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Introduction Over the past few years CSR, as a concept, has been the focus of many deliberations and

research. It has grown in importance both academically as well as in the business sense. It captures a spectrum of values and criteria for measuring a companys contribution to social development. As the term CSR is used continually, many complementary and overlapping concepts, such as corporate citizenship, business ethics, stakeholder management and sustainability, have emerged. These extensive ranges of synonymously used terms indicate that multiple definitions have been devised for CSR, mostly from different perspectives and by those in facilitating roles such as the corporate sector, government agencies, academics and the public sector.

Definition

A widely cited definition of CSR in the business and social context has been given by the European Union (EU). It describes CSR as the concept that an enterprise is accountable for its impact on all relevant stakeholders. It is the continuing commitment by business to behave fairly and responsibly, and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the work force and their families as well as of the local community and society at large...

In other words, CSR refers to ensuring the success of the business by inclusion of social and environmental considerations into a companys operations. It means satisfying your shareholders and customers demands while also managing the expectation of other stakeholders such as employees, suppliers and the community at large. It also means contributing positively to society and managing your organizations environmental impact.2Hence, CSR is a contribution to sustainable development, implying the way a company balances its economic, environmental and social objectives while addressing stakeholder expectations and enhancing shareholder value

Evolution of CSR in India India has the worlds richest tradition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The term CSR may be relatively new to India, but the concept dates back to Mauryan history, where philosophers like Kautilya emphasized on ethical practices and principles while conducting business. CSR has been informally practiced in ancient times in form of charity to the poor and disadvantaged. Indian scriptures have at several places mentioned the importance of sharing ones earning with the deprived section of society. We have a deep rooted culture of sharing and caring. Religion also played a major role in promoting the concept of CSR. Islam had a law called Zakaat, which rules that a portion of ones earning must be shared with the poor in form of donations. Merchants belonging to Hindu religion gave alms, got temples and night shelters made for the poorer class. Hindus followed Dharmada where the manufacturer or seller charged a specific amount from the purchaser, which was used for charity. The amount was known as charity amount or Dharmada. In the same fashion, Sikhs followed Daashaant. Here, we can understand that the history of CSR in India runs parallel to the historical development of India. CSR has evolved in phases like community engagement, socially responsible production, and socially responsible employee relations. Therefore, the history of Corporate Social responsibility in India can be broadly divided into four phases: 1st phase The first phase of CSR was driven by noble deeds of philanthropists and charity. It was influenced by family values, traditions, culture and religion along with industrialization. Till 1850, the wealthy businessmen shared their riches with the society by either setting up temples or religious institutions. In times of famines, they opened their granaries for the poor and hungry. The approach towards CSR changed with the arrival of colonial rule in 1850. In the Preindependence era, the pioneers or propagators of industrialization also supported the concept of CSR. In 1900s, the industrialist families like Tatas, Birlas, Modis, Godrej, Bajajs and Singhanias promoted this concept by setting up charitable foundations, educational and healthcare

institutions, and trusts for community development. It may also be interesting to note that their efforts for social benefit were also driven by political motives. The second phase was the period of independence struggle when the industrialists were pressurized to show their dedication towards the benefit of the society. Mahatma Gandhi urged to the powerful industrialists to share their wealth for the benefit of underprivileged section of the society. He gave the concept of trusteeship. This concept of trusteeship helped in the socioeconomic growth of India. Gandhi regarded the Indian companies and industries as Temples of Modern India. He influenced the industrialists and business houses to build trusts for colleges, research and training institutes. These trusts also worked to enhance social reforms like rural development, women empowerment and education. In the third

phase from 1960-1980, CSR was influenced by the emergence of Public sector

undertakings to ensure proper distribution of wealth. The policy of industrial licensing, high taxes and restrictions on the private sector resulted in corporate malpractices. This led to enactment of legislation regarding corporate governance, labor and environmental issues. Still the PSUs were not very successful. Therefore there was a natural shift of expectation from the public to the private sector and their active involvement in the socio-economic growth. In 1965, the academicians, politicians and businessmen set up a national workshop on CSR, where great stress was laid on social accountability and transparency. In the fourth

phase from 1980 onwards, Indian companies integrated CSR into a

sustainable business strategy. With globalization and economic liberalization in 1990s, and partial withdrawal of controls and licensing systems there was a boom in the economic growth of the country. This led to the increased momentum in industrial growth, making it possible for the companies to contribute more towards social responsibility. What started as charity is now understood and accepted as responsibility.

