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Bajaj Auto CSR report FY 23: Skilling youth and conserving the environment

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Industrialist and freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj, a close aide of Mahatma Gandhi founded the Bajaj Group of Companies in the 1920s. The journey of Bajaj Group started eighty years back with a sugar factory in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. The group has diversified into a variety of business areas, Bajaj Auto Limited being one of the major companies which was born in 1945. Bajaj Auto was founded by Kamalnayan Bajaj, the elder son of Jamnalal Bajaj.
Headquartered in Pune, Bajaj Auto manufactures motorcycles, scooters and auto rickshaws and is also one of India’s leading exporters of motorcycles. Bajaj Auto claims to be the first two-wheeler and three-wheeler company in the world to have reached a market capitalisation of INR one trillion.
Bajaj Auto has its subsidiaries in Indonesia, Netherlands, Thailand, Brazil and Spain. The company has committed to an investment of Rs 300 crore for a manufacturing unit in Akurdi of Pune district in Maharashtra that will produce 500,000 EV units per year.

Bajaj Foundation

Bajaj Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Bajaj Group of companies, which works towards transforming communities by implementing sustainable Water Recharge Structures, River Rejuvenation Projects, and Skill Development Programmes for farmers. The Foundation has been working towards the self-reliant and self-sustainability model for rural Indian communities. It also focuses on promoting the use of Renewable Energy like Biogas and Solar Panels.

CSR of Bajaj Auto

The company prioritises skilling and improving quality of life especially of marginalized communities living in and around the locations of its manufacturing plants. The company has also extended support to notable initiatives in water conservation.
The CSR committee is chaired by Rajiv Bajaj, who is the MD and CEO of Bajaj Auto. He is the son of Bajaj Auto’s Chairman Emeritus, the Late Rahul Bajaj. The CSR committee also comprises Executive Director Pradeep Shrivastava and Dr. Naushad Forbes.
In the FY 2022-23, Bajaj Auto Limited spent Rs 53.91 crore, out of Rs 124.99 crore which the company was obligated to spend in the said financial year.

CSR initiatives:

Skill Development

During FY 2023, the company focused on skill development initiatives as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As a part of skilling initiatives, two programmes have been launched. These are:

Bajaj Engineering Skills Training (BEST)

This programme is aimed at making the youth ready for industry 4.0 by skilling them in current and evolving technologies. A focused curriculum is developed in 4 modules and setting up Industry relevant equipment across Universities and Engineering colleges for practical applications. The training will focus on 4 critical modules: (1) Mechatronics, (2) Motion Control and Sensor Technology, (3) Robotics and Automation, and (4) Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. The modules and labs for these topics have been designed leveraging experts from Bajaj Auto Engineering team and in consultation with external stakeholders like CII, ACMA, ASDC and Academia.
The primary target beneficiaries for the programme are Diploma and Graduate engineers from tier 2 and tier 3 educational institutions and cities. The duration of such courses is designed to be between 4-6 months with a combination of 70% practical and 30% theory. The centre will also cater to various other short term skill trainings, covering both fresh skilling and upskilling.
During the launch phase in 2023, the company collaborated with Banasthali Vidhyapeeth in Tonk, Rajasthan and Symbiosis International University in Pune, Maharashtra for this programme. It will soon be extended to other top universities and engineering colleges across the country.
Speaking on the initiative, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto Limited, said, “Every year, more than 12 million people enter the workforce. But with rapid changes in technology, there is a huge gap between academia and industry in making the youth job ready. With a legacy of giving back to society, we are now proud to announce our flagship CSR project that commits to bridging this gap.”

Bajaj Manufacturing Systems (BMS) Certification program

The company has been implementing manufacturing system and processes as per the TPM (Total Productivity Management) philosophy. To better equip the students, Bajaj Auto has developed an innovative and interactive digitised self-learning content with real life and industry examples. These modules are going to be hosted via online Learning Management System (LMS) and will provide free access to students. The first phase of pilot was conducted in 2023 across ITI’s in Maharashtra. The company plans to expand this programme across Maharashtra and other states of India.

Education

Education programmes in and around the company’s area of operation include:

STEM Education in schools

The company has implemented Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) education in schools and tuition centres to support school children with academic classes which will enhance their interest in STEM subjects. It also has set up science labs in schools and trained teachers to adopt applied learning.

Vocational Education in schools

The company is supporting the organisation ‘Lend A Hand India’ for a three-year intervention aimed at improving access and quality of imparting education in secondary and higher secondary schools in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.  ‘Lend A Hand India’ is working to prepare youth for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities by integrating vocational with mainstream education at secondary and higher secondary education level (Grade 9-12 and student age 14 to 18).
The project aims to launch skill vocational education program in 20 schools (10 schools each at Sikar in Rajasthan and Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand) and to provide technical and project management support to the State Governments of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in scaling the vocational education in 1,105 schools (905 in Rajasthan and 200 in Uttarakhand).

Scholarships for Higher Education

Bajaj Auto has started the ‘Rupa Rahul Bajaj Scholarship Program’ to support students from underprivileged background for pursuing higher education. Currently, 10 students have been extended the financial support for four years starting from FY 2024. This programme will be scaled up to create a pipeline for BEST initiative.

Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST-Youth Entrepreneurship Development Program)

The programme, run by BYST, includes supporting underprivileged young entrepreneurs by supplementing financing based on the assessment done by the mentors assigned to them who are drawn from the similar industry. The young entrepreneurs are nurtured till they reach a level where not only are self-sufficient, but they in turn make a valuable contribution to society through creation of wealth and employment. Bajaj Auto has commitment to mentor 1,000 youths through BYST and help them build their enterprise.

Environment sustainability

Initiatives backed by the company for the purpose of environment sustainability include

Bajaj Water Conservation Project (BWCP)

The Bajaj Water Conservation Project was launched in 110 villages of Gangapur and Aurangabad Talukas of Aurangabad district, where a total of Rs 123 crore was funded by the company and the community contributed Rs 46 crore for the project in its second phase. The key activities undertaken during second phase were water resource development, capacity building, livelihood enhancement through alternate livelihoods, soil conservation and plantation, water use efficiency and productivity enhancement. The programme has been running since 2015.

Animal Welfare

Bajaj Auto is supporting ‘Canine Control & Care’, an organisation working for stray dogs in India. In FY 2023, the company supported the ABC (Animal Birth Control) of Canine Population in Pune Municipal Corporation area. Along with ABC, these canines also get vaccinated for Rabies.

Conclusion

While the company has taken notable CSR initiatives especially for education, skill development and water conservation in the financial year 2022-23, the gap between the obligated CSR expenditure and actual amount spent remains huge.