Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee
11th January, 2013, Mumbai
Defining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate
conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable
responsible business/ Responsible Business)is a form of corporate
self regulation integrated into a business model CSR policy functions as a
built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and
ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards,
and international norms. CSR is a process with the aim to embrace
responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact
through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees,
communities, stakeholders, and all other members of the public sphere
who may also be considered as stakeholders.
Corporate India: Drivers of Economic
The Indian economy has gained a lot from the
role that corporates have been playing. In
recent years they have become:
 Key drivers of economic growth;
 Delivery mechanisms for change;
 Agents of innovation.
Indian corporate houses today are pervasive
and have tremendous reach cutting across
geographies, ethnicities, culture, languages
Already a Track Record for Corporates
in CSR
There are many outstanding examples of corporate
CSR activity;
Indian entrepreneurs and business enterprises have
a long tradition of working within the values that
have defined our nation’s character for millennia;
Indian businesses have engaged in philanthropic and
charitable activities even from pre-colonial days;
However, in recent times, organizations in India have
shown both innovation and business acumen in
taking up CSR initiatives and integrating them into
their business processes.
Development-Centric Agenda for
Indian CSR
Our CSR Agenda should be ours. What we do in CSR
should have a strong Indian orientation and we must
use our CSR initiatives to address our particular
Social, Economic and Environmental challenges;
Quite clearly the challenges of the nation should not
and cannot be borne by government alone;
Mitigation strategies will have to include businesses
with their resources which can be channeled into a
diverse array of programmes to address these
problems and to bring about a sustainable future for
Synergy among Corporates
There are a large variety of activities/programmes
to which corporates may direct their energies and
indeed many corporates have developed a great
deal of momentum in areas of their choice;
However, these efforts are largely individual;
 There should be a greater synergy among
corporates to address some areas unitedly, for a
greater impact - otherwise resources would be
spread too thin for tangible outcomes to emerge;
Combined efforts will lead to results that will be
both demonstrable and measurable.
The Purpose of Inclusion of CSR in the
Companies Bill
The CSR provisions of the Bill seek to create
an enabling environment;
They will allow corporates to harness and
channelise their core competencies as well as
develop effective business models;
They will promote and facilitate far better
The Purpose of Inclusion of CSR in the
Companies Bill {Contd.}
They will facilitate deeper thought and longer
term strategies for addressing some of our
most persistent social, economic and
environmental problems;
They will assist in synergizing partnerships
between Corporates, Governments and Civil
Society Organizations.
Catalytic Role of the Bill
The Bill also provides great flexibility to
business and industry for strategising and
conducting their CSR initiatives;
Intention of government and purpose of bill
is not to make a rigid structure which will
constrain the creativity and imagination of
the corporates;
It will actually enhance their efforts, provide
an even broader platform and re-energize
their efforts.
Possible CSR Activities (Schedule VII)
 Schedule VII of The Companies Bill draws attention to
an illustrative list of activities that can be carried out
under the CSR Agenda;
 It could be worthwhile to concentrate our energies on
some aspects of development where tangible results
can be achieved within a relatively short period of
 Some of these areas could be:
 Toilet and Sanitation Facilities
particularly for girls;
 Education Projects;
 Provision of Health Facilities;
 Combating Malnutrition;
 Skill Development.
Project Mode
Since the Bill contemplates measurability in rupee
terms, corporates may well adopt the Project Mode
to execute their Corporate Social Responsibility
programmes. This would involve:
 Specific Allocation of Financial Resources;
 Baseline Survey;
 Project Preparation;
 Corporate CSR Plan;
 Project Monitoring;
 Impact Assessment;
 Third Party Evaluation.
National Foundation for Corporate
Social Responsibility (NFCSR)
 Although there is a growing consciousness in the
area of CSR among the Indian companies, there is
a need to bring all the actors together so that they
can collaborate to make a significant impact
towards the national goal of inclusive growth and
The NFCSR has been established at the IICA to
help create a national platform for the corporate
sector to work in partnership with the
Government, Non-Governmental, Civil Society and
local community organizations.
National Foundation for Corporate
Social Responsibility (NFCSR) {Contd.}
Would be a global gateway and would provide the
following services to corporates in the field of CSR in a
single-window mode:
Knowledge and informational services;
Assistance for formulating CSR projects;
Impact Assessment and Social Audit of CSR projects;
Preparing a cadre of Certified CSR Professionals;
Training and capacity building;
Rating of CSR performance and recognition through
 Maintaining a Database of good practices;
 Research, including action research.