Companies Bill, 2012 and CSR With a view to provide a framework for companies (private and public) to implement need-based CSR activities, the Government of India has included CSR-related provisions in the Companies Bill, 2012. The Clause 135 of the Companies Bill 2012 aims at motivating companies to spend 2% of the Profit after Tax (PAT) on CSR. Though spending 2% of the PAT is not mandatory but Clause 135 of the proposed Companies Bill casts a duty on the Board to specify reasons for not spending the specified amount on CSR. The Clause 135 will be applicable to all companies that have either of the following: Net worth of INR 500 crores or more Turnover of INR 1000 crores or more Net profit of INR 5 crores or more An average of last three financial years PAT will be considered for calculating the 2% for CSR. The Bill mandates companies to form a board-level CSR Committee comprising three or more directors with at least one independent director. The composition of the CSR Committee has to be disclosed in the annual board of directors report. The CSR Committee will be responsible for formulating and recommending a CSR policy and implementation plan. The Committee will also be responsible for regular monitoring of CSR activities. Companys board will be responsible for approving and disclosing CSR Policy in the annual Directors Report and on companys website. The Board will also be responsible for ensuring implementation of CSR activities according to the Policy. The annual Directors Report has to specify reasons in case the specific amount (2% of PAT) has not been utilized adequately.

The current scenario:

The CSR activities of 50 companies from the S&P BSE Top 100 Index 9 were analyzed in order to identify the trends of CSR activities in India as represented by those companies that are a part of the index. The parameters chosen to undertake the research have been categorized broadly into Design, Deliver and Disclose. The Design category focuses on understanding the partnership preference and the implementation mechanism for CSR activities. The Deliver category aims to identify the thematic areas that best describe the companys activities and their geographic focus. The Disclose category provides an insight on how companies are disclosing their CSR activities and sharing their learning with the public

Design This section provides an insight on the implementation platform used by companies to implement CSR activities. It also highlights type of partnerships in practice for implementing CSR activities. There are several platforms in use by companies to manage CSR. Approximately 40% of the organization have established not-for profit entity to mange and execute CSR initiative. Remaining 60% of the organizations are managing CSR initiatives within the organization. Either by establishing a dedicated CSR department or giving the responsibility to the human resources function or to the Corporate Communication department. Most of the companies implement CSR activities through NGOs. The research indicates that nearly 70% have partnerships with the NGOs for implementation of CSR activities. The remaining companies are implementing CSR activities directly; it is possible that these companies are not likely to have disclosed their partnerships in the public domain.

Deliver The research focused on understanding broad thematic areas such as education, health care, environment, livelihood, rural development and disaster relief as a focus of CSR initiatives.

Furthermore, efforts were made to understand specific areas/issues covered in each of these broad thematic areas. As presented in the figure most common thematic areas covered by the companies include health, education, livelihoods, environment and rural development. Of these thematic areas, education is the most common and research indicates that 100% of the companies included in the research were found to have some initiatives on education followed by livelihoods and environment and then health care and rural development

Disclose One of the key focus areas of research was to determine whether companies disclose their CSR initiatives in the public domain either through a sustainability report or a specialized CSR report. The research also determined whether the allocated budget or the total expenditure for CSR activities was disclosed in the public domain

CSR activities in todays India CSR activities in todays India can be classified under two headings they are CSR activities that are under taken by corporate giants and those done by MSMEs. The basis for this classification is the commitment level and transparency that is maintained in CSR activities. CSR activities of corporate giants Corporate giants as the name suggest are deep pocketed organizations and own huge market share in the industry they exist. Lets consider TATA that seems to be the highest contributor to CSR activities.. Some 66 percent of profits of Tata Sons go to charity. Tata Consultancy Services

