Tag Archives: Society

Human wildlife conflicts: A complex problem

How would you react to a wild cheetah in your backyard or an elephant in your garden?

The rapidly growing human population and urbanisation has led to Human wildlife conflict (HWC) to its pinnacle. Human wildlife conflict (HWC) arises when animals cause a direct and reiterate threat to the safety or the livelihood of the people, leading to the persecution of that species.

These conflicts have posed a question that can human and wildlife coexist together? 

However, this is not a new storyline – the human and wildlife have coexisted for millennia but the situation is more frequent and aggressive than before. Becoming a global concern for conservation and development to go hands in hand. The need for development requires a lot of natural resources that put the lives and existence of many wildlife species into danger. 

HWC mostly affects large or carnivores from whom the humans feel threatened. Elephants, bears, big cats, primates, sharks, seals and many more. HWC also severely impacts the livelihoods, lives and security of the people from whom we ask to conserve the wildlife. There are many immense challenges around the HWC because the causes of these are very complex and poorly perceived. A single HWC has many socio-cultural, political and economical factors that need to be considered. From research and studies for a long time it has been clear that every HWC problem is different from the next and cannot be solved by the same methods used beforehand. Thus understanding the root cause of the conflict is much needed to mitigate the effect of such incidents. Efforts to address the situations without fully understanding the deep rooted causes and effects often leads to temporary solutions or worse exacerbate the situation in hand. 

HWC are substantially “human-human” conflicts as the heart of the conflict is between the different stakeholders. Sometimes there are several groups assessing different interests and needs. 

Even in some cases the success in species recovery has led to another HWC. For example where carnivores have recovered and expanded a huge population they pose a threat to villagers nearby and their livestocks. 

The reports by UNEP says that it is impossible to completely eradicate the HWCs but a systematic approach can be devised to minimise the effects of these conflicts. The policymakers have to devise policies that can reduce the conflicts and create an ecosystem of coexistence between people and animals. Such steps needed careful studies on prevention, mitigation, response and rehabiltalation with the apt support of the local communities and tribes. 

DEFORESTATION

Lossing our own lives

PATTIKONDA:28/07/2020.

Deforestationclearance,clearing  is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use.Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms,ranches or urban use. The most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforest.About 31% of Earth’s land surface is covered by forests. The primary cause of deforestation is agriculture. Trees are cut down for use as building material or sold as fuel.

The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss and arudity. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations. It also effects on environment. It rises global warming, carbondioxide, biosequestration, soil erosion, fossil fuels.Deforestation is more extreme in tropical and subtropical forests in emerging economies.subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation; commercial Agricultural is responsible for 32%; logging is responsible for 14%, and fuel wood removals make up 5%.

Effects and hazards

Another cause of deforestation is climate change. 23% of tree cover losses result from wildfires and climate change increase their frequency and power.The rising temperatures cause massive wildfires especially in the Boreal forests.majority of deforestation was caused by industrial factors, including extractive industries, large-scale cattle ranching, and extensive agriculture.The water cycle is also affected by deforestation. Trees extract groundwater through their roots and release it into the atmosphere. 

Deforestation eliminates a great number of species of plants and animals which also often results in an increase in diseases.The diseases that passed to humans in this way in the latest decades include HIVEbolaAvian fluSwine Flu, and likely the COVID-19 pandemic are source from degradation of air and trees . The forest products industry is a large part of the economy in both developed and developing countries. Rapidly growing economies also have an effect on deforestation. The Europian union is one of the largest importer of products made from illegal deforestation.Damage to forests and other aspects of nature could halve living standardsfor the world’s poor and reduce global GDP.

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining.The massive use of charcoal on an industrial scale in europewas a new type of consumption of western forests. The mangolians resulted in the reduction of 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere by enabling the re-growth of carbon-absorbing forests.Amazon rain forests are the another example for effects of deforestation and climatical change.

Save trees save lives

The wholescale clearance of woodland to create agricultural land can be seen in many parts of the world. In 2019, the world lost nearly 12 million hectares of tree cover. Nearly a third of that loss, 3.8 million hectares. Controls: Transferring rights over land from public domain to its inhabitants is argued to be a cost-effective strategy. Reforestation or planting trees are methods of control for deforestation.

SAY NO TO DRUGS

On International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we should be more serious about this hazard, that destroys the lives of millions including youngsters.the theme for this year’s anti-drug abuse day Is “Better Knowledge for Better Care”. The main idea behind this theme is to stress upon the need of improving the understanding of the world drug problem.

The day is also marked as an expression of its determination to strengthen action as well as cooperation and achieve the society which is free of drug abuse.Around 35.6 million people across the world are victims of drug abuse, according to the World Drug Report 2020 published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Young adults and teenagers account for the largest share of those using drugs and most of them suffer from HIV, Hepatitis C and other related diseases. Only one out of eight people who need treatment and rehabilitation are able to get it, according to the report.

So many people want to quit but they can’t due to lack of awareness and social stigma. We need to take a step to secure our life and future, this is our responsibility being a citizen of a country .

Observation on Social, Economical and Political status of Dalit Christians: A study in Puthukottai District.

