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“From Act to Action’’

The second National CSR Summit was organised by the Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) and National HRD Network (NHRDN) on 24th & 25th July at Hilton Hotel, Mumbai. The Summit was attended by a melange of around 150 participants, thought leaders, practitioners from the Industry, Government Agencies, Civil Society organisations, and academia.

Since April 2014, the Corporate Sector in India has embarked upon CSR planning and implementation within the purview of Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013. The Summit was a platform for companies to share their experience of CSR planning and implementation within the current financial year, cut across the key components of the stipulated framework, highlighting critical role played by the Civil Society Organisations engaged in CSR project implementation, impact analysis etc

Dr. H. Chaturvedi, the Summit Director and Director BIMTECH while giving an overview of the Summit, raised significant aspect of capacity building of diverse stakeholders to plan, implement, evaluate and comply with such a huge mandate, where an estimated Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 crores are likely to be spent by 8,500 companies falling within the ambit of this law. He further emphasised that the future success of mandatory CSR will depend on imaginative, meaningful and sustainable alliances between stakeholders viz. Corporates, CSR Foundations, NGOs, Government agencies and regulatory bodies etc.

The inaugural session commenced with the welcome address of Mr Kamal Singh, Director General, NHRDN. The keynote address in this session was delivered by Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, IICA, while the special address was by Mr K.Ramkumar, Executive Director, ICICI Foundation. Ms Lalitha Kumarmangalam, Chairperson, National Commission for Women delivered the inaugural address.

The diverse range of organisations represented at the Summit included ICICI Bank Limited, Royal Bank of Scotland, HUL, ITC, Essar Foundation, Wockhardt Foundation, Yes Bank Foundation, TERI, MSME and others. Four cutting edge Case Studies (from Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Schneider Electric, Infosys BPO) were brought centre stage during the Summit, selected from a diverse pool of cases presented by seventeen companies before a distinguished Jury a day prior to the Summit.

An esteemed panel of resource speakers from an array of organisations dwelt on the prerequisites of project and program mode for implementing CSR activities, shared their insights on effective CSR partnerships, integral role of implementing agencies in effective delivery of CSR activities, challenges with measuring the success and impact of CSR programs.

The Summit brought to the fore learnings from the sphere of CSR implementation, cutting across need assessment, identification of beneficiaries, identification of implementing agencies and their requisite capacity building. The outcomes brought into perspective, the indispensible role of collaborative partnerships between companies and implementation agencies like NGOs, CSOs, Foundations, Trusts or Section 8 Companies.

Glimpses from the Summit are given below: