Why Healthcare Needs CSR Boost?

Despite being a major destination for medical tourism and the fastest growing economy, India’s progress in healthcare is slower not just by OECD standards but also as per the standards of the developing world. When compared with emerging economies and its neighbours, India faces a bigger disease burden.

Here are some of the facts which highlight the state of health care in India:

1. India has one of the highest disease burdens (20%) in the world.

2. More people die in India of preventable diseases than anywhere.

3. India still accounts for 27% of neonatal deaths, 23% of infant deaths and 23% of TB deaths in the world. Out of the total neonatal deaths, 35% are due to lack of nutrition.

4. Every fifth person in India suffers from a chronic disease and more than 6 out of 10 people die from non-communicable diseases.

5. Cancer cases in India are also likely to rise by 25 per cent by 2020 from 1.4 million to 1.7 million by 2020.

6. Disease burden to cost India $6.2 trillion by 2030.

7. Between 1990 and 2010 premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases increased by 59 per cent to 37 million from 23.2 million.

8. Nearly 40% of the Indian population of all ages has mycobacterium tuberculosis infection; and there are about 85 lakh people with TB at any given time.

9. The US has 2.5 doctors and 11.1 nurses per 1000 population, while India has 0.7 Doctors and 1.1 Nurses per 1000 population.

10. India’s ambitious National Health Policy plans to increase public spending on health from 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025, when only 17.33% of the lower income classes having access to free health care.

It is clear that the government alone won’t be able to address all the health care issues. Although the National Health Policy 2017 has been approved, the target set promises little.

Corporations should see this gap as an opportunity to partner with the government to play a responsible role in improving the health care system. What we have been witnessing so far is their focus on health camps, building hospitals or donating equipment to hospitals. Most of these activities can only generate short-term impact and the targets are poorly set.

Instead, businesses can train local youths while pharmacists can be trained to prescribe medicines for minor ailments. One example is the Fiinovation and RPG foundation partnership to train youths in ‘patient care’. Similarly, companies could fund medical education to reduce the significant shortage of doctors and nurses. The concept of barefoot doctors in China can be implemented in rural areas. Additionally, CSR funds can also be utilized to provide medical treatment and promote traditional medicines.

 

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

Budget Highlights – Education Sector

The much awaited Union Budget 2017 was presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on 1st February 2017. Education is one of the key components for driving economical growth and acts as impetus for government schemes such as Make in India, Digital India and Skill India. Government should devise schemes to boost other sectors such as Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Textile, Energy etc. apart from focusing on the IT and applied IT sectors.

It is extremely important to pay attention on improving the quality of educational institutes for creating skilled workforce, ready to join the industry. The key budget highlights of the Education sector are as following –

  • In year 2017, citizens will gain access to SWAYAM, a massive open online courses (MOOC) platform. This education portal, will be introduced with 350 online courses and will be providing high quality e-content to all the colleges and universities free of cost.
  • Job-creating packages for textile sector
  • Good quality institutions which will possess better quality and education
  • 100 international centres will be launched across the country for providing assistance to the youth seeking jobs outside India
  • PM Kaushal KendrasPM Kaushal Kendras to be extended to 600 districts
  • 5 crore youth to be trained under Sankalp programme launched by government
  • Quality and market relevance will be noted in vocational training
  • Special scheme for employment has been launched in the textile sector
  • National Testing Agency will be conducting major entrance examinations
  • CBSE will be freed from conducting examinations, and will focus majorly on academics
  • Skill strengthening to be implemented from this year with a budget of Rs 2,200 crore
  • Greater autonomy will be provided to major institutes
  • UGC will be reformed for higher education, colleges and institutions will give more autonomy
  • Two new AIIMS to be opened in Jharkhand and Gujarat
  • Big employment opportunities to come up in tourism sector
  • Government will provide education through digital platform and the country will be turned into an electronics hub
  • Additional opportunities for employment of women to open up through model shops and establishment bill
  • The BHIM app has been downloaded 17 million times, and special cash back scheme for BHIM users

The main highlight of the budget in education sector was the introduction of 350 online courses and big employment opportunities to be introduced in textile and tourism sectors.