                                 Mr. S. Yesu Suresh Raj                               

Mr. N. Sivasekaran

Abstract                                              

              This paper reviews the empirical study on Excluded people (Dalit Christians) in Indian Society. Dalit Christian is more painful and humiliating to compare than other communities because of the Caste of the society. Dalits who converted to Christianity did not escape the caste system which has a strongly fixed presence in Indian society.  The problem of Dalit has elicited considerable interest in the minds of researchers in recent times.  In this study main objectives is to identify the Justice, Social, Economical and Political status of Dalit Christians in Puthukottai District and to suggest a suitable action plan for their sustainable development. Tools for Data Collation In the present study data were both ‘primary’ as well as ‘secondary’ sources. The dates were collected primary sources constituted of the respondent of all age groups and the sample size was study has been drawn by using census method.  Total sample selected for the study are 9310 respondents, in this study would used family census method. The researcher was selected four Taluks in Puthukottai District and each four Taluks, ten areas have selected based village, urban, semi – urban in this method were selected areas. Design of the Study here, descriptive design will be used to describe the data. The collected data were analysed with the help of descriptive and simple percentage.  The collected data were analyzed to get a better understanding of the Justice, Social, and Economical and Political statues of Dalit Christains in Puthukottai district.

 

 

Key words:  

                Christians, people, Society, Dalit, conversion. Discrimination

  Introduction:

The word “Caste” originates from Spanish word ‘Casta’. Caste means ‘breed, race, and complex of hereditary qualities.’ The English word ‘Caste’ is an adjustment of the original term ‘Casta’.  According to Anderson, Parker and Williams “Caste is that extreme form of social class organisation in which the position of individuals in the status hierarchy is determined by basis of birth into a particular group”. Martindale and Monochest defined Caste as “an aggregate of persons whose share of obligations and privileges are fixed by birth, sanctioned and supported by religion and usage.

According to Henry Maine “Castes started as natural division of occupational classes and eventually upon receiving the religious sanction became solidified into the existing caste system. The caste system comes into being when it becomes an integral part of religious dogma which divides the people into superior and inferior groups with different responsibilities, functions and standards of living.”

According to Magasthens “It is not permitted to contract marriage with a person of another caste or to undertake an occupation other than ancestral nor for the same person to undertake more than one, except if he is of the Caste of Philosophers, when permission is given on account of dignity”.  The Indian caste system is systematically divided people bases on birth, the status of birth only give the richest life for all. Any one born in out of caste his definitely suffer untouchability.  No one could not escape the caste system. The Indian caste system is desired person life. This is give one sight pleasure life anther side burden or painful life.

Jatis /Varnas:

In ancient India, society member was systematically divided that each group performed a specific job. Each group is necessary for society. According to Mahatma Gandhi “each group is same at all, there is no different in low and high”. In 1000 B.C.E., the earliest known the society described the metaphor (symbol) of human body.

According the Rig Veda, the ancient Hindu book, the primal man – Purush – destroyed himself to create a human society. The different Varnas were created from different parts of his body. The Brahmans were created from his head (scholars, teachers, fire priests), the Kshatrias from his hands (kings, warriors, law enforcers, administrators), the Vaishias from his thighs (agriculturists, cattle raisers, traders, bankers), the Sudras from his feet (artisans, craftsmen, service providers). Untouchables (Certain people like foreigners, nomads, forest tribes and the chandalas, who dealt with disposal of the dead were excluded or prohibited altogether and treated as untouchables). The Indian caste system is not only follow the Hindu people even it follow Muslims and Christians etc.

According to Sir H. Risley: “A caste may be defined as a collection of families or groups of families bearing a common name which usually denotes or is associated with specific occupation, claiming common descent from a mythical ancestor, human or divine, professing to follow the same professional calling and are regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single homogeneous community”. According to Hindu tradition, Indian societies are scientifically divided and obviously classify castes (jatis). Caste is order one’s occupation, food habits, dress codes, marriage, dine and interaction with members of other castes. The high caste people enjoy more wealth and opportunities while low caste people live with more difficulties.  There is very rare upward mobility in the caste system.

Untouchables / Dalit Christians:

According to orthodox rules anyone who does not belong to the four Varnas, meaning foreigners, are untouchables. According to Manu Smritis, the people who follow the lowest kind of occupations include scavenging, leather work, removal of the carrion etc, are to be regarded as untouchables.

The Indian Caste systems divided people unequal and hierarchical order. The out of caste people or bottoms of consider ‘impure, polluting, untouchable and lesser human beings’ by upper caste people. The untouchables called the different names in different periods. In Vedic era, they were known as ‘Chandala’. In Medieval period, they were addressed as ‘Achhuta’. In the British Government period, they were known as ‘Exterior Caste’. In the present time, they were known as the ‘Scheduled Caste’ by the Indian Constitution. According to Dr.D.N Majumdar “Untouchables castes are those who suffer from various social and political disabilities many of which are traditionally prescribed and socially enforced by higher castes.”

