Thousands of industry leaders have witnessed a revolutionary evolution of ESG and CSR at the campus of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), IMT Manesar. About 30 top companies exhibited their practices in the sphere of sustainability, Environment-Social-Governance (ESG), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
School of Business Environment (SoBE) in IICA has set the right directions for companies to be more responsible in their approach towards the society, economy and environment. IICA is a think tank under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs working towards strengthening the ESG-CSR ecosystem in the country among its other initiatives.
Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, Union Minister of State for Corporate Affairs was the Chief Guest in the event and participated virtually. He said that Ministry’s contribution in promoting Good Corporate Governance has further facilitated ease of doing business in the country. Government lays strong emphasis on the reinforcement of ‘minimal government & maximum governance’, public trust and ease of doing business. The Government has repealed over 25000 compliances and nearly 1500 union laws. The Amrit Kaal will focus on the next phase of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB 2.0) and Ease of Living and the government following the goal of ‘trust-based governance’ to improve the productive efficiency of capital and human resources. He emphasised that Sustainable Development is now recognized as Fundamental Right of the people. The Supreme Court of India has held that sustainable development is to be treated as an integral part of life under article 21 of the Constitution of India. Hence, complying with the principle of sustainable development is a constitutional mandate. He said that as an Individual everyone has a great responsibility on their Shoulders. Until individual mindset don’t change Massive revolution are difficult in achieving the SDG Goals.
Shri Rajesh Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs said that Ministry of Corporate Affairs has made remarkable contributions by introducing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate under the Companies Act, and the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business and also an updated version of National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC). The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has mandated Business Responsibility and Sustainability (BRSR) reporting on top 1000 listed companies by market capitalization. The foundation of BRSR is inspired by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ Report on Business Responsibility Reporting (BRR) and National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.
Secretary, Corporate Affairs released a book titled “Benchmarking ESG & CSR” a compilation of the case studies on identified practices on sustainable development projects by companies through their ESG and CSR initiatives. The book was edited by Dr. Garima Dadhich and Dr. Ravi Raj Atrey. An essay competition was also organized by IICA, three winners received awards for their best essays by the Secretary, Corporate Affairs. In a Panel discussion on Corporate Governance, Shri Inderdeep Singh Dhariwal, Joint Secretary MCA Chairing the Technical Session 1 spoke about the youth’s contribution towards the revolutionary change of the Corporate Governance. Sh Manoj Pandey Joint Secretary emphasised on Women’ Financial Literacy during the 2nd Technical Session, while Chairing.
Shri Praveen Kumar, Director General and CEO, IICA in his welcome address said that , It is well-known that economy is the backbone of any nation and one of the key drivers of this backbone is the corporate sector. They have played a significant role in the remarkable Indian Growth story and they would have to continue their exceptional contribution to ensure that the economy keeps attaining greater heights. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) provides the enabling framework for corporates in order to make them effective contributors to national development. The IICA is the only institution that has a mandate to strengthen corporate affairs in the country. 30 Exhibitors working on ESG-SDG-CSR exhibited their best practices being carried out by them. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Secretary MCA Sh Rajesh Verma. Around 30 Companies participated and exhibited their Best Practices.
Ms Nandita Mishra and other panellists also expressed their views during the technical Sessions.
During the Inaugural programme winners of the Essay competition were announced . Topic of the Essay Competition was “Corporate Governance : Evolving Vision For New India” . The contest was open for the students and young professionals upto the age of 30 years in Bilingual language i.e. Hindi or in English. Tremendous response for this competition was received in terms of entries. 3rd Prize Mr Sartaj Singh 2nd Prize Ms Nandini Agarwal and the !st prize to Mr Samyak Sanghvi from Ahmedabad were felicitated with the cash prize and a certificate.
In the Technical session on Impactful CSR towards strengthening ESG, Ms Anita Shah Akella, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs Chairing the technical session stated that Corporate have been playing a key role by making contributions for the betterment of society through their CSR initiatives. Presently they are witnessing a transitional approach from CSR to ESG in their functioning. A women centric approach, a gender sensitive approach, is required in any initiative, particularly when we talk about the CSR and ESG aspects. Particularly the governance aspects of ESG should focus on Women’s Rights in an organizational setting. Other dignified speakers in the panel were Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Ms Namita Vikas, Dr Inderjeet Singh, Mr. Shrabjeet Sahota, Dr.Suranjali Tondon, Ms Neetu Ahuja and Dr. Garima Dadhich. The panel concluded that to achieve a paradigm shift in ESG and CSR may be destined through such initiatives of the IICA which motivate those doing good work and inspires others to follow. IICA’s upcoming Certified ESG Professional Course will also be a landmark in this sector in country. I
In another technical session emphases was made on Financial Inclusion and Literacy of Women. Dr. Naveen Sirohi, emphasised on importance of women empowerment and financial literacy. The speakers were Shri Manoj Pandey, Joint Secretary, MCA, Sushmita Phukon, Seema Singh, and Namita Vikas.
Mr Arjan De Wagt Deputy Representative Unicef India, Smt Nandita Mishra – Economic Adviser MCA, Mr Agrim Kaushal Adviser DPE and Shri Vishram Kumar Meena, Additional Dy Commissioner Gurugram also graced the programme.
The event ‘Promoting Impactful CSR and Good Governance’ was organised in collaboration with NITI Aayog, Department of Public Enterprises and Unicef India in light of requirements under Amrit Kaal. The programme was facilitated by Dr Garima Dadhich, Head of School of Business Environment in support with Dr Lata Suresh Head KRC, Dr Ravi Raj Atrey and Ms Sudha Rajagopalan under the able guidance of Shri Praveen Kumar DG & CEO, IICA.
Our dedicated contributions today will witness a great revolutionary change tomorrow and will have far reaching impacts day after, said Dr. Garima Dadhich and Dr. Ravi Raj Atrey Faculty of School of Business Environment in IICA during an interview describing about the book which was released during the Inaugural session.
Dr Lata Suresh was the master of ceremony during the event who is also a media coordinator.