NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Urges India Inc to Focus on Nutrition and Innovation

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New Delhi/Noida, November 21, 2019: Expressing satisfaction over the progress of Corporate Social Responsibility in the past five years, the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog,
Dr Rajiv Kumar urged Indic Inc to do a 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, Corporate CSR should focus more at 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 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, Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel Training, Srinivas Katikithala, expressed his happiness over being associated with the National CSR Network (NCN) for 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 a greater impact of CSR projects.”

On the occasion, World Bank Group, Lead Tertiary Education Specialist, 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 way 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,” Marmolejo said, while sharing his views from a global perspective.

The one-day conclave organised by the National CSR Network (NCN), with the objective to take a critical view of the five-year journey of mandatory CSR, gauge the impact of the programme in the past five years and prepares a roadmap for a future course.

Speaking on the occasion, 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 synthesise the efforts of Corporate CSR Wings, NGOs, and the Government, in order to leapfrog on the development route,” Singh said.

P Dwarakanath, Chairman, GSK & Chairman Advisory Council, National CSR Network, emphasised 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 the need of the hour to review processes, utilise networks and identify areas where Corporate can contribute and give back to society.

NIIT – JMD, P Rajendran, applauded the government in redefining the scope of two per cent 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 that the major benefits of National CSR Network platform are to measure the impact of interventions undertaken for meaningful Social Development.  He said, “It is also helping organisations come together, learn new and next age best practices to implement at their respective workplaces. The outcome of the last three years is quite encouraging, and National CSR Network is working as a bridge to help Corporate/NGO/ Government organisations 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.