CSR is now a very common term and most of the corporate houses are trying to give something to help less privileged human beings in India and abroad.
India is a country of diversity. On the one hand, it has grown to be one of the largest economies in the world, and an increasingly important player in the emerging global order, on the other hand, it is still home to the largest number of people living in absolute poverty (even if the proportion of poor people has decreased) and the largest number of undernourished children. What emerges is a picture of uneven distribution of the benefits of growth which many believe, is the root cause of social unrest.
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India is the first nation in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 in April 2014. Businesses in India can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger as part of any CSR compliance, as regulated by the law.
Companies too have been the target of those perturbed by this uneven development and as a result, their contributions to society are under severe scrutiny. With increasing awareness of this gap between the haves and the have-nots, this scrutiny will only increase over time and societal expectations will be on the rise.
Many companies have been quick to sense this development, and have responded proactively while others have done so only when pushed.
Governments of India as well as regulators have responded to this unrest and the National Voluntary Guidelines for Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business or the NVGs (accompanied by the Business Responsibility Reports mandated by the SEBI for the top 100 companies) and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) clause within the Companies Act, 2013 are two such instances of the steps taken.
According to Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, a minimum of 6,000 Indian companies will be required to undertake CSR projects in order to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 with many companies undertaking these initiatives for the first time. Further, some estimates indicate that CSR commitments from companies can amount to as much as Rs. 20,000 crore.
This combination of regulatory as well as societal pressure has meant that companies have to pursue their CSR activities more professionally. India CSR Network attempts to bring together good practices of companies and grant-making foundations so as to assist companies pursue their CSR activities effectively, while remaining aligned with the requirements of the Companies Act, 2013.
India CSR Network is working towards better of CSR in India by building a common understanding of the concept of CSR, based on global practices, Indian tradition, and the intent and provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
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