Importance of Professionals in Corporate Social Responsibility – Fiinovation

The advent of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India opened new avenues for employment for people belonging to the social development sector. The mandate under the Companies Act, 2013 made it a more focused area for the businesses which might look at CSR in a strategic manner. Hence, the effectiveness of CSR initiatives lies in the hands of CSR professionals who are well versed about the concept and can utilize the initiatives for benefiting the organization.

It has been observed that in most of the businesses, there is still no CSR department, rather it’s the Human Resource department or the senior management which takes care of such initiatives, that too because of mandatory compliance. When called to enquire regarding the CSR department, most of the times the calls are answered by the HR and not by the CSR committee members. This brings us to the question that, are the businesses really serious about giving back to the society or considers CSR as a tick-box exercise?

The presence of CSR professionals in the organization is definitely an indicator of the seriousness of the initiatives. There are several benefits attached to having a CSR professional within the organization. Not only it provides chances to improve the social return on investment, but also improves the communication of CSR initiatives to the stakeholders. As a brand, businesses look to increase their consumer base and market outreach. CSR definitely provides an opportunity to boost the brand value, and the CSR professionals do play a significant role in devising implementation strategies.

Globally, leading CSR professionals have moved one step ahead and are looking not just to initiate ‘give back’ projects, rather incorporate the concept of being a responsible organization across the value chain. They help the corporate communications department to put a number on the value that has been created through the CSR initiatives. It is always recommended to not to give the job of handling the CSR manager position to someone in the HR or any other department, so that there can be a complete analysis on the social return on investment.

With increasing competition among the businesses, CSR could be an innovative mechanism to differentiate a brand from its competitors. The increase in effectiveness of the CSR programmes due to the presence of CSR professionals is definitely a motivating factor for the socially responsible investors. It is also due to the increasing demand of CSR professionals in the businesses and business foundations that several b-schools have started offering degrees in CSR. It is expected that in the years to come, the businesses which doesn’t have CSR professionals will look to recruit them to optimize their social return on investments. Hence, for a CSR professional the future seems to be bright in terms of employment opportunities, but their definitely will be more pressure on them with greater responsibility towards the organization and society at large.

 

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

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India Celebrates – The 68th Republic Day

The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950 and the day is marked as the Republic Day which gave power to the people from the hands of a few. It was in 1930 on January 26th when the most powerful political entity in India, the Indian National Congress declared ‘Purna Swaraj’ opposing the Dominion status offered by the British, suggesting another importance of selecting the date as Republic Day.

The day’s highlight has always been the celebrations at Rajpath before the President of India. The Republic Day Parade in Delhi showcases the nation’s Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage. The celebrations goes on for a period of 3 days and ends with the Beating Retreat conducted on the evening of 29th January.

Being a high profile event, a lot of thought goes into choosing the Chief Guest for the Republic Day Parade. The first Republic Day Parade in 1950 was attended by the Indonesian President followed by the King of Nepal in 1951. In the past two years of the present government, the former US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande were invited with a motive to have the best possible ties with the western powers. This year, the chief guest for the Republic Day is Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of UAE. Last year, French troops marched along with the Indian troops in the Republic Day Parade. This time troops from UAE are expected to lead the Parade. Clearly, the focus have shifted towards India’s neighbourhood, especially the Gulf region. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which has been spoken about in 2015 will materialise this time with major focus on joint defence production.

With such high profile guests including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at the venue, Delhi is likely to be under ground-to-air security cover with more than 60000 armed personnel keeping a tight vigil. From anti-drone technology to prevention from chemical attacks, the national capital region is expected to be on high alert with Delhi borders being sealed and cars entering being thoroughly checked.

The Republic Day Parade will showcase aerial fly-past by the Indian Air Force with Light Combat Aircraft making its debut in the Parade. The Indian Navy will highlight the indigenously built Kolkata class destroyer along with Kalvari class next generation attack submarines. Audience will also be witness to tableaux from 17 states and union territories and 6 Union Ministries. There will be tribute to Lokmanya Tilak on his 160th birth anniversary with the ‘Swaraj Rath’, other than promotional tableaux of Skill India, Digital India and Beti Bachao Beti Padao which the pet schemes of the central government.

As citizens, the Republic Day enables us to re-think on the lines of our founding fathers who wanted to make this country a sovereign, secular and democratic republic. It is a day to be proud of ourselves who have given each other the constitution by having solemnly resolved our differences and pledging to secure all the citizens of Justice, Liberty Equality and Fraternity. The day reconfirms our faith on the fact that all the power emanates from the people and the political system will always be accountable and responsible to the people of the great country.

Swaraj is everyones birthright, and everyone must have it.

Happy Republic Day

By Rahul Choudhury

Fiinovation Observes – International Volunteer Day

Across the globe, several initiatives are being implemented to solve prevalent issues of the society. The International Volunteer Day or International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development provides an opportunity for volunteers (both individuals as well as institutions) to contribute at local, national and international levels towards achievement of the socio-economic and environmental goals.

