The National CSR Network (NCN), an initiative of Strategic CSR Alliance, which comprises a panel of professionals from industry to assist companies in India to fulfill their CSR quotient and facilitate implementation of social and environmental development projects, organized its first Skills CSR Conclave in the heart of the capital at SCOPE complex, Lodhi road, New Delhi. An MOU was signed with FORE School – a premier business management school of Delhi, to promote skill development activities in the Skills CSR Conclave.
Education and skill development are fast emerging as the preferred choice for CSR initiatives in India. As per the recent trends, it was found that many corporates have integrated their business goals with CSR and there’s a strategic contribution to capacity building and community development through partnering with training partners, NGOs, and other organizations. At present, the capacity of skill development in India is around 3.1 million persons per year. India has the target of creating 500 million skilled workers by 2022. Thus, there is a need for increased capacity and capability of skill development programs.
Talking on the assessment of Social Impact under CSR and on what model or methodology to adopt in order to evaluate outcomes, Dr. Jitendra K Das, Director at FORE School of Management, New Delhi said, “While it is easy to monitor the funding, the outflow and the expenses of the budget allocated to the project, it often becomes complex when an effort towards measuring the desired outcomes are made. More so when it comes to the understanding of skill improvement intervention and of mapping it to Social Benefit vs Social Cost. Several aspects can be assessed starting from the level of difficulty of the training program to opportunities involved post the skill development program. Measuring intended impacts and also unintended impacts.”
Chairman, Skill CSR Conclave; Chairman, NCN Forum on Rural Infrastructure & Sustainability & Chief Information Officer & Head CSR Hero MotoCorp Limited, Mr. Vijay Sethi, presented the some of the challenges faced in the process of Skill Development initiatives and assessments.
Mr. Vijay Rai, President – Delhi & NCR Chapter and Managing Director – APAC & EMEA Markets, Saviour US Inc. spoke about the ‘oneness’ of the ecosystem and the role to be played by – Individuals, Society and Industry as stakeholders to co-create a planet where every creature can co-exist comfortably and happily. He said, “India ranks 122 out of 155 in the Happiness Index which essentially means that India is one of the saddest nations in the world. In the World Development Index India ranks 131 out of 188 nations and lowest among the BRIC nations. These data indicate that as a nation we have to improve the quality of life and we need to be happy by productively getting engaged in the process of development, everybody should have food, clothing, shelter thus taking care of overall health and well-being. This can be achieved by developing skill sets at different levels. Industry and business is a partner in the progress of the country. The industry is what we call the ‘engine’ of the society and business being an instrument to create that social growth, social equity and social balance in the country where CSR should be seen less as compliance, more of a responsibility, by organization. Business exists because society exists.”
Also present in the panel was Mr. Rajiv Kapoor, Chairman, NCN Forum on Skill Development & Executive Director – Group HRM UNO Minda Group; Mr. R K Srinivas, Joint Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Govt. of India; Mr. Deepak Bharara, Member NCN Experts Committee and Director, International Consulting Professionals among others. The event was largely attended by participants from industry, academia, and NGOs.
Ms. Prakriti Khar, who attended the event and manages Corporate Partnership at the NGO – Save the Children®, expressed her gratitude towards the fact that corporate bodies have been coming forward in more numbers as agents of change and have started taking active participation to facilitate and provide support to the underprivileged children and stand up for their rights.
The NCN is set up with a vision to empower corporates/companies in adopting Meaningful Social Development. The Network provides companies a platform to share and learn best practices in various fields. The services of the Network are based on the individual needs and capabilities of each company. NCN’s services strictly comply with the Government of India’s CSR policy and legislation. The tie-up with FORE School will enable NCN to promote, monitor and evaluate the skill development initiatives undertaken.