had undergone formal skill training of any sort compared to 68 percent in the UK and 75 percent in Germany.

 

DBCL, Vidyavihar is doing its part in dealing with the issue and announced that it would partner IICA for conducting a nine-month long certification program in CSR. The course is online and Don Bosco Centre for Learning will be the hub and partner.

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