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FORE-ICC India Corporate Governance & Sustainability Summit

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Corporate governance and sustainability are integral part of business operations now. The organizations must comply with these norms to balance and ensure the interests of the stakeholders. As part of corporation’s relationship with the stakeholders, the framework of rules and practices which the board decides must ensure accountability, fairness and transparency. In future, the businesses are expected to become more transparent, accountable and sustainable to survive in the global volatile markets which means the businesses have to become more vigilant.
Despite other economies virtually going through recession, India remains positive from the global investor perspective. The principles of corporate governance and sustainability in India are gradually being incorporated by businesses in the last two decades. It may be understood that the business environment in India is significantly different to that of the western countries.

With 1.27 billion population, India needs to grow rapidly for the next two decades to be able to meet the demands of its citizens. The government has been working to make India a business friendly destination, for attracting investors from across the world to be part of India’s growth story. Make in India is a campaign to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) to various sectors urging them to manufacture in India where proper governance and sustainability will play a large role.

If these campaigns provide a major boost to the manufacturing sector to grow at a rate of 14-15 percent, it is expected that the Indian GDP will grow at 8-9 percent. However, only 10 percent of the manufacturing sector is essentially on a sustainability framework. Not only sustainability, corporate governance of these manufacturing firms is also crucial to improve the present situation.

In order to understand the various facets of corporate governance particularly in the matter of implementing them and also the efforts that are required to overcome the challenges and be successful in the area of good governance and sustainability, Indian Chamber of Commerce organized its 8th edition of India Corporate Governance and Sustainability Vision Summit on 22nd February 2018 at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi.

The prestigious summit and the awards over the years, have provided the right platform to organizations for effectively showcasing their corporate governance practices.

The Award was conferred to those organizations which have shown exemplary performance in the area of Corporate Governance and Sustainability.

 

Mr Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India and Mr Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India will be attending the Award session. Other eminent dignitaries attending the award ceremony were Mr Anil Razdan, Former Power Secretary, Government of India & Chairman, ICC National Expert Committee on Energy,  Dr Jitendra K Das, Director, FORE School of Management  and Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Bibek Debroy, Hon’ble member, NITI Aayog, Government of India. He in his inaugural address said that India will change only when the citizen of India change. Government of India does not exit in isolation. The government brought in changes like in smart city mission where the citizens of the city interpreted their smartness. No government can work without the citizens of the country. Government has brought in changes like subsidy in LPG, Swachh Bharat etc but unless we judiciously do our duties nothing is possible. Sustainable Development goal has too many targets and indicators. However, there is a cost to protect the environment. He said that percapita income of India is USD 1700 whereas per capita income of US in 1870 wa USD 3000.So getting prices right and property right is an issue. He also spoke about environment protection act. But at the end he repeated that inorder to make India a better place to live in the people of the country has to come forward and help the government and create an example to the rest of the world.

Mr Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India, shared his experience as coal secretary few years back and now secretary as school education and literacy. He also shared the experiences of his visits to schools of interior villages and districts . In one of the schools in remote Maharastra where there is no access to electricity but the will of the teacher made the school digital . This initiative also helped to raise funds for the digital equipments also.This model has been adopted by 60000 schools across states and raised RS 328 crores for the purpose. Solutions are available in the country , it is important to understand it.He also quoted the example of Akshay Patra who supply midday meal to schools. Their reach has increased from 1.5 million children to 3.0 million children. He said that education is the beautiful way to contribute in the society .

Mr Anil Razdan , Former Power Secretary, Government of India & Chairman, ICC National Expert Committee on Energy said that the way urbanization is taking place it is important to  think the environmental issues attached to the over use of resources due to the urbanization. The dilemma of sustainable development lies in the challenges for economic growth and development that are directly linked to the immense risk of climate change.

Water management is very important nowadays as the underground water level is diminishing .Likeway it is important to take into consideration the air quality.Air quality is deteriorating day by day and industry must take care of this.

Regarding corporate governance, India had not paid adequate importance however, things are changing now.There is a need  to build transperancy in the system where board of management has to share details to the shareholders and vice versa.

Dr Jitendra K Das, Director, FORE School of Management spoke about global perspective of corporate governance, Paris agreement where he said that world population increased 9 times and gross world production increased 208 times over the years. In this huge demanding environment, the environment is getting polluted. India is in growing stage and it will grow in manifolds in future. It is important to know how to cope up with the growing demand and increasing pollution. It is assumed that the vision of the government that may lead to the sustainable development goal.He also said that Corporate law  exist in our country where 2 % of the profit is manadatory to be contributed to the social sector. Businesses also must contribute to a considerable extent so that bottom billion people be taken care of .

The Awards was given by the Dignitaries present at the summit. There were 4 categories of awards. In sustainability performance Shree cement and Yes Bank were the joint winners, in sustainability reporting Birla Carbon and Yes Bank were joint the winners, in water stewardship Tamil Nadu Newsprint won the first prize and Vizag steel won the second prize and the last category in Corporate Governance awards Tata Metaliks won the first prize and WAPCOS Ltd got the second prize.

There was also   a release of ICC – E & Y knowledge report by the Dignitaries and other speakers present on the dais.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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