By Manisha Bhatia

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

Corporate Social Responsibility – In Context of 2017

The year 2017 brings new hopes in the social development sector with more businesses contributing towards improving the standard of living of the people. With praises across the country for their contributions, the businesses are now more focused on strategising CSR rather than doing charity. However, there are several questions which are not answered as CSR projects are not good parameters for judging societal welfare. Today, it is unclear whether CSR spending by businesses have increased or not as compared to the days before the mandate, with not much available information.

However, data from the last two years suggest an increase of CSR funding with Indian businesses spending INR 9,309 crore in 2015-16. This is INR 163 crore more than what was required by the law and INR 703 crore more than 2014-15. The major focus areas for businesses have been Education and Health and they are likely to remain one of the most favoured sectors for CSR investments.

Understanding the present situation, Fiinovation, a global CSR consulting company analyses the trends in CSR for the year 2017.

1. Environment – After the successive droughts that nearly crippled the rural economy, it is expected that businesses will look to invest their CSR funds in projects that mitigate the climate change risks. Keeping focus on water, businesses will look to implement CSR projects for natural resource conservation, rain water harvesting, safe drinking water, watershed development and irrigation. Organic agriculture, climate smart agriculture, grain production with new innovative methods, etc. will also receive adequate focus. Several companies are looking to reduce their harmful environmental impacts.

2. Education – Several businesses will rather not look to diversify and stick to their CSR projects in education. It is expected to remain the favourite sector when it comes to CSR expenditures. Although, there might be a shift towards digital literacy, digital education and higher education to meet the current demands of the nation.

3. Health – Similar to Education, investments in health projects is likely to continue even this year. Focus will be on preventive healthcare along with healthcare infrastructure facilities including ambulances, digital check ups, diagonistic centers etc. Several businesses will also look to invest in public health in a public-private partnership model working in tandem with the government initiatives.

4. Skill Development – The Indian Government is currently committed towards providing skill development trainings to the youth. The government also provides additional support for entrepreneurship of the SC, ST and women. The government has also urged the businesses to contribute their CSR funds towards skill development trainings to ensure that the emerging workforce is formally skilled. It is expected that businesses will also look to boost infrastructure in the ITIs and Training Institutes to support the government. There are several businesses who are also investing in Sustainable Agriculture projects by providing trainings to the farmers.

5. Other Sectors – It is also expected that several other sectors will receive CSR funding but not at a very large scale. Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga, Digital Literacy, renewable energy, etc. are some areas which will receive contributions.

The impact of the CSR law can be better understood after the end of this year, when experts review the first three years after the enforcement of the law.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

7 Things That Caught Attention Of The Nation in 2016

The year 2016 has been a happening year with both positive and negative things making the headlines. We take a look of the 7 things that caught the nation’s attention.

1. Budget 2016

The Budget 2016 created much uproar amidst the salaried class with the controversial proposal by the Union Finance Minister to tax EPF withdrawl. After facing flak from the opposition parties and the people, the government later forced to withdraw the controversial proposal and also withdrew the proposal to limit tax-free contribution by the employer to the provident fund of the employee. Despite the government clarifying its intent for its decision, the criticism continued from all ends.

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2. The Great Nationalism Debate

If last year, Indians started teaching each other to be tolerant, than this year it was about Nationalism. The debate started with some people objecting to the statement ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ while anti-national slogans were being shouted at the JNU Campus. The incidents lead to a horrific situation with student leaders being arrested and being charged under sedition. The mysterious death of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University, finally led to an change of guard in the HRD Ministry. However, the atrocities against Dalits and Muslims continued in several parts of the country.

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3. The Health of Delhi

The national capital region has become a talking point among the world due to its disastrous levels of air quality along with the recurring disease outbreaks that haunts the public health authorities every year. This year, the day after Diwali was the worst in the history in terms of levels of pollution. It seemed the people of Delhi din’t care much about their children and the elderly people when they were engaging in the celebrations. Even, the authorities failed to do something to solve the problem and were waiting for the winds to blow the polluted air away. Chikungunya, yet again highlighted its presence after claiming many lives while the authorities continued to ignore civic apathy.

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4. The Longest Curfew in Kashmir

Following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by the Indian Army in an encounter, the valley came to an absolute standstill for at least 70 days making it the longest running curfew in the history of the Kashmir unrest. Several people came out in the streets protesting against the killing and the armed forces had to resort to violent measures to distort the crowds. Pelting of stones by the children and youth on the armed forces was dealt by strong hands. The armed forces responded with pellet guns blinding thousands and sparking uproar in both the houses of the Indian Parliament.