(TCS) [11] has set up a fully-equipped computer training laboratory for children from the Society for the Welfare of the Physically Handicapped and Research Centre, in Pune for imparting basic computer knowledge. Tata Chemicals [11] set up the Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) in 1980 to promote its social uplift projects for communities in and around Mithapur (in the state of Gujarat in western India), Babrala (in the state of Madhya Pradesh in northern India) and Haldia (in the state of West Bengalin eastern India). ITC [12] have made farmer development a vital part of its business strategy, and made major efforts to improve the livelihood standards of rural communities. Unilever [13] is using micro enterprises to strategically augment the penetration of consumer products in rural markets. On February 18, 2008, leading Beverage Company in India, Coca-Cola India [14], was awarded the Golden Peacock award for Corporate Social Responsibility for the several community initiatives it had taken and its efforts toward conservation of water. CSR activities of Infosys [15], Indian software giant is more decentralized and varies from one of its branch to another. Infosys support activities of institutes and Non-Government Organizations dedicated to healthcare and education, and campaigns for skills development and community welfare. On the other hand, the CSR programs of corporations like GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals focus on the health aspect of the community. They set up health camps in tribal villages which offer medical check-ups and treatment and undertake health awareness programs. Some of the non-profit organizations which carry out health and education programs in backward areas are to a certain extent funded by such corporations. As we see the core idea of all these CSR activity though being directed in some way or other towards their own corporate strategy implementation has been contributing to the development of the part of society that their stakeholders belong to. SME formed out of the unorganized sectors like carpet manufacturing, handicrafts, glass industries etc take part in CSR activities to enhance their manpower by enhancing skill set of the community they exist in and thus adding to their capacity. Companies like Asahi Glass [1], 3M India, and Bajaj Electrical take part in CSR activities with the help of NGO into activities concerning to education, community developments etc. This shows that SCR activities [16] are also catching up among SMEs of Indian economy.

Globally: Some existing CSR policy initiatives across countries. As the importance of being socially responsible is being recognized throughout the world, governments are aware of the national competitive advantages won from a responsible business sector. Large corporations have progressively realized the benefit of implementing CSR initiatives where their business operations are located. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) established a set of guidelines for multinational enterprises in 1976, and was thus a pioneer in developing the concept of CSR. The purpose of these guidelines was to improve the investment climate and encourage the positive contribution multinational enterprises can make to economic and social progress. It is observed that, transparency in reporting enhances the focus on economic, social and environmental factors. It motivates companies to intensify their efforts in becoming socially responsible. Several efforts have been taken by various governments, to encourage CSR reporting, such as incentivizing companies who voluntarily report their CSR activities or by taking measures such as mandating CSR reporting. In 2007, the Malaysian government passed a regulation to mandate all publicly listed companies to publish their CSR initiatives in their annual reports on a comply or explain basis. Accordingly, all public listed companies (PLCs) in Malaysia have to either publish CSR information or they need to explain why they should be exempted. In another example, in 2009 Denmark mandated CSR reporting, asking all stateowned companies and companies with total assets of more than 19 million, revenues more than 38 million and more than 250 employees, to report their social initiatives in their annual financial reports. To enable transparency from businesses on the environment, social and governance front, France passed a law called Grenelle II, which mandates integrated sustainability and financial reporting for all companies listed on the French stock exchanges, including subsidiaries of foreign companies located in France and unlisted companies with sales revenue of more than 400 million and more than 2,000 employees. Although some CSR standards are mandatory, there are others, which comprise of both, mandatory and voluntary standards. For instance, in 2006 the British Companies Act mandated all companies listed in the UK to include information about their CSR activities in their annual reports; however, a full length CSR reporting was made voluntary.

A corporate responsibility index challenges and supports large organizations to integrate responsible business practices. Emerging markets such as Brazil, China and South Africa have become forerunners in CSR reporting in the developing world in terms of their involvement in CSR-related activities in order to promote the listed companies credibility, transparency and endurance. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange was the first emerging market stock exchange to create a socially responsible investing (SRI) index in 2004. China has also encouraged CSR reporting in guidelines released through the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchange.