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CSR Workshop on Scalable Best Practices: Learning from Each Other

Coal Bhawan, Kolkata

October 5th, 2018

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Department of Public Enterprise in association with Coal India Limited had organized a one-day workshop on CSR on the 5th October, 2018 at Coal Bhawan Kolkata. CSR Study Unit at IIT Bombay was the knowledge partner. The theme of the workshop was ‘Scalable Best Practices: Learning from Each other’. The workshop aimed at enabling the participating CPSE executives and other stakeholders to share their best practices and learn from each other. The workshop has presentations by CPSEs on their best CSR projects which could also be replicated by other CPSEs, implementing, agencies, and other stakeholders. Sh. Madhukar Gupta, Additional Secretary, DPE, Govt. of ndia, Prof. Satish B. Agnihotri, IIT Bombay, Sh. B.N. Mishra, Director, DPE, Binay Dayal, Director Technical, Coal India Limited, Prof. Bakul Rao, IIT Bombay, and A. K. Pandey, General Manager, CSR, Coal India Limited were present at the event. 

Additional Secretary, DPE made a presentation on  current scenario, opportunities, concerns and challenges of CSR in India. He stated that CSR projects should strongly contribute towards upliftment of deprived and also ensure inclusive growth. He also stated that the CSR funds could compliment flagship programs of Government of India like Skill India, Make in India, Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, Clean Ganga etc. He shed light on concerns in implementing CSR, like inadequate transparency in the selection of agencies by CPSEs, reporting of CSR projects, meetings on the company’s website, maximising selection of projects especially for ‘poorest of the poor’ and ‘Aam Aadmi’ in most remote regions. Mentioning this,he cleared that corporate distributing their own products under CSR not allowed under Schedule VII. While explaining the challenges, he said that the company should understand the import, intent, and purpose of the Companies Act, 2013 and Schedule VII and execute the projects within its limits. He emphasised on the identification of innovative, sustainable and scalable CSR projects. He also urged PSUs to develop a ‘social vision’ in addition to the vision for ‘economic growth’ of the country. 

Prof. Satish Agnihotri, in-charge of the DPE-IITB CSR Study Unit, delivered a presentation to elaborate the concept of the workshop and highlight certain concerns regarding the trends of CSR activities of public sector enterprises (PSEs). His presentation established the need for documenting and sharing best practices while shedding light on the inadequacy of the CSR outlays in comparison with government programmes, the lag in data update, regional unevenness in the expenditure of companies and ambiguity surrounding the ‘Pan India’ projects. Concluding the concerns, the discussion about mandating regional equity in CSR expenditure through the policy was also made open to the participants in the dialogue. The case of ‘Thalassemia Project by CIL’ was presented to explain the expected format of presentation and urge the audience to share the difficulties faced by their organisation with regards to scaling up, designing of standard operating practices and safeguards. The DPE-IITB CSR Study Unit Newsletter for the April-June (2018) quarter was also released during his speech. Prof. Agnihotri also briefed the participants about the future plan of action of the study unit and its upcoming workshop on ‘Learnings from the field’ on 8th February 2019 at IIT Bombay.

Total 15 presentations were made by various PSEs to showcase their best CSR activities. Implementing agencies like TRIFED, TERI and Thalassemic’s India also presented the activities undertaken by them to explain their role in effective implementation of CSR projects for the underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the society.