The first impact is the harsh fact of social stigma. The untouchables are considered polluting and are therefore kept at a distance. Their mere presence as well as their belongings are discarded or avoided. They are made to live separately and often cannot share such common village amenities as the well. The stigma of untouchability is attributed to the traditional occupation of the jati and affects all members of that jati regardless of actually being engaged in that occupation or not. Those jatis who clean up, deal with dead animals or eat their meat, are ritually unclean and beyond the pale. The vast majority of so called untouchables are actually engaged in agricultural labour. For many, their traditional occupation is simply a supplementary and temporary work over and above their main agricultural occupation.

Untouchables are very poorly compensated for their labour and thus forced to live a life of constrains. Their diet is poor; their clothes are few and rarely clean; their homes are small, fragile and unhealthy; and they are hopelessly overwhelmed with debts. Poverty and indebtedness means bondage to and dependence on the village strong man of the moment.

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of nation, says “Untouchability is the hate fullest expression of Caste System and it is a crime against God and man”. Mahatmas want to relief the caste problem to SCs. But he was favour of caste hierarchy, that is affected SCs.

“According to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: untouchables form an entirely new class i.e. the fifth varna apart from the existing four varnas. Thus, untouchables are not even recognized under the caste system of Hindus”. The social reformers, freedom fighter, genuineness persons are considered out of caste because they are not accept the Indian caste system. The punishment of caste order was to produce lot of caste problem in India.

They were forbidden entry to many temples, to most schools, and to wells from which higher castes drew water. Their touch was seen as seriously polluting to people of higher caste, involving much remedial ritual. In southern India, even the sight of some untouchable groups was once held to be polluting, and they were forced to live a nocturnal existence. These restrictions led many untouchables to seek some degree of emancipation through conversion to ChristianityIslam, or Buddhism. However, caste systems and the ensuing discrimination have spread into Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Sikh communities. The Dalit change the religions but not change the status. The statement of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi said Dalit remains a Dalit which ever religion he embraces in India. The Indian government appointed various commissions for to find out the reality of Dalit Christians. According to Government commission: The backward class commissions like Kaka Kalekar Commission (1951), Kumar pillai Commission (1965), Elayaperumal Commission (1969), Sattanathan Commission (1970), Chidambaram Commission (1975),  Mandal Commission (1982), and Mandal Case Judgment (1992) found the socio – economical, educational, employment, and political disabilities of Dalit Christians in the society and Church. Dr. Jose Kananaikil conducted National sample survey of Indian Social Institute (1986) identified that Scheduled Caste convert Christianity suffer more socio – economical, educational, employment, and political disabilities than the Hindu Dalits.

Statement of the problems:

 

  • Untouchability practices still exist in the church and the positive changes have not taken place.
  • There is no monitoring committee of the laity to monitor the admissions and the employment is taking place as said in the ten points program. The habitat of the Dalits still looks miserable and the church of the Dalits.
  • Equality is a dream. There is a long way to move further.
  • Educated become alienated from their community and there is least instance of the educated coming back to the hamlet and work for the development.
  • Dalit Christians bargaining power is weak due to lack of various capitals.
  • The Dalits Christians are not appointed in the powerful positions in the hierarchy of the church.
  • The Dalit youth are discouraged from becoming clergy or religious.

 

Research Methodology

 

Objectives of the study

  • To identify the Justice, Social, Economical and Political status of Dalit Christians in Puthukottai District.
  • To suggest a suitable action plan for their sustainable development.

Tools for Data Collation

            In the present study data were both ‘primary’ as well as ‘secondary’ sources. The dates were collected primary sources constituted of the respondent of 6 months and above and were by Participatory scientific observation, Interview schedule, and Secondary sources include census reports, articles, newspaper reports, journals and books.

Sample Size

            The study has been drawn by using census method.  Total sample selected for the study are 9310 respondents, in this study would used family census method. The researcher selected four Taluk in Puthukottai District and each four Taluk ten areas have selected based on village, urban, semi – urban, in this method selected area total respondents data have collected.

Design of the Study

           Here, descriptive design will be used to describe the data. Descriptive research design is a scientific method which involves observing and describing the behaviour of a subject without influencing it in any way.

Collection of Data    

            The collected data were analysed with the help of descriptive and simple percentage. Census method of tools used to collect data. The collected data were analyzed to get a better understanding of the Justice, Social, Economical and Political statues of Dalit Christians in Puthukottai district.

Analysis and Interpretation

Figure: 1 Personal detail of the respondents

From the above table, it is clearly found that 26.32 per cent of the respondents belonged to the age group of below 20 years. 48.25 per cent belonged to the age group of 30 – 40 years, and were 25.43 per cent belonged to the age group of above 60 years.

       The respondents were enquired about their Residence 65.34 per cent of the respondents are from rural area, 14.47 per cent are from urban area, and 20.19 Per cent are from Sub – urban area.

The respondents were enquired about their family type, 82.42 per cent respondents are reported that, they are from nuclear family, 17.58 per cent are from joint family.

        The respondents were asked about marital status 40.32 per cent of the respondents are married, 59.68 per cent are unmarried.

The respondents were asked about their monthly income of their family 27.26 per cent are earning money below Rs.4000, 2.64 per cent are earning Rs.4000 – 6000, 1.16 per cent are earning money above Rs.6000 and 68.93 percent of the respondents are not earning but  depend on family earning members.

