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Education, Employable Skills Top CSR Spends: Report

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A majority of information technology (IT) and financial service sector companies in India are investing in education and employable skills, when it comes to the mandatory spend on corporate social responsibility (CSR), says a report by Nasscom Foundation.

‘Key to social issues’

“About half the companies (70) interviewed have spent more than 70% of their CSR in education and employable skills initiatives,” said the report titled ‘Catalysing Change Through CSR’ – released at the CSR Leadership Conference.

“Education and employable skills are the key to most of India’s social problems. An industry which has grown solely by investing into knowledge and key skills, realises the difference a skilled knowledge society can make and therefore, a major chunk of the CSR funds has been dedicated to education and employable skills,” Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation, said in a statement.

As per the report, 53% of the surveyed companies based in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana as well as the National Capital Region, said they were now also investing considerably in non-headquarter geographies.

Firms surveyed

The survey featured firms like Sonata Software, Hinduja Global Solutions, Wipro, HP Inc, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant Technologies, Mphasis, and Aricent, among others.

The report, which maps the spending trend in the third year of operationalisation of the CSR mandate (two per cent of average profits of past three years), also noted that companies were placing greater importance on monitoring outcomes by integrating technology.

Roadblocks

“Companies have become increasingly aware of outcome assessment and close monitoring implementing agencies, as evidenced by the growing frequency of report submissions from partner organisations, and greater on-ground frequency of their Corporate Social Responsibility teams,” the Nasscom report added.

Among the roadblocks cited by a large number of companies was identification, selection and due diligence on non-government organisations and the absence of robust tracking process.

(Business Line)

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