The day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through a resolution on 17th December, 1985. Every year on 5th December, the day provides opportunities to volunteers for causes such as eradication of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, degradation of the environment, discrimination against women, etc. Over the years, the International Volunteers Day has been utilised strategically by governments and corporations to encourage volunteerism aligning them with the Millennium Development Goals.

Fiinovation, with its vast experience in social development initiatives, has been encouraging corporations to urge their employees to volunteer for social causes. Although, cost involved in volunteerism doesn’t fall under the CSR rules in India, yet it is definitely a positive process to engage with the local communities. It is observed that volunteers around the world work tirelessly to craft a better future for everyone, especially during crisis situations. On this day, Fiinovation acknowledges the efforts of more than 6700 UN volunteers, 12,000 UN online volunteers and 1 billion community volunteers for their selfless contribution in the upliftment of society.

Understanding the prevalent crisis situations such as in the middle-east, Africa and other parts of the world, volunteers have risen up and provided shelter and requisite support to millions of refugees who have been forced to flee from their homes. The floods in Haiti and malaria outbreak in Sri Lanka are examples in the recent months where volunteering has helped in saving thousands of lives. “Founded on the values of solidarity and mutual trust, volunteerism transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries. By giving their time and skills without expecting any material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular sense of purpose,” was the message from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. In his message he pressed on the need to lend a hand and applauded volunteers for their commitment towards building a peaceful, prosperous and a dignified future for all.

Fiinovation believes that the role of volunteers will be crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Therefore, let us all increase the awareness of voluntary contributions, thereby motivating more people from different walks of life to offer their services as volunteers.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

Fiinovation Observes – The Day for the Specially-Abled

Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings.” – Simone Weil

The specially-abled people form the world’s largest minority group with more than 1 billion people or approximately 15 per cent of the 7.4 billion world population having some form of disability. Out of them more than 100 million are children who are likely to experience four times more violence than non-disabled children. Nearly, 80 per cent of the specially-abled live in the developing nations. India, which will soon become the world’s most populous country, is home to more than 27 million specially-abled people.

Fiinovation, being a leading organisation in the social development sector understands that disability is a condition or function which usually leads to poorer health, lower education achievements and fewer economic opportunities. They face lot of difficulties due to lack of services, opportunities and discrimination. In wake of this, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the year 1981, as the International Year of Disabled Persons. Further, the UNGA proclaimed 1983-1992 as the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons calling for an action plan at international, national and regional levels.

The observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities started in the year 1992, promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilizing support for the dignity, rights and welfare of the differently-able people. Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which has been ratified by 153 countries and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights.

This year, the theme is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to build a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities. With its experience in the social development sector, Fiinovation strongly feels that achieving the 17 goals requires full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities.

The abilities of persons with disabilities cannot be undermined as in the case of Rio Para-Olympics, where the Indian team performed outstandingly, bringing medals and honour for the country. This day provides an opportunity for everyone to salute them and other specially-abled people who despite all the difficulties continue to inspire world with their contributions. Therefore, Fiinovation urges all governments, businesses and other stakeholders to intensify efforts for ending discriminations that prevent persons with disabilities from exercising their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Let’s together build a better world.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

BLOOD DONATION EQUALS SAVING LIVES

A report by Times Of India reveals that currently India boasting the population of 1.2 billion face the annual blood shortage of 3 million units which causes millions of deaths. The report highlights that since the shelf-life of donated blood is around 35-42 days only, hence, there is a constant need of replenishing the stocks in blood banks of the country.

As per Anju Verma, Chief Medical Officer, Rotary Blood Bank, blood shortage problem can be easily addressed if only 2 percent of Indians start donating blood because one percent of eligible donors are currently donating. Fiinovation also feels that since the donors lie between the wide age group of 18-65 years and our country has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35, the chances of larger number of healthy donors becomes high.

As per the 2012 WHO report, only 9 million units of blood are collected in India annually wherein there is a need for 12 million units. The Delhi/NCR region alone faces an annual shortage of 10,000 units per year causing deaths and affecting lives. Deaths caused due to shortage of blood is also one of the reasons of declining health index of the country.

As per the available statistics, every year India registers around 234 million major operations, 63 million trauma-induced surgeries, 31 million cancer-related procedures, disorder cases like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and haemophilia, 10 million cases related to pregnancy complications and the emergency cases of accidents, viral fevers like chikungunya, dengue etc. requiring blood transfusions and blood platelets. As per WHO, the developing countries have high rate of maternal and newborn mortality rates from which around 31 percent of these deaths are caused due to blood loss.

The issue of blood shortage is due to the lack of Voluntary Blood Donors (VBD) and has been on rise in states such as West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh and Gujarat as the majority of the blood donors are either family VBD or replacement blood donors. Fiinovation feels that to improve the situation, the awareness campaigns regarding the importance of VBD should be spread to ensure sustainable blood supply in such states.