            From the above table, it’s clearly found educational status 3.83 per cent of the respondents were Higher Secondary studied (+2), 4.79 per cent are studying Degree and Technical Education, 5.08 per cent were completed Degree and Technical Education, and 86.30 per cent were qualified ( 0 – 10th standard)

          The respondent were asked about employment status 28.08 per cent of the respondents are Daily cooly, 0.11 per cent Teacher are working on Christian Institution, 0.39 per cent are working on Government employee, 0.13 per cent teacher working on Government school, 2.34 per cent working on private institution, 1.47 per cent unemployment, 67.48 per cent dependents on family members (Children, Home Maker, Old age)

          The respondents were enquired about Religious Father and Religious Sister 0.01 per cent of the respondents are Religious Father, 0.02 per cent is Religious Sister and 99.97 per cent are lay people

The respondent were asked about willing for to start new political party for Dalit Christians 83.24 per cent of the respondents are willing, 4.17 per cent are unwillingness and 12.59 per cent are none of the said

 

Findings

  • 83 per cent of the respondents were Higher Secondary studied (+2)
  • 79 per cent are studying Degree and Technical Education
  • 08 per cent were completed Degree and Technical Education
  • 30 per cent were qualified ( 0 – 10th standard)
  • 08 per cent of the respondents are Daily cooly
  • 11 per cent Teacher are working on Christian Institution
  • 39 per cent are working on Government employee
  • 13 per cent  teacher working on Government school
  • 34 per cent working on private institution
  • 48 per cent dependents on family members ( Children, Home Maker, Old age)
  • 01 per cent of the respondents are Religious Father
  • 02 per cent is Religious Sister
  • 97 per cent are lay people
  • 24 per cent of the respondents are willing

Recommendation

  1. The Christian minority educational Institution should to give 50 percentages of seats for Dalit Christians students.
  2. The Government should provide scholarship and other educational support for Dalit Christians as well as Dalit Hindu students.

  1. Dalit and Non – Dalit Christians must understand the meaning of Christianity and should follow their life.
  2. Caste system was prevent humanity among the society, therefore should eradicate caste system.
  3. Caste Christians should join with Dalits Christians for their development
  4. The Indian Churches have been served many schools and Hospitals under their control. Through this institution create an awareness among the people for reduce caste violence.
  5. The Social reforms of the Churches do not bring any successful results in Dalit’s Christians upliftment. Hence, the Churches should more careful in future while announcing social reform measures.
  6. Foreign funds – Churches and Action Groups in India get lots of money from Missions abroad. These are received for Dalit and Dalit Christians cause. But, usually such kinds of funds are not used purposefully. Therefore proper spend funds for Dalit and Dalit Christians development.
  7. The efforts to Indianise the Churches should be stopped with immediate effect as it allows a kind of Indians culture to take roots in the Churches.
  8. Church run institution should provide employment opportunity for their empowerment
  9. Indian Church should ban all forms of divisions and separations or exclusion viz. in the church, in the funeral paths and in the Church festivals, etc.
  10. The Christian minority educational Institution must to give free cost education for economically most backward Dalit Christian students. Because more than student dropout their education due to economic situation.
13.  To encourage higher education, particularly technical and professional education among Dalit Christians, the Diocesan and Religious Congregations should jointly create a scholarship Fund as an encouragement deserving students

14.  The Christian minority educational Institution and social worker should to give more awareness for Dalit Christian for an Importance of the education. Weekly once and summer period will conduct special lecture on English communication skills and Personality development course etc as well as religious education for their development.

15.  Take effective steps to appoint Dalit members in the administration of the Church and related organisations according to the proportion of Dalit population.

16.  Work at having reservation policy for the Dalits/Tribals in the diocesan/religious institutions.
17.  Make efforts to recruit candidates of Dalit origin for priesthood and religious life in keeping with their numerical strength.
  1. Central and state Government should provide employment opportunities and other rights as well as Dalit Hindu.
  2. Diocesan and congregations should encourage Dalit youth for Religious spiritual service and guide become a good clergy.
  3. More than people like to start new political party. It is very useful for convenience your need on central Government and state Government.

 

Conclusion

In Puthukottai district, the Dalit Christians are economically poor, political powerless, socially depressed. A change of religions has not cleaned their scar and not brought big changes. “Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi made statements that Dalit remains a Dalit which ever religion he embraces. And the Mandal commission report of affirms “there is no doubt that social and educational backwardness among non Hindu communities is more or less of the same order as among Hindu communities. Thus, both from within and without, caste amongst non – Hindu communities receive continuous sustenance and stimulus” Indian government is playing politics with this community. Mr. Masih said, “The denial of reservation status to the Dalit Christians is a discrimination and human rights violation.”  There is a need to educate and create awareness among the Dalit Christians for social justice. The Christian leader should shoulder the responsibility and make sincere efforts to organize Christian community on one platform. They should join with all other Dalit liberation organizations for socio-economic justice.