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5. RIO to JIO

The year was all about breaking the monotony. First started with Sakshi Malik, the PV Sindhu Storm rocked the nation during the RIO Olympics. Nobody else remembers when was the last time that the nation came together to watch a Badminton match. But, it was India’s daughter who was making the nation proud and there was no stopping people from supporting her. The support for sports persons continued as India’s para-Olympic team performed outstandingly at RIO. In another event, the India’s richest man took the telecom sector in a storm by launching its groundbreaking 4G services and letting the users use the services for free in the first 6 months.

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6. The Law that Allows Child Labour

The new child labour law which was passed by the Parliament is progressive in nature, yet there are a few controversial elements that were highlighted by several activists. The Law allows children below the age of 14 years to work in family or family enterprises. The issue with this is that while drafting the law, the plight of the children was not considered, who after their school hours can help help their guardians or parents in work, instead of doing their homework or taking rest. The question isn’t it too much pressure on the children, will they have the stamina to go to school the next morning.

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7. The Surgical Strike on Black Money

The biggest talking point of the nation came after the Prime Minister on November 8th announced that India’s two big currency notes, Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 will cease to be legal tender by midnight onwards. What followed was mayhem outside Banks and ATMs, massive debates in both the houses of Parliament, strong protests from opposition parties and deaths of innocent civilians. The most common sight was long queues and no cash available sign boards outside ATMs and Banks. The Prime Minister called it a surgical strike recalling Indian Army’s late night strike inside POK to eliminate terror launch pads. The country is yet to recover from the PM’s move and the public remains divided over the issue as of now.

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NATIONAL SPORTS DAY

29th August is celebrated in India as National Sports Day marks the birth anniversary of Indian hockey champion Major Dhyan Chand who has won gold medals for India in 1928, 1932, and 1936 respectively. In India this day is celebrated by organizing goodwill matches between different hockey teams of India at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi.

Sports is an integral part of Indian culture and the history of Indian sports dates back to the Vedic era. As per saying in Atharva-Veda, ” Duty is in my right hand and the fruits of victory in my left”. This mantra coincides with today’s traditional Olympic oath, “For the Honour of my country and the Glory of Sport”. History is evident that there is a fascinating connection between Greece and India, in terms of common sports like Chariot riding and wrestling which dates back to 975 BC.

A closer look will prove that many sports like Chess, wrestling, archery, hockey and polo etc., played in Olympic today are actually the sophisticated versions of games which flourished in ancient India and Greece.

India is a country of many popular sports and their popularity is also measured by regional influence. While Cricket is the most popular sport, the other popular sports include Football, Hockey, Wrestling, Badminton, Tennis, Chess, Kabaddi Snooker and Boxing. Apart from national level competitions, India has also hosted several international sporting events like Asian Games during year 1951 and 1982, 2010 Hockey World Cup and 2010 Commonwealth Games. Apart from these, Indian Super League for Football has been hosted by India since 2014 and India hosted Indian Grand Prix Formula 1 Race at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. Currently India is preparing to host the under 17 2017 FIFA World Cup and Kabaddi World Cup 2016.

Despite of the fact that India has enriching history of Sports still only a handful of sports-person have been able to mark their presence internationally. The recent win of only 2 medals at Rio Olympics by India only adds fuel to the fire and speaks blatantly about the lack of resources and poor sports management by the government in the country. However, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has stepped in to improve the condition of sports in the country. He has asked various sports authorities to conduct brainstorming sessions and pitch in innovative ideas for improving the condition of sports in country and make it a favorable profession. He commenced his 23rd session of the radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday 28th August, by paying tribute to the hockey wizard Major Dhyanchand and praised Pullela Gopichand, an ace badminton player and the coach of PV Sindhu creating mark in the history of Indian Olympics by winning silver medal for the first time in this category. Mr. Modi referred him as an exemplary guru and emphasised on the importance of a good coach in the success of a sports person. He also mentioned about the girl power in sports as he referred Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu besides gymnast Dipa Karmakar who missed the medal by a narrow margin.

In this context, Mr. Modi has announced the formation of a task force to study the best sports practices across the world and prepare a road map for improving the performance of athletes in next three Olympics.

By – Manisha Bhatia

Media & Communications

Fiinovation

Women and Sports: A CSR activity that shouldn’t be neglected

Women’s sports is a neglected area world over, and especially developing countries like India, where women are yet to achieve equal status in many areas. The female athletes have long occupied marginal and sometimes invisible positions in sport settings and mainstream media.

