Corporate Social Responsibility, as defined by the United Nations International Development Organization, ‘is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. CSR is generally understood as – doing business in a manner 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.’
It has been a part of our social fabric for decades now. Traditionally, seen as a philanthropic activity, the CSR practice in India has evolved from establishing endowing institutions to actively participating in our freedom movement – it was many years ago when the idea of ‘trusteeship’ advocated by Mahatama Gandhi had gained prominence. Today, CSR as practiced by the corporates is more structured. With increasing global influence, and communities becoming more active and vigilant, corporates are looking at it more strategically and responsibly.
Taking the momentum further, very recently, the Government of India, under The Companies Act 2013, has introduced the CSR bill, with the objective to promote greater transparency and disclosure. To be implemented from 2014 – 2015, this bill is expected to significantly improve the CSR practice in India.
You can read more about the bill here.