The church needs to rethink its stand in respect of the poor and marginalised Dalits of the church. This is the foremost and important part of the Church before confronting the enemies of the society. And finally among the missiological discussions, let me present a Lutheran Theologian Richard H. Bliese’s view on Church’s mission today in our Indian Context. His view is based on Paul’s Rev. A. Vincent Thomas 279 Global Religious Vision, Vol. 3/IV famous theological position on freedom, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male or female; for all are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). He observes: “The Indian Churches should consider grounding their mission efforts not on the shallow waters of liberation and renewal but on the ocean depths of Paul’s gospel of freedom”. He explains the Gospel of freedom in three ways. 1. It is not wholistic. He affirms that this approach is primarily with the responsibility of the state to establish a just and orderly society. 2. It is very wholistic. This freedom according to him is that it is a freedom from slavery and from all oppressions. He claims that through faith we are free from all bondages. 3. It recognises the church’s engagement in revolution against the political unjust orders which prohibit freedom when the Gospel of freedom of Paul is under threat and attack. By explaining Paul’s Gospel of freedom, he affirms that this ‘missional orthopraxis’ is well suited to situation such as this today in our own context.

 Reference

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Corporate Social Responsibility: An Analysis of Challenges and Prospects in India

 

Razdha Parveen

Abstract

The world is looking at India as it embarks on a new phase in its journey towards being a global economic powerhouse. Make in India’ is the global campaign launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to attract Business Houses from around the world to invest and manufacture in India. In this initiative, Corporate Social Responsibility is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life. But In India, the CSR managers face number of challenges in managing CSR activities. Many companies assume that corporate social responsibility is a peripheral issue for their business; and customer satisfaction is more important for them. They imagine that customer satisfaction is now only about price and service, but they fail to point out on important changes that are taking place worldwide that could blow the business out of the water. The change is named as corporate social responsibility which is an opportunity for the business. It is in this backdrop that this paper attempts to analyze how corporate sector is playing its social responsibility in India, what issues and challenges are faced by companies’ managers, and what is the prospects through which they could meet their social responsibility.

Key Words: CSR, Society, Stakeholders, Issues & Challenges, and Prospects.

Introduction:

Corporate social responsibility may be considered as the most long standing concept in the area and has been used by business and the academia for more than fifty years. In 1960 Keith Davis suggested that social responsibility refers to businesses’ decisions and actions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the firm’s direct economical or technical interest. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the problems that arise when corporate enterprise casts its shadow on the social scene, and the ethical principles that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and society. In recent years, the term corporate social performance (CSP) has emerged as an inclusive and global concept to embrace corporate social responsibility, responsiveness and the entire spectrum of socially beneficial activities of businesses (Carroll, 2008). Society and business, social issues management, and corporate accountability are just some of the terms that describe the phenomena related to corporate social responsibility in society. Corporate social responsibility is the firm consideration of, and response to, issues beyond the narrow economic, technical and legal requirements of the firm (Crane, et al, 2008).

In other words, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Today, there is a growing perception among enterprises that sustainable business success and shareholder value cannot be achieved solely through maximizing short-term profits, but instead through market-oriented responsible behaviour. Socially responsible initiatives by entrepreneurs have a long tradition. The attempt to manage it strategically and to develop instrument for this are the recent initiatives in CSR. Broadly speaking, CSR delineates the relationship between business and the larger society. Hence, CSR can be defined as a concept whereby companies voluntarily decide to respect and protect the interest of a broad range of stakeholders and to contribute to a cleaner environment and a better society through active interaction with all. CSR is the voluntary commitment by business to manage its role in society in a responsible way. It is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable development working with employees their families, the local communities in societies at large to improve their quality of life. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) defines CSR as ‘the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life’. Thus, CSR is an umbrella concept including a variety of theories and practices which recognise the social and environmental responsibilities of corporations, as well as those companies are responsible for the behaviour of others with whom they do business (Patil & Sharma, 2009).

Salient Features of CSR:

The salient features of CSR are the essential features of the concept that tend to be reproduced in some way in academic or practitioner definitions of CSR. The following features capture the main thrust of CSR; however the meaning and relevance of CSR vary according to organizational and national context:

Voluntary: CSR is concerned with voluntary activities that go beyond those prescribed by the law. Many companies are by now well used to considering responsibilities beyond the legal minimum.

Internalizing or managing externalities: Externalities are the positive and negative side effects of economic behaviour that are borne by others but are not taken into account in a firm’s decision making process and are not included in the market price for goods and services. Pollution is typically regarded as a classic example of an externality since local communities bear the costs of manufacturers actions.

Multiple stakeholder orientation: CSR involves considering a range of interests and impacts among a variety of different stakeholders other than just shareholders.

Alignment of social and economic responsibilities: The balancing of different stakeholder interests leads to a fourth surface. This feature has prompted much attention to the business care for CSR, namely how firms can benefit economically from being socially responsible.

Practices and values: CSR is clearly about a particular set of business practices and strategies that deal with social issues; but for many people it is also about something more than that namely a philosophy or set of values that underpins these practices.

