The Indian government has appointed 12-member panel to review the CSR enforcement provisions under the Companies Act. Another focus of the panel is to look after having a centralized scrutiny and prosecution mechanism to deal with violations. The move by the Corporate Affairs Ministry comes little over four years after the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norms came into force on April 1, 2014.
Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain class of profitable entities are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. In case of non-compliance, reasons have to be furnished by the concerned entities to the ministry.
In recent times, the ministry has come across rising instances of non-compliance with CSR requirement.
Last year, the ministry had sought explanation from many companies as they were found to not have complied with CSR norms.
So much importance is being given to the concept of CSR because this is seen as a bright hope for the development of India. Through CSR activities, corporations can pay back to the society by social welfare, because corporations have to take care of the society and environment within which it works.
A committee on CSR to review “The functioning of CSR enforcement and to recommend a uniform approach for its enforcement” has been constituted, according to a communication from the ministry.
Among others, the panel would revisit the guidelines for enforcement of CSR provisions and basis, including structure of Centralized Scrutiny and Prosecution Mechanism (CSPM).
As per the communication, dated April 4, the panel will revisit “Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013, on the basis of references received from stakeholders, including ministries and department of centre and states, members of Parliament, member of state legislatures and civil societies”.
The panel will comprise of 12 members and will be headed by Regional Director Manmohan Juneja. Mr. Sanjay Shorey (Joint Director, Legal) and N K Dua (Joint Director, Policy) will also be the members while Seema Rath; Deputy Director (CSR) will be the convener. Representatives from apex bodies of chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries, among others will be part of the panel.
Besides, there will be two sub-committees — legal and technical — that would go into various aspects in relation to compliance with CSR provisions.
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and install a love for learning. – Brad Henry
Teachers play an extraordinary part in the lives of children for the formative years of their development and the importance of teachers is something that cannot be measured. They involve themselves in molding their students into responsible citizens of their country.
Within a school, if teachers are well trained and if they are intellectually alive, then only success is ensured.
And for this reason, Under CSR Initiative of Merino Laminates, Merino Laminates & STEM Learning joined hands to empower teachers with easy teaching aids. With 65 table top models of Mini Science Centre, teachers can now teach complex scientific & mathematics concepts with ease.
On 28 th March 2018, Teachers Training Program was conducted in Swami Vivekananda Arunoday Vidhyalaya, Hapur. The session begun with Idol Pujan of Swami Vivekananda. Total 10 teachers were present, out of which 6 belonged to science and math subjects and rest from other subjects. The teachers were trained to bridge the gap between textbook knowledge and inquiry-based learning.
Mrs. Bhavana Sharma, Science teacher, Swami Vivekananda Arunoday Vidhyalaya, Hapur quoted, “Models of Mini Science Centre will be helpful for the students in learning process as they will understand the concepts by hands-on activity with text books concepts.”
Miss. Radhika Agarwal, Math’s and Science Teacher further added, “These models are interesting and easy to handle and explain. This models helps students to learn in better way.”
“The school majorly focuses on the education of children from slum areas & provides Day Boarding especially for girls’ literacy. It is well maintained and the students are disciplined.” Said by Aadesh Patil, Master Trainer. He further added that, “All the teachers are knowledgeable so session went well and in a friendly & joyful way.”
The Mini Science Centre & Teacher’s training programme were supported by Merino Laminates.
The evolution of CSR in India in the last two-three years has led to an increase in the number of effectively managed social sector interventions & It is imperative for the businesses to gather adequate information and credible data for measuring performance, to know the success and accordingly proceed/align/re-align the strategies and achieving the desired results and outcome as planned.
Through Monitoring & Evaluation, STEM Learning helps donors, policy makers, implementers and other stakeholders to analyze the effect of their initiatives that they have conducted.
The focus of STEM Learning is not just to install Mini Science Centre (MSC), rather seek to increase STEM literacy and prepare young children for the demands of a 21-century society that will require them to learn sequencing, think computationally, problem-solve, and collaborate.
Simultaneously, We keep a continuous check on the school and students so that a record can be maintained of what changes have came in their learning process.
When asked that what changes are observed after the installation of Mini Science Centre, Ravi Kadam, STEM (Monitoring & Evaluation team), quoted, “As STEM science models are approved by SCERT boards of four states viz. Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir. The teachers found the models useful and it helps them to explain the complex scientific & mathematical concepts with ease. Speaking about children, they tend to easily remember the concepts when they observe & handle the working models themselves. Instead of mugging up, they write what they experience.”