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Haryana, a northern Indian state is home to the nation’s worst male-to-female ratio and infamous for its legacy of female foeticide and honor killings. Yet it produce many of the nation’s most well-known female athletes. These include Krishna Poonia, a champion discus thrower and gold medalist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Geeta Phogat, the first Indian woman wrestler at the Olympics. Similarly, Vinesh Phogat has grappled through pain, tears and disappointments to carve a niche for herself in a society where women are often discarded and pushed to the margins and a gritty woman wrestler Sakshi Malik ended India’s painful wait for a medal at the Rio Olympic Games by clinching the bronze in the 58kg category.

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This year Haryana’s state government has introduced various incentive schemes and promises of employment to medal-winning athletes. It also recently made it compulsory for school children to play at least one sport. These measures, analysts say, have affected the state of women in Haryana as a whole. Last year, Haryana reported a rise in the sex ratio to 877 females per 1000 males, its best in the last 110 years. This silent social shift is becoming visible in the least likely places.

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The government said social welfare expenditure by companies towards promotion of sports like the rural and Olympic sport would be considered as a CSR activity. Under the new Companies Act, certain class of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 that indicates a list of CSR activities includes training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports and Olympic sports.

The focus is on understanding and analyzing how race, class, gender, and other forms of oppression shape women’s professional sport using as the focal point, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the type of mainstream media coverage it receives. It is believed that a better understanding of these varied experiences would add depth and knowledge to research on development of sports and role of women in sports, will allow professional leagues and teams to move forward with a more informed perspective regarding design, delivery, and overall purpose of CSR in women’s professional sport.

Ultimately, it is important because CSR initiatives often serve as a way to connect with the community, bring attention to socially relevant issues, and highlight athletes who serve as positive role models for youth. Gender discrimination in sports negatively impacts the level of interest.

As a result of discriminatory practices, opportunities to conduct meaningful outreach to young women and girls are weakened. Therefore, companies must take up CSR activities to eradicate such evils from the society.

Badminton - Olympics: Day 14

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 19: Silver medalist V. Sindhu Pusarla of India celebrates during the medal ceremony after the Women’s Singles Badminton competition on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro – Pavilion 4 on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

By – Geetika Sehgal

Fiinovation

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International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The recently concluded WT20 tournament in which the caribbean nations outclassed the mighty England in the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, was a story of that have inspired many to put up a fighting spirit despite problems with their board, money, lack of facilities and infrastructure. It is sports that brought the people of the caribbean together and the 66,000 people of Kolkata was there to witness the epic battle.

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This support for unity, sports and development was unprecedented and made the world believe the role of sports in social progress. Mandela did it for South Africa ensuring peace, end of discrimination and development for all. We all remember the India V Pakistan match held at Mohali during the 2011 world cup. The match became a political affair bringing the Prime Ministers of both the nations on the ground to discuss peace and prosperity.

The upcoming major sporting events such as Rio Olympics, Euro Cup, IPL, Azlan Shah Hockey tournament etc will provide a lot of opportunities for players not only to showcase their talent but also to ensure that as ambassadors of sports they continue to spread awareness about social causes among all. Through their performances they can increase people to people contacts and spread development and peace. Understanding this importance, the role of sports has been acknowledged in the Sustainable Development Goals as a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and development objectives. The growing contribution of sports to realize the dreams of development and peace has been significant with promotion of tolerance and respect. Sports also helps in empowerment of women, youth, individuals and communities as well ensuring good health, education and social inclusion objectives.

This is the reason the United Nations urges the members states, international organisations, civil society and the private sector to co-operate, observe and raise awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. India’s mission should be to place sport at the service of humankind and promote a peaceful society and healthy lifestyles. Every individual in the country should associate sport with culture and education and safeguard human dignity without any discrimination whatsoever. We also need to recognise those differently-abled atheletes who despite all odds showcase achievements and are the drivers of societal change.

There is need to encash upon the vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values of sports. India lacks a national policy of sports that can enable positive influence on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

As the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon says, “Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development.”

Let’s hope that sports continues to promote peace and development getting more emphasis from all nations and people.

“You don’t play for the crowd, you play for the country.” – Mahendra Singh Dhoni

By – Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

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