Beyond philanthropy: In some regions of the world, CSR is about more than just philanthropy and community projects but about the entire operations of the firm (i.e. its core business functions) upon society (Crane, et al, 2008).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India:

Corporate Social Responsibility is not a new concept in India, however, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has recently notified the Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 along with Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 “hereinafter CSR Rules” and other notifications related thereto which makes it mandatory (with effect from 1st April, 2014) for certain companies who fulfil the criteria as mentioned under Sub Section 1 of Section 135 to comply with the provisions relevant to Corporate Social Responsibility. As mentioned by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives (“Triple-Bottom-Line- Approach”), while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders (http://finance.bih.nic.in/Documents/CSR-Policy.pdf).

Issues & Challenges of CSR:

The role of corporations in society is clearly on the agenda. Hardly a day goes by without media reports on corporate misbehaviour and scandals or more positively on contributions from business to wider society. Corporations have clearly started to take up the challenge. This began with the usual suspects such as companies in the oil, chemical and tobacco industries. As a result of media pressure, major disasters, and sometimes governmental regulation, these companies realized that propping up oppressive regimes, being implicated in human rights violations, polluting the environment, or misinforming and deliberately harming their customers are few examples, were practices that had to be reconsidered if they wanted to survive in society in the present time. Even in a country like India, companies such as Tata can pride themselves on more than a hundred years of responsible business practices, including far-reaching benevolent activities and community involvement (Crane, et al, 2008).

It is important for CSR strategies to become central to business strategy and part of the long-term planning process. Stakeholders are questioning more on CSR initiatives of the companies today. They are challenging the companies’ decisions-making in this direction. It has become imperative to incorporate stakeholders’ views. In India, the CSR managers face number of challenges in managing CSR activities. The biggest problem is of lack of budget allocations followed by lack of support from employees and lack of knowledge as well. Lack of professionalism is another problem faced by this sector. Small companies do not take adequate interest in CSR activities and those which undertake them fail to disclose it to the society. In the process they lose out on people and their trust in them. Media can come up with strong support for informing the people at large about the CSR initiatives taken up by the companies. It can sensitize population and also make them aware of the benefits of CSR to them. However, media is not doing enough in this regard. The failure of the government to come up with statutory guidelines to give a definite direction to companies taking up CSR activities, in terms of size of business and profile of CSR activities also results into few companies practicing CSR concept adequately.

Many companies think that corporate social responsibility is a peripheral issue for their business; and customer satisfaction is more important for them. They imagine that customer satisfaction is now only about price and service, but they fail to point out on important changes that are taking place worldwide that could blow the business out of the water. The change is named as social responsibility which is an opportunity for the business. Some of the drivers pushing business towards CSR include:

The Shrinking Role of Government: In the past, governments have relied on legislation and regulation to deliver social and environmental objectives in the business sector. Shrinking government resources, coupled with a distrust of regulations, has led to the exploration of voluntary and non-regulatory initiatives instead.

Demands for Greater Disclosure: There is a growing demand for corporate disclosure from stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, communities, investors, and activist organizations.

Increased Customer Interest: There is evidence that the ethical conduct of companies exerts a growing influence on the purchasing decisions of customers.

Growing Investor Pressure: Investors are changing the way they assess companies’ performance, and are making decisions based on criteria that include ethical concerns. The Social Investment Forum reports that in the US in 1999, there was more than $2 trillion worth of assets invested in portfolios that used screens linked to the environment and social responsibility.

Competitive Labour Markets: Employees are increasingly looking beyond paychecks and benefits, and seeking out employers whose philosophies and operating practices match their own principles. In order to hire and retain skilled employees, companies are being forced to improve working conditions.

Supplier Relations: As stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in business affairs, many companies are taking steps to ensure that their partners conduct themselves in a socially responsible manner. Some are introducing codes of conduct for their suppliers, to ensure that other companies’ policies or practices do not tarnish their reputation.

Lack of Community Participation in CSR Activities:

There is a lack of interest of the local community in participating and contributing to CSR activities of companies. This is largely attributable to the fact that there exists little or no knowledge about CSR within the local communities as no serious efforts have been made to spread awareness about CSR and instill confidence in the local communities about such initiatives. The situation is further aggravated by a lack of communication between the company and the community at the grassroots.

Need to Build Local Capacities:

There is a need for capacity building of the local non-governmental organizations as there is serious dearth of trained and efficient organizations that can effectively contribute to the ongoing CSR activities initiated by companies. This seriously compromises scaling up of CSR initiatives and subsequently limits the scope of such activities (http://www.wbiworldconpro.com/uploads/canada-conference-2013/manageme nt/13701684 44_430-Sonam.pdf).

Challenges to CSR Initiatives in India:

CSR initiatives face many challenges in India and are often seen as deterrent to even the best intentioned plans. The most important ones are described here:

Lack of Community Participation in CSR Activities: Often, the communities who are the intended beneficiaries of a CSR program show less interest which will affect their participation and contribution. Also, very little efforts are being made to spread CSR within the local communities and instill confidence in the people. The situation is further aggravated by inadequate communication between the organization and the community at the grassroots level.

Need to Build Local Capacities: There is a need to build the capacities of the local non-governmental organizations. Many NGOs are not adequately trained and equipped to operate efficiently and effectively as there is serious dearth of trained and efficient organizations that can effectively contribute to the ongoing CSR activities initiated by companies. This seriously compromises efforts to scale CSR initiatives and consequently limits the scope and outcome of a company’s CSR initiatives.