It can be concluded through the observations that after the installation of MSC, the school’s participation in science related competitions are increased. The students who have access to MSC are not afraid of science anymore. Mr Ravi further mentioned that students from Nakhava High School, Thane conducted small sessions on the roads in nearby area to explain working of Mini Science Centre models to common people.
The journey is full of obstacles and inconveniences. Many times M&E team members travel to the remotest areas. Like M&E team members visited schools in Shahapur taluka, a remote area; don’t have basic infrastructure too. Some classes were taken under the metal sheets. But when they got Mini Science Centre in their school the needy students got benefited through it. The moment we witness students getting benefited because of our efforts, that give us real joy. It makes all the difficulties turn into great memories.
– Ravi Kadam
Monitoring & Evaluation Team, STEM Learning
“Only 15 percent of the world’s one billion full-time employees are engaged at work but this still means that roughly 85 percent of employees aren’t engaged. It would change the world if we did better,” wrote Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO at Gallup.
Engagement is the ability to be present, focused, and energized. Engaged people go above and beyond what is expected of them because they feel part of a purpose larger than themselves.
Employee engagement has been the elusive holy grail for most managers, regardless of industry sectors or geographic territories. How can managers and leaders increase engagement in their organizations to boost productivity and improve profitability?
The various ways through which employees can be kept engaged are:
1. Recruit Right: That might sound a bit odd, but you cannot expect great engagement from someone who was just picked off the street and given a job with no burning desire to work for your company. Employees who really excel at work are those who are highly motivated than employees who just want a job. It is of great importance to choose a right person for the right job. Therefore, you will notice that companies that have great employee engagement are usually hard to get into in the first place; they place several barriers before you can enter as an employee.
2. Recognize Employees: Organization must be to recognize the abilities of their employees. Any organization that follows a proper recruitment process offers employment only to those they feel will make a positive contribution. Therefore, any time they make a positive contribution, acknowledge and celebrate them—not just by patting them on the back, but by noting what exactly they did and how it made a positive impact to the organization.
3. Appreciate the efforts: Organization must reward the employees who are fully engaged as it will be a motivation for them as well as for those who aren’t engaged at all. An organization that is clear about what behaviors it wants from its employees, and rewards them consistently for those behaviors, is far more likely to ensure greater level of engagement.
4. Take action or respond: Employees engage themselves so that they can benefit their organization, but if the heads don’t take any action or respond, employees feel that their efforts are unnoticed. They want their ideas to be considered seriously and, if appropriate, implemented.
5. Remove or reevaluate as necessary: Every manager has a responsibility to make the hard decision to terminate an employee if it doesn’t work out. The earlier you do this, the better it is for both the employee and the organization. The rest of the team will respect you, and your clarity of what is acceptable performance and what’s not.
6. Engage them in CSR: The employees can get the feeling of satisfaction and happiness that they are contributing their efforts for the betterment of people. And the employees feel proud in working with the organization that is engaged in CSR activities.
STEM Learning join hands with corporations so they get the opportunity to engage their employees in the CSR activities. We offer customised Volunteer Engagement programs to donors for their CSR in educational activities. To reflect the thought process of individual corporates, these activities are based on wishes from the corporate donors. In this program, we offer the following activities:
Mini Science Centre Installation: Corporate volunteers joined hands with STEM Learning to install STEM Mini Science Centres in underprivileged schools. The Mini Science Centres seek to increase STEM literacy and prepare underprivileged children for the demands of a 21-century society that will require them to learn by doing, think computationally, problem-solve, and collaborate.
Science Quiz: As part of their CSR in education, we help corporate organize science quiz competitions in schools. These competitions help build confidence among the children and develop critical thinking skills in them. Corporate put-forward a quiz in the form of interactive games based on children’s existing Math and Science syllabus.
Model Designing: Children are also encouraged to design their own models. The model making competition sparks creativity among the young boys and girls.The competition helps them to learn design-based learning to spur curiosity and innovation.
Tinker Lab:Tinker Labs are being developed by STEM Learning to develop innovative and creative skills among underprivileged children. Because being just a literate can never be enough in today’s world. We aim not only at enhancing the skills of the students but in adding up of more and more qualities in them so that they can build and make new solutions for the problems present today. STEM Tinker Labs comprises of ‘do it yourself’ kits and equipment on- Science, Electronics, Robotics, Open Source Microcontroller Boards, Sensors and 3D printers, etc.
