Comparative study and inter linking on Corporate Social Responsivity (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
CSR (Schedule VII of Companies Act)
In India, CSR got its legal backing by virtue of Section 135 of companies Act 2013. Section 135 of the companies Act is from financial year 2014.
India is one of the first few nations to roll out a regulation on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As per Act prescribed Companies are required to spend for Activities listed in Schedule VII. Activities are broadly bifurcated in XII heads under schedule VII.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDG were adopted on September 25, 2015 by 193 countries to end poverty, project the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of agenda. A total of 17 SDGs aim at 169 targets are to be achieved by 2030. India along with other countries has signed declaration on the agenda 2030.However, the achievement of the goals may not be possible with the government initiative alone, it needs high level between the government, private sector and the civil society.
SDGs and the Indian CSR regulation both were implemented /formulated around the same time and seemingly have a tremendous potential to develop a cohesive sustainable growth model. Schedule VII explicitly gives overall direction to corporates for CSR projects and the SDG are measurable targets are measurable outcomes from the CSR Projects.
Various SDGs mapped with Schedule VII activities of the Companies Act 2013 which is have being explained in details as below :
|CSR (Schedule VII of Companies Act)
|SDG (17 Goals)
|1. Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, [‘‘promoting health care including preventinve health care’’] and sanitation [including contribution to the Swach Bharat Kosh set-up by the Central Government for the promotion of sanitation] and making available safe drinking water.
|2. promoting education, including special education and employment enhancing vocation skills especially among children, women, elderly and the differently abled and livelihood enhancement projects
|3. promoting gender equality, empowering women, setting up homes and hostels for women and orphans; setting up old age homes, day care centres and such other facilities for senior citizens and measures for reducing inequalities faced by socially and economically backward groups.
|4. ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, protection of flora and fauna, animal welfare, agroforestry, conservation of natural resources and maintaining quality of soil, air and water [including contribution to the Clean Ganga Fund set-up by the Central Government for rejuvenation of river Ganga].
|5. protection of national heritage, art and culture including restoration of buildings and sites of historical importance and works of art; setting up public libraries; promotion and development of traditional art and handicrafts;
|6. measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents, [ Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) veterans, and their dependents including widows
|7. training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports, paralympic sports and olympic sports
|8. contribution to the prime minister’s national relief fund [or Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund)] or any other fund set up by the central govt. for socio economic development and relief and welfare of the schedule caste, tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women;
|9. Contribution to incubators or research and development projects in the field of science, technology, engineering and medicine, funded by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or any agency of the Central Government or State Government; and Contributions to public funded Universities; Indian Institute of Technology (IITs); National Laboratories and autonomous bodies established under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE); Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Department of Science and Technology (DST); Department of Pharmaceuticals; Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and other bodies, namely Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO); Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering and medicine aimed at promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
|10. rural development projects
|11. slum area development.
|12. disaster management, including relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities.
India with its diversity has a distinct challenge with reference to implementing projects to achieve SDGs on local level. Although there is an optimism about the government initiative that supports SDGs but there are multiple challenges on the implementation path. Government of India has tasked NITI Aayog to design and develop a framework defining policies, procedures and map to implement the SDGs by government regulatory mechanics. However, businesses through CSR have a strong role to play by acting as a facilitator in the SDG implementation.