New Delhi: The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a charity, but a duty & responsibility towards society inspired by the highest values of seeking to return to society a part of what we have received in whatever capacity and to whatever extent we can, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.
Dr Singh was addressing the gathering as Chief Guest at the Inaugural session of CSR Dialogue organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP), at Thane, Maharashtra, to mark a decade of the implementation of CSR Act.
Dr Singh said social responsibility has been part of our sanskaar and ancient Indian tradition. The spirit of contributing towards the welfare of society is inherent to every Indian individual, but sometimes it needs an inspiration, provided an outlet and lead to direction.
Dr Singh said the best example of social responsibility is the appeal given by PM Modi to the well off citizens who could afford gas connection, to voluntarily surrender their subsidy to the benefit of the deserving and poor. PM Modi's call had an inspiring effect & in a short time span 20 crore people gave up subsidies which were used for supporting the beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana, he said.
Similarly, Swami Vivekananda had inspired Jamshedji Tata to spend on healthcare when he established pioneering institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), the National Center for Performing Art (NCPA) and the Tata Memorial Hospital, said Dr Jitendra Singh. Considering that contribution to society is not limited to the rich and the affluent, Dr Jitendra Singh said it is the duty of every citizen to work for uplift of society through whatever means he can.
Referring to science social responsibility, Dr Singh said teachers and experts of science can utilize their experience to become researchers and set up Startups. Pointing out that India has a budget outlay of Rs. 25,000 crore under CSR Act, Dr Jitendra Singh said India has jumped from being the Tenth largest economy to being the fifth and today we are the fourth largest economy and by 2030 we will be the third largest economy in the world. In such a situation it is expected that CSR contribution will also increase manifold.
"Let each one of us make every effort, not only should we contribute to CSR activity, but also inspire others. We should seek ways to contribute to society in different areas and create infrastructure and institutions for the Viksit Bharat @2047, " he said.
On April 1, 2014, India became the first country in the world to legally mandate corporate social responsibility. The rules in Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013 make it mandatory for companies of a certain turnover and profitability to spend 2% of their average net profit for the past three years on corporate social responsibility activities.
India, having the most elaborated CSR mechanism, has set a benchmark in attaining sustainability goals and stakeholder activism in nation building.