On 18th & 19th of January 2018, STEM Learning hosted an employee engagement activity with Brillio at Bangalore for Tinker Labs. Around 100 students from 2 Government High School came for the training process.
It is important for every organization to conduct employee engagement activities so that sense of belongingness can be created among the employees. An employee goes through a lot of stress during work hours so if indulged in volunteering for any cause then they get immense satisfaction and it makes their inner self-happy. This, in turn, helps in the betterment of their work performance.
STEM Learning had an opportunity to conduct employee engagement programme with BRILLIO at Bangalore for Tinker Lab on 18 & 19 January 2018. The objective was to imbibe futuristic skill sets among underprivileged youngsters by providing them with access to multiple technologies and enabling them to build/make new solutions to solve challenges they see in their communities.
On 18 January 2018, The programme started off with training the Brillio volunteers to develop a mobile application which could convert text message into speech and secondly to design 3 dimensional model and 3d print the same. 60+ volunteers from Brillio were trained. Volunteers were so excited and motivated to contribute their strength and knowledge with children from low income school. Their active participation and sense of responsibility showcased while training & in advance preparation for the next day said everything about the volunteers.
The level of enthusiasm in the volunteer’s eyes was so noticeable when they successfully printed their 3D dice. Volunteers were excited and motivated to share their knowledge with underprivileged children.
The next day, session was conducted in Government school of Domlur and Jayanagar for 6 hours. The classroom was ready with computers, 3D printer and power connection. The classroom was ready with computers, 3D printer, power connection. The students were divided in small groups and volunteers began their sessions. Total 25 volunteers participated and spent 6 hours each on that day, sharing their knowledge and expertise with children and teacher. We had 100 students participating in Tinker session for App development and 3D printing.
Children were very excited when they were introduced to session and many interesting questions were asked. Volunteers taught 8th standard students to build their 1st mobile application which could speak. We saw students typing messages for their friends, teachers and volunteers. They were very excited and happy to hear the messages they have typed. One child solving other child’s problem, communicating and sharing ideas was worth observing. Totally engrossed in their tinker session, asking questions, few groups were way ahead and started designing 3D car, speaking calculator application, speech recognizer application and many more.
9th standard students were busy designing their first 3d dice model with help of volunteers. Every group wanted to make the best possible design for their dice with some making the edges curve, smooth, pointed, size of their dice, converting from one measurement unit to other. Children printed their own designed dice and played with it. Teachers were also trained by the volunteers.The long term plan is to handhold the teachers and prepare them for tinker session with help of strong volunteer program.
The day ended up with lots of happy faces, new ideas, experiences and learning. The tinker lab session benefited children, teacher as well as the volunteers. The success totally belongs to Brillio Volunteers. Their willingness to contribute for social welfare helped us in making the event successful.
Tamil Nadu, a state from where India and science got A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, tends to produce more and more intellectual students. No matter students are from urban area or remotest one, everyone desires to be another Abdul Kalam. STEM Learning with the support of Redington India, reached out to the students of Grace Matric H. School, Ranipet and Govt. H. School, Kothapalli to provide them with the steps to fulfill their dreams and introduced hands on table top plug & play models which benefited 300+ students. STEM Learning also has introduced Mini Science Centres in Hosur & Cuddlore, Tamil Nadu.
Mrs. Tamaraik Chilvi, Science teacher at Grace Matric H. School said “Most of our students come from the rural areas so we had communication problem, we had to explain both in Tamil and English which takes too much of time and students got bored.” But after the successful implementation of Mini Science Centre (MSC), learning STEM became way more interesting for the students.
Mrs. Vanitha, Physics teacher, Govt. H. School, said “In Mini Science Centre, there are 65 working models which are very useful for the children and we are glad to have one, because STEM working model made learning easy and interesting.”
Dr. Kadilya, Principal of Grace Matric H. School, Ranipet quoted “On behalf of the management, staff and students of school, we thank Redington Team and STEM Learning for providing us MSC. The students have been greatly benefited through it. It makes the teaching resources easy and very much available for the students. And I am sure that MSC will be a great asset to our institution in the years to come. Special thanks to STEM learning for their initiative in making the education practical and fun to learn.”
STEM Learning continues to enhance education beyond books and we believe that this initiative will be an asset for the growth of the Nation.
CSR: Mahanagar Gas Empowering Teachers in the slums of Dharavi
On 5th April 2018, Mahanagar Gas Limited in collaboration with STEM Learning conducted Teachers Training Program at Shri Ganesh Vidhya Mandir. In accordance with vision of Mahanagar Gas Limited, its CSR initiatives supplement its contributions for environment protection, development of healthy and enlightened citizens, social welfare and sustainable community development through its social initiatives.