Issues of Transparency: Lack of transparency is one of the key issues. There is a perception that partner NGOs or local implementation agencies do not share adequate information and make efforts to disclose information on their programs, address concerns, assess impacts and utilize funds. This perceived lack of transparency has a negative impact on the process of trust building between companies and local communities, which is a key to the success of any CSR initiative.

Lack of Consensus: There is a lack of consensus amongst local agencies regarding CSR project needs and priorities. It results in lack of consensus which often results in duplication of activities by corporate houses in their areas of their intervention. The consequence results in unhealthy competitiveness spirit among local implementing agencies, which goes against the necessity to have rather than building collaborative approaches on important issues. This factor limits organization’s abilities to undertake impact assessment of their initiatives from time to time. (file:///C:/Users/mohdsaqlein/Downloads/9788132216520-c1.pdf).

Key Learning Issues:

Corporate Competitiveness, as addressed by strategic management, is a subject rarely discussed in the context of corporate social responsibility. However, unless all strands of corporate responsibility are brought together under a common management framework, CSR and its sustainability will remain a peripheral activity and its impact is likely to remain well below required levels to achieve the Millennium and related goals. Corporate Governance must establish the legal framework which will protect a company’s stakeholders, the relative emphasis being dependent on national models. CSR is aimed at extending the legal requirements to promote ethical practice, philanthropy and social reporting to satisfy stakeholder concerns. Corporate sustainability must focus on the long-term economic and social stakeholder expectations both by optimizing their sustainability performance and by participating in networks with governments, NGOs and other stakeholders. Such an arrangement will significantly enhance the capacities of all stakeholders and lead to faster and more sustainable development. Business ethics and social accountability are important bridges between CSR and corporate governance. Investor demands, philanthropy and corporate citizenship provide a common ground for CSR and corporate sustainability. Performance stability and fair globalization are important aspects both in strategic management and corporate sustainability. Competition policy and regulation affects strategic management and corporate governance; but it also has key issue for strategic management and governance strategy. Specifically, a company must adequately safeguard against and specifically in terms of reputation risks to its reputation. The Parameters for CSR Initiatives are

Civil Society Strengthening: Capacity for strong performance in the community is the foundation for lasting social benefits. Worldwide, civil society is an important social and economic force with the potential to create a more free, fair and just global order. The collective nature of civic action helps to ensure that the interests of all citizens including women, the poor and other marginalized groups are adequately weighed by public institutions that make policy and allocate resources. Many civil society organizations (CSOs) face common challenges that limit their effectiveness namely, the ability to manage human and financial resources, weak advocacy abilities, and insufficient management ability to scale up promising innovations and results to achieve wider impact.

Performance Management:

It is necessary to measure the outcomes to distinguish success from failure. Thus, managing for results is central to the global revolution in public management and aid effectiveness. Strong performance monitoring systems help to sharpen strategy and learning, improve communications with stakeholders, help ensure that resources are focused on key results, and promote accountability. Yet these systems are often impractical and out of alignment with organizational skills and incentives. Thus, the focus areas for performance management are:

· An acceptable Performance Management Systems designed for a given project, which will identify key result areas, monitor implementing performance management systems for specific projects and programs to reinforce program performance, learning and accountability, encourage learning, and enforce accountability and objectively measure outcomes.

· Building Capacity for Performance Management: All stakeholders must be enabled and their capacities enhanced at both organizational and individual levels, to meet the goals of the CSR initiative building performance management capacity for entire organizations, including international donors and local partners such as governments and civil society organizations. file:///C:/Users/mohdsaqlein/Downloads/978 8132216520-c1.pdf..13

The Prospects of CSR:

The current trend of globalization has made the firms realize that in order to compete effectively in a competitive environment they need clearly defined business practises with a sound focus on the public interest in the markets:

· Firstly, the increase in competition among the multinational companies to gain first mover advantage in various developing countries by establishing goodwill relationships with both the state and the civil society is ample testimony to this transformation.

· Secondly, in most of the emerging markets, the state has a duty of protecting the interests of the general public and thus gives preference to companies which take care of the interests of all the stakeholders.

· Thirdly, emerging markets have been identified as a source of immense talent with the rising levels of education. For example, the expertise of India in churning out software professionals and China in manufacturing has now become internationally renowned. In order to draw from this vast talent pool coming up in developing countries, companies need to gain a foothold in these markets by establishing sound business practices addressing social and cultural concerns of the people. It has been observed that consumers consider switching to another company’s products and services, speak out against the company to family/friends, refuse to invest in that company’s stock, refuse to work at the company and boycott the company’s products and services in case of negative corporate citizenship behaviours.

· Fourthly, firms all over the world are beginning to grasp the importance of intangible assets, be it brand name or employee morale. Equity created in a company’s reputation or brand can easily be harmed or even lost particularly for companies whose brand equity depends on company reputation. Reputation is built around intangibles such as trust, reliability, quality, consistency, credibility, relationships and transparency, and tangibles such as investment in people, diversity and the environment. Only firms that have gained the goodwill of the general public and are ideal corporate citizens will be to develop these intangible assets into strategic advantages. CSR can be an integral element of a firm’s business and corporate-level differentiation strategies.

