As per Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013, CSR became a mandatory provision in India, with an estimated 8,500 companies getting on with planning and implementation within the purview of the new law since April 2014.
With this development, the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), a premiere agency under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India estimated a huge requirement of CSR professionals in the country. In order to bridge this gap, a nine months IICA Certificate Programme (ICP) in CSR was launched in October 2014 to prepare a cadre of skilled CSR professionals.
BIMTECH was identified and selected as one of the training partners amidst a group of 19 organisations/institutes selected from all over the country. Subsequently through a detailed selection process, two master trainers were selected from BIMTECH, responsible for training and mentoring the participants throughout the nine months course.
A batch of ten participants, comprising of senior executives from companies like BHEL, ONGC, HCL, other working professionals, researchers were allocated to the BIMTECH study centre for the course. The programme commenced on 23rd October 2014. The nine months stint was divided into three weeks of Corporate Attachment, three months of NGO attachment, contact classes at the study centre, virtual class sessions through online platform of Adobe Learning Management System (LMS) accompanied with online exams conducted at the BIMTECH centre after the completion of each module.
With an adequate focus on CSR theories, evolution, international frameworks, role of multiple stakeholders, the course was designed to expose the participants to practical aspects of CSR. A substantial focus of the course was on orienting the participants on the understanding of CSR in the Indian context. In the process developing their capacities in policy formulation, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation within the purview of the Companies Act 2013.
In order to get hands on experience and fair understanding of CSR management in sync with the new law, the participants were attached to companies like Tech Mahindra, BHEL, ONGC, HCL Foundation for a span of three weeks. The trainees were encouraged to apply the classroom learning on the field through attachment with distinguished civil society organizations like Sulabh International, ANK India, ONGC Foundation etc.
Each participant came out with two reports – corporate attachment report and NGO project report. During the corporate attachment, the participants got first hand exposure of drafting a CSR Strategy, formulating a CSR Policy and other issues being faced by CSR committee for effective CSR implementation. During an exhaustive NGO project work, the participants understood the grass-root reality and practical aspects of working with an implementation agency. They became a part of project team in live projects with NGOs to understand various aspects of project design and management.
The participants completed the course in June end. One of the participants from BIMTECH, Ms Surabhi Yadav has topped the batch across the country, secured Merit Position 1 with 87 percent marks, and was awarded the Certificate of Academic Excellence by IICA. These trained CSR professionals are now industry-ready to take the CSR agenda forward.