In total 14 teachers from Shri Ganesh Vidhya Mandir and Maulana Azad English High school were trained so that they can efficiently pass on their knowledge to their students using Mini Science Centre. Mr. Vinod Singh Negi – Deputy CSR Head, Mahanagar Gas Limited graced the occasion.
Mrs. Darshana D. Nagare, Science and Math teacher quoted, “Models are very useful, easy to teach concept of science.”
“Math models are very easy to understand like area of a circle, Pythagoras theorem. All the models are good.” Further added by Miss. Kavita Vishwakarma, Math Teacher, M.A. English High school, Dharavi.
The trainers’ response was also overwhelming. They said, “all the teachers were paying attention as they were interested to learn the basic old concepts in new practical way as well as they felt that students would love this method of learning.”
While STEM Learning is an organization aimed to facilitate and implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in education sector. As a social enterprise, it is committed to empower underprivileged children with the basic concepts of STEM.
CSR: HINDALCO MAHAN Conducts Teachers Training Program in Singrauli
Technology is upgrading day by day and hence to achieve its maximum potential; it must be harnessed and implemented properly. This requires that the facilitator, the teacher must possess a certain set of knowledge and skills to understand how and when various teaching aids best support their curricula. And so teachers must also be provided with the proper training before being handed new teaching aids.
We at STEM Learning provide teachers of remote location schools with easy to handle Plug & play models (Mini Science Centre) & proper training so that they can teach students efficiently. Because, if teachers won’t exactly know how the models work then how can we expect them to enlighten students. So for achieving the goal, it is made sure that the teachers are trained properly.
Recently, HINDALCO MAHAN collaborated with STEM Learning and installed Mini Science Centre at Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. After the installment, a successful Teachers Training Program was conducted by the trainers of STEM Learning. 5 teachers were trained during the program with the purpose of bridging the gap between textbook knowledge and enquiry based learning. 3 HINDALCO MAHAN CSR co-ordinators were also present. The whole program – Mini Science Centre & Teachers Training were supported by HINDALCO MAHAN.
Mr. Jay Prakash Pandey, Science Teacher, Sarswati Shishu Mandir quoted, “Such kind of teaching aids are very useful to us for teaching purpose , please provide such training for time to time to keep our knowledge updated.”
Mr. Prabhakar Bais, CSR Cordinator – HINDALCO MAHAN shared his views, “The models provided by STEM Learning are very good; also the training session was very fruitful for all the teachers including us. It was very interesting and we enjoy it.”
There are some corporations that do not consider social welfare as their responsibility. On the other hand, there are firms like HINDALCO MAHAN which tries serving back to the society in each possible way they can. And we need more firms having same positive attitude towards the society for the betterment of our future.
3 Ways Your Organization Can Benefit From Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement has become a focal point in today’s workforce because companies are finally beginning to grasp that in order to keep their clients happy, they need to have happy, engaged employees. The findings of the Gallup Study of 2008 shows that while the engaged employees believe they can contribute to company’s growth, the disengaged employee believes otherwise, i.e. his job does not contribute to the organization. This belief of the disengaged employee creates negative spiral that affects his work, co-workers, clients, productivity and eventually both happiness of employee and company performance.
Employee engagement does not only refer to the job which he is paid for. The biggest happiness for the employees will be, when its organization wants their participation in the activities which are more social rather than materialistic. They will get the sense of belongingness and satisfaction which will directly enhance their productivity.
Team Building Activity STEM Learning introduced Employee Engagement Programs, where employees join hands as a team to set up Mini Science Centre. They perform as volunteers and help us setting up the centre and in enlightening the students. They even volunteer in setting up of Tinker Labs and in conducting various competitions.
Working Towards A Social Cause
Employees get the feel of working towards a social cause through CSR activities like MSC installation, Tinker Lab Employee Engagement Program. When the employees actually dedicate volunteering hours in schools, they get connected to the underprivileged children and they try to help them in the best possible way they can. They feel proud and honored because of the CSR works that their organization is doing and feels satisfied as they are working for a social cause.
While conducting various competitions, they get nostalgic as they witness children behaving competitively and trying their best for being awarded. The volunteers perfectly gel up with the children of the remotest area which makes them so happy that they literally forget track of time and are not concerned about finishing up their work soon. During the time of felicitation, when volunteers call the winner’s name, the smile on the face of that student is something which can be cherished for lifetime.