Another issue echoed by health experts is the deficiency of blood during an emergency case and in such cases one has to rely on professional donors who are regular donors and it is a risky situation since they may be non-available due to health conditions or any other situations. Hence the situation demands to conduct blood donation campaigns raising awareness as well as voluntarily contribute towards the noble cause and support the government in improving the health condition of the country.

Understanding the gravity of the matter that every two seconds someone needs blood, Fiinovation has been contributing towards this noble cause by organizing blood donation campaign inviting volunteers from the nearby areas to donate blood. This year too, Fiinovation has tied up with AIIMS as its official blood bank partner to ensure they can help in saving few lives and also urges corporates to conduct such activities in their premises spreading awareness about the importance of blood donation.

Fiinovation also urges the corporations to conduct blood donation camps as a part of their CSR initiatives and also establish blood banks in rural areas.

By – Manisha Bhatia

Media & Communications – Fiinovation

Join the Fiinovation 4th Annual Blood Donation Camp 2016.

Join the event here – Fiinovation Annual Blood Donation Camp

For any query call us at 011-42332200 or mail us at media@fiinovation.co.in

Delhi Budget 2016 – The Key Highlights

The Delhi government presented the Budget for the year 2016-17 on 28th March, 2016 keeping in mind the interests of the middle class. The Deputy CM Manish Sisodia who holds the finance portfolio kept the annual budget at Rs 46,000 crore while the Plan outlay was pegged at Rs 20,600 crore. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd highlights some of the key points of the budget presentation.

1. Value Added Tax (VAT) rates were slashed from 12.5 percent to 5 percent on certain commodities.

2. Major boost to e-rickshaws, battery operated vehicles, hybrid vehicles as they became cheaper. This is in line with the national agenda of becoming the first country to have electric vehicles for all by 2030. Subsidies for e-rickshaws has been increased from Rs 15000 crore to Rs 30000 crore for last mile connectivity and to keep a check on the rising pollution levels.

3. No reduction in dining and drinking taxation rates, however eatables such as sweets, snacks and savoury items will be cheaper.

4. Last year timber became cheaper and this year the focus was on Marbles.

5. Good news for shopaholics as all ready made garments became cheaper.

6. In order to eliminate tax evasion, Bill Banao Inam Pao scheme is being promoted that has already collected 1 crore extra tax last month.

7. Beautification of Delhi on the cards as soon Gazipur and Dhaula Kuan will be beautified to give a different view of Delhi.

8. Rs 100 crore has been allocated for delivering basic amenities to the Jhuggi Bastis.

9. By 2017, every household will have access to cleaned water. Proposal for making pipeline in 300 unauthorised colonies in 2016-17 for Rs 676 crore.

10. 90% of the Delhities are getting billed halved, Rs 1600 crore has been set aside to continue this process.

11. Promoting work participation of women, 3 new hostels will be opened.

12. Rs 118 crore more revenue has been collected as people are using Delhi Jal Board meters. Despite providing 20000 litres of free water per month, the Delhi Jal Board profits went up by 178 crore.

13. All roads, in every colony to be constructed by next year.

14. Focusing on higher education and skill development with 5500 new appointments and 9623 new posts for teachers have been approved. Rs 152 crore has been provided to realise the skill training dream of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Educational Budget of Rs 10690 crore which is 23% of the entire budget is the highest among all state governments.

15. All medicines and checkups free in Delhi hospitals for all. 10000 new beds to drastically reduce the waiting time of the patients.

16. 8.4% of the budget, Rs 1735 crore allocated towards Transport sector to promote public transportation helping the common man commute easily.

17. All DTC and cluster buses to have WiFi, GPS and CCTVs and there will be deployment of 4000 marshals in DTC buses.

18. Vaccum cleaning of roads to reduce pollution levels in the city.

19. 2000 new cluster buses and non AC buses to reduce traffic of Delhi metro.

20. Proposal to include cycle lanes along both sides of the outer ring road of Delhi.

21. New ISBT to come up in Dwarka

22. Budgetary allocation of Rs 763 crore for Delhi metro and 517 more metro buses on 93 routes.

23. Elevated roads coming from Anand Vihar to Peeragarhi that will become a game changer for commuters.

24. Proposal for addition of 1000 new cluster buses and 1000 new premium buses in financial year 2016-17.

25. Providing healthcare at doorsteps through Mohalla clinics as part of the 3-tier healthcare system. Polyclinics in 2nd tier and hospitals in 1st tier. For the first time healthcare expenditure reached the double digit mark. Digital health cards for all.

26. The Delhi government soon plans to launch Aam Aadmi Canteen in tune with Amma Canteens of the Tamil Nadu government for migrant workers.

27. The contribution of Delhi to the national GDP is 4.02% and the per capita income increased by 11% which is 3% higher than the national average. The per capita income in the next financial year will go upto Rs 2,80,142.

With these steps the Delhi government plans to provide better amenities, ensure ease of doing business, provide free healthcare, promote education and improve public transportation. Let’s hope the budget brings relief for the middle class and improve the standard of living of the people below the poverty line.

By – Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

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