Corporate social responsibility in private sector

By on December 10, 2011

The word “corporate” at the very outset synchronizes with the “business world” and India being a country of 1.21 billion population offers a vast field for their exponential development.It is a fact that 90 percent of India’s population live in villages. The corporate world is allowed to set up their industries in the vicinity of villages which are pathetically undeveloped or in a large number of cases underdeveloped.

Well being of the people

The aim of the business houses is to earn maximum profit by its various processes which include manufacturing activities. These manufacturing activities have a great impact not only on the environment but on the life and livelihood of the nearby villagers also. The circumstances therefore demand for a sustainable development. Which aims to strike a balance among the profit, environment protection and survival with development which may be better described as Corporate Social Responsibility.

  1. Corporate houses owe moral responsibility to the society particularly to the people of the area where they set up the industry. This responsibility can be discharged through social welfare projects and schemes. Basic infrastructure is the need of every village in India. Business houses in private sector can contribute a percentage of their profit or apportion an amount in their initial plans for infrastructure development projects like roads, tube wells, electricity supply etc.
  2. The second primary area is community development programme. Educational institutes, primary health centers or hospitals, health and operation camps, community center etc. for benefit of the less privileged society can be set up by the Corporate houses towards fulfillment of their moral responsibility of corporate social responsibility.

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is still in infancy stage in India, moreover it is a topic which still has to catch public awareness. Some of the big multinationals like Nestle, ITC, TATA and BIRLA and big power giant like NTPC of Government of India have voluntarily set up role model before the private corporate houses to contribute to the cause of sustainable development through corporate social responsibility. It is to ensure environment protection, social welfare and profit earning.  This phenomenon has been described as “triple bottomline: profits, protection of environment and fight for social justice”  by Dr. Suri Sehgal Chairman & Founder Institute of Rural Research & Development (IRRAD) Gurgaon  in his preface to Corporate Social Responsibility practices in India.

The notion of corporate social responsibility is in early stage and therefore there is no pre-defined methodology for research in this field. Consequently the methodology may vary from scholar to scholar as to how he intends to proceed in carrying out the research work. Reference can be made to the published material as available in print or electronic media. The next course would be to undertake a survey of the area of sponsored by some of the reputed corporate house. Relevant history, information, data and results have to be collected during the practical survey. Project Officers of the concerned corporate house have also to be contacted to obtain policy, plan and outlay of the finances deployed in the social and community development under the corporate social responsibility. All the information and data so collected shall be compiled in sequential and presentable manner for further use, reference and analysis.

Data collected from different sources has to be analyzed to ascertain the justification of the project undertaken by a corporate house. The statistics of data will show the quantum of development and improvement made in the area. For example if a road has been constructed in the village its statistics can be analyzed to ascertain as to whether it connects to the main town or local business centre for benefit of the villagers and farmers. A simple questionnaire can be attempted for obtaining views and answers of the residents of the project area which can be of the following type :-

  1. What developmental work has been executed in your area and whether it is according to your need?
  2. How these developments have changed your life and what benefit you are getting?

Answers to above questions will provide a confirmation of the project executed by the corporate house. The analysis will ultimately lead to a justification of the projects executed under the corporate social responsibility.

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Corporate social responsibility in the private sector

Corporate Social Responsibility in private corporate sector though not new to India now, is still at nascent stage. Big business houses like TATA, BIRLA and AMBANI have already contributed to the society at large by setting up educational institutions, super specialty hospitals, infrastructure projects, temples etc. But India being a country of vast expanse of land inhabited by destitute and poor deserves more contribution from the corporate sector both private and government. It has been also a  issue of debate as to whether it is obligatory for private business houses to bear the burden for bridging the gap between the “corporate world” and “poor village world” in India. The fact remains that a business house creates wealth for all its stakeholders by the products or services it sells for use of rich and poor both.  Therefore it is the moral and ethical obligation on the corporate sector to contribute to the development of the poor of the society through Corporate Social Responsibility.



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