NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar urges India Inc to focus on nutrition and innovation as part of under CSR mandate

Policymakers, industry, researchers deliberated today over success and failures of mandatory CSR initiative during CSR Impact Conclave

Expressing satisfaction over the progress of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the past five years, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar today urged Indic Inc to do serious impact assessment of their CSR Initiatives.

Addressing India’s top policymakers, industrialists, corporate, NGOs at the ‘CSR Impact Conclave, Dr. Kumar said “India has excellent examples of CSR. Going forward the Corporate CSR should focus more on two additional areas like nutrition and innovation as a part of their CSR mandate.”

“I think corporate must find a way to ‘do well by doing good’. ‘Doing good’ must be integrated into business practices in line with Conscious Capitalism by making self-interest a very small part of our way of doing business. The gap between social good and corporate good should be studied.” Dr. Kumar said.

Dr. Kumar urged the National CSR Network to work with the NITI Aayog for an objective impact assessment of the five years of the CSR initiative.

Speaking at the Inaugural Session, Department of Personnel Training Additional Secretary Mr. Srinivas Katikithala expressed his happiness over being associated with the National CSR Network (NCN) for the last three years and its growth.

In his special address at the conclave, he said: “There is a need for collaboration and partnership between the government and industry for capacity building to achieve the greater impact of CSR projects”.

On the occasion, World Bank Group Lead Tertiary Education Specialist Mr. Francisco Marmolejo said India was one of the first few countries to establish a mandatory CSR regulation.

“At the conclave, we discussed lessons learned and ways forward. India is the place where you get answers to most of the problems the world is going to face. If India succeeds, so will the world. And if India fails, the world as well,” Mr. Marmolejo said while sharing his views from the global perspective.

The one-day conclave organized by the National CSR Network (NCN) at Max Towers in Noida with the objective to take a critical view of the five-year journey of mandatory CSR and to gauge the impact of the program in the past five years and to prepare the roadmap for a future course.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Mohini Daljeet Singh, Chairperson of the National CSR Network Forum on Elementary Education and Literacy and Trustee – Max India Foundation said the aim of the Conclave is to bring collective wisdom to the table and make an honest evaluation of CSR Impact for the purpose of improving methods and outcomes.

“Five years of mandated CSR has brought us to a point where we need to reflect on the journey so far and assess the impact achieved. The goal of this meeting is to chart a course for CSR over the next few years to synthesize the efforts of Corporate CSR Wings, NGOs, and the Government in order to leapfrog on the Development Route,” Ms. Singh said.

Mr. P Dwarakanath, Chairman, GSK & Chairman Advisory Council, National CSR Network emphasized that through CSR business contribute to economic development and improve quality of life; here industry has the potential to drive social change in our society. It is need of the hour to review our processes, utilize our networks and identify areas where we can contribute and give back to society.

NIIT JMD Mr. P Rajendran applauded the government in redefining the scope of 2% mandatory CSR contribution in the centrally funded and state-funded academic institutions, universities, and incubators, now firms can now send on institutions engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering, and medicine, which is aimed at promoting sustainable development goals.

Further ICPI Director Deepak Bharara highlighted the major benefit of the National CSR Network platform is to measure the impact of interventions undertaken for meaningful Social Development.  He said that “It is also helping the organization to come together & learn new & next age best practices to implement at their respective workplaces. The outcome of the last three years is quite encouraging &National CSR Network is working as the bridge to help Corporate/NGO/ Government Organization to serve the noble cause to reach out to people who need help to improve their quality of life.”

The conclave had two interactive panel discussions wherein industry sector experts deliberated on various aspects from Rural Infrastructure, Education, Skills Development, etc. and debated over the success and failures of mandatory CSR initiatives.