CSR Made Mandatory:
CSR Made Mandatory:
In order to streamline the philanthropic activities and ensure more accountability and transparency, the government of India made it mandatory for companies to undertake CSR activities under the Companies Act, 2013. The concept of CSR is defined in clause 135 of the Act and it is applicable to companies which have an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or a net profit of Rs 5 crore or more.
Under this clause, these companies are supposed to set aside at least 2% of their average profit in the last three years for CSR activities. The law has listed out a wide spectrum of activities under CSR, which cover activities such as promotion of education, gender equity and women’s empowerment, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, eradication of extreme poverty, contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and other central funds, social business projects, reduction in child mortality, improving maternal health, environmental sustainability and employment enhancing vocational skills among others.
CSR has been a result of growing global culture based on Gates Buffet philanthropic model. There was increased emphasis by billionaire philanthropists Gates and Buffet to Indian industrialists to adopt more vigorous corporate social responsibility. Indian industries have shown recent initiatives under new government about increased sense of duty towards public. TCS, Vedanta, Bharti Enterprises and Larsen & Toubro will construct toilets across the country to strengthen government’s “Swachh Bharat” campaign.
Earlier, Sunil Mittal led Bharti Enterprises’ development arm Bharti Foundation had also announced investment of up to Rs 100 crore in constructing toilets in Ludhiana over the next three years:
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had pledged Rs 100 crore towards financing hygienic sanitation facilities for girl students across 10,000 schools while Vedanta Group announced to build 10,000 more toilets in addition to 30,000 which they are aiready building in collaboration of Rajasthan government. Effect of globalization on CSR has been evident: as initiatives taken by foreign companies towards CSR have encouraged domestic companies to increase
their CSR assistance. As seen in following figure due to competition by foreign companies, CSR by domestic companies have increased in past few years. 99
There has also been a significant increase in the average CSR expenditure by domestic firms as compared to foreign firms. Average CSR expenditure by domestic and foreign firms was Rs 3.79 and 8.5 million respectively in 2011-12, but this increased to Rs 22.6 million and 19.5 million respectively in 2012-13. in
With Globalization there has been development of Rights based approach policy making instead of needs based or charity based. Rights based approach guarantees grievance redressal mechanism which entitles aggrieved party to approach higher authorities and tribunal which was absent in earlier welfare based approach. Thus we see cropping up of various tribunal boards like Intellectual Property Appellate Board which hears cases regarding trademark infringement, National Green Tribunal etc post globalization era. Prominent example of policy initiative under this direction is enactment
Intellectual property (IP) is the creation of human intellect. It refers to the ideas, knowledge, invention, innovation, creativity and research etc, all being the product human mind and is similar to any property, whether movable or immovable, wherein the proprietor or the owner may exclusively use his property at will and has the right to prevent others from using it, without his permission. The rights relating to intellectual property are known as ‘Intellectual Property Rights’.
The issue of Intellectual Property Rights was brought on an international platform of negotiation by World Trade Organization (WTO) through its Agreement on ‘Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights’ (TRIPS). This agreement narrowed down the differences existing in the extent of protection and enforcement of the Intellectual Property rights (IPRS) around the world by bringing them under a common minimum internationally agreed trade standards. The member countries are required to abide by these standards within stipulated time-frame. India, being a signatory of TRIPS has evolved an elaborate administrative and legislative framework for protection of its intellectual property.
India has a functioning legal regime in each of the IPR mechanisms such as patents, designs, trademarks and geographical indications and these are administered by the Indian patent office. All these and especially the legal regime on patents, were arrived at after an extensive debate that took place both inside and outside Parliament. In the recent past, there have been many instances of India taking a decisive stand on patents to the advantage of domestic manufacturers and consumers. for the domestic
This, for example, is in the granting of a compulsory licence manufacture of an anti-cancer drug on grounds of unaffordable prices being charged by the patent holder. A further example is the denial of a patent for another anti-cancer drug by the Supreme Court on the ground that the application did not meet India’s higher bar on the criteria of inventiveness contained in the amended Indian Patent Act of 1970. (USTR) published a special
The office of the United States Trade Representative report in 2014 which, based on an analysis of the strength of India’s IPR regime, has continued to place India along with nine other countries on a priority watch list. Priority watch list countries are judged by the USTR as having “serious intellectual property rights deficiencies” that require increased USTR attention. provisions, we have individual legal acts on
Hence complying with TRIPS patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications, all of which were suitably amended in the last 20 years or so to comply with TRIPS. Further, we have the Indian patent office (although not officially denoted as such) in the form of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks and Geographical Indications and a tribunal in mechanism based on
Globalization has also inspired devolution and decentralization of at local levels. since 1992, following the 73rd constitutional amendment Panchayats
These interventions are examples of grievance redressal political powers have acquired a new meaning as “institutions of local self-government” with the specific task to prepare and implement “plans for economic development and social justice” [Article 243G of the Indian Constitution].
Most realize this new constitutional change as bringing a third stratum of government in Indian federal polity. An important function is assigned to the Gram Sabha, ‘the assembly of the citizen voters’ as a deliberative and deciding body. In this manner an element of direct democracy is introduced at the lowest level. That is one way to broaden downward accountability as well.
Direct election at all levels is made regular and mandatory. An independent State Election Commission is established for superintendence, direction and control of the electoral process and preparation of electoral rolls as well as to conduct five yearly elections.
Uniform three-tier structure across the country with the Village, Block (intermediate) and District as appropriate levels.
In all the Panchayats, seats are to be reserved for SCs and STs (Scheduled Castes or Dalits and Scheduled Tribes) in proportion to their population. One third of the total seats is to be reserved for women. One-third positions of presidents of Panchayats at all levels also will be reserved for women.
Obviously these are ways to empower the under privileged on rights based approach.
For assigning expenditure responsibilities to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIS) an illustrative list of 29 subjects are mentioned in the Xlth schedule of the constitution. This list of functional assignments is prepared to identify the areas for planning for economic development and social justice. Each state legislature is required to make, not only functional devolutions keeping the list as illustrative guidelines, but also to provide adequate power and authority to the PRIs to enable them to function as ‘institutions of local self-government’.
Setting up of a State Finance Commission once in five years to review the financial position of the local governments and to make suitable recommendations to the state on the distribution of funds among Panchayats.
Another benefit of creating rights is that administrative mechanism also grows to fulfil its duty and matches the requirements of implementation of scheme. Legal rights keep authorities more responsive and alert because non fulfilment of requires action will lead to legal action.