· Fifthly, CSR is an important factor for employee motivation and in attracting and retaining top quality employees as well. Innovation, creativity, intellectual capital and learning are helped by a positive CSR strategy.

· Sixthly, better risk management can be achieved by in-depth analysis of relations with external stakeholders. Given the increase in cross border business relationships and the threat of cross-border litigation, boards have to consider the risk management standards of business partners, and even suppliers. CSR also helps in compliance with regulation and the avoidance of legal sanctions, while the building of relationships with host governments, communities and other stakeholders can enhance a company’s reputation and credibility and be important with regard to its future investment decisions.

Hence, Companies can set a network of activities to be taken up in a consortium to tackle major environmental issues. It would also provide an opportunity to learn from each other. Everyone in the organization needs to recognize their own role in promoting CSR. Companies should provide wider professional development activities. Training, conferences and seminars could be organized by companies to disseminate and generate new knowledge and information in this sector. A strong budgetary support would definitely help to grow this sector and research related to respective industry would enhance their organizations contribution further. Government regulations which are supporting in this direction could attract more response from organizations. All this would also lead to benchmark CSR activities. Companies need to involve their stakeholders in order to build meaningful and long term partnerships which would lead to creating a strong image and brand identity. It is also suggested to review existing policies in order to develop more meaningful visions for the companies and broaden their contributions to reach to local communities (http://ww w.ijbmi.org/papers/Vol(1)1/C112229.pdf).

In this age of globalization, Corporations and business enterprises are no longer confined to the traditional boundaries of the nation-state. In the last 20 years, multinational corporations (MNCs) have played an influential role in defining markets and consumer behavior. The rules of corporate governance have also changed. Reactions to this change have been varied. On the one hand, globalization and liberalization have provided a great opportunity for corporations to become globally competitive by expanding the production base and market share. On the other hand, the conditions that favored their growth also placed these companies in an unfavorable light. Laborers, marginalized that favored their growth also placed these companies in an unfavorable light. Laborers, marginalized consumers, environmental and social activists protested against the unprecedented (and undesirable) predominance of multinational corporations. The revolution in communication technology and the effectiveness of knowledge based economics threw up a new model of business and corporate governance. Growing awareness of the need for ecological sustainability paved the way for a new generation of business leaders concerned about the community response and environmental sustainability. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is, essentially a new business strategy to reduce investment risks and maximize profits by taking all the key stake holders into confidence. The new generation of corporations and the new economy entrepreneurs recognize the fact that social and environmental stability are two important prerequisites for the long-term sustainability of their markets. From the eco- social perspective, corporate social responsibility is both a value and a strategy to ensure the sustainability of business. For the new generation of corporate leaders, optimization of profit is the key, is more important than its maximization. Hence there is a noticeable shift from accountability to shareholders to accountability to all stakeholders for the long-term success and sustainability of the business. Stakeholders include consumers, employees, affected communities and shareholders, all of whom have the right to know about the corporations and their business. This raises the important issue of transparency in the organization (file:/// C:/Users/mohdsaqlein/Downloads/9788132216520-c1.pdf).

Conclusion:

To conclude, the new CSR provisions in India are not a case of government abrogating its responsibility to the private sector. The estimated annual amount of CSR spending by corporate judged in context of total social sector spending by the government is just around two per cent of what listed companies would have spent after applying the criteria under Section 135. Rather, the new CSR provisions should be looked at as an effort by the government to make the corporate sector play a complementary role in meeting the broader society goal of encompassing development. Under the new CSR rules, the flexibility given to the companies in choosing and monitoring the projects is likely to promote efficiency and effectiveness in project implementation without the CSR Rules coming into serious conflicts with the primary objective of shareholder value maximization of companies. Social and economic incentives seem to have been well balanced in the new CSR rules and one can hope that the corporate sector will willingly lend a helping hand to the government in contributing to the inclusive growth of the nation.

REFERENCES:

1. Patil, V. T. & Sharma, S. (2009). Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights. Delhi: Authors Press.

2. Crane, A. et al (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context. ed. New York: Routledge.

3. Carroll, A. (2008). The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders. In Crane, A. et al. Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context. ed. New York: Routledge.

4. (http://finance.bih.nic.in/Documents/CSR-Policy.pdf).

5. (http://www.wbiworldconpro.com/uploads/canada-conference-2013/management/13 70168444_430-Sonam.pdf).

6. (file:///C:/Users/mohdsaqlein/Downloads/9788132216520-c1.pdf).

7. (http://www.ijbmi.org/papers/Vol(1)1/C112229.pdf).

About the Author:

Ms. Razdha Parveen is pursuing Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh since March 2013. She is also availing Junior Research Fellowship under the scheme of UGC (JRF-UGC). Her research topic is “Imprisonment and Health: A Study of the Women Inmates of Selected District Jails of Western Uttar Pradesh”.


[*] Research Scholar, Department of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh: 202002.