Essay – Corporate Social Responsibility

The evolution of the concept and definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has an impressive history associated with it. During the 1960s and 1970s, meaning of CSR was further expanded and. In the 1980s, more empirical research and alternative themes began to mature. These alternative themes included corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholder theory, and business ethics theory.

One of the most frequently asked questions is: what is the meaning of “Corporate Social Responsibility” ? There are various definitions provided by various organisations. The most appropriate and common definition is: Corporate Social Responsibility is that exercise which helps the companies to have a positive impact on the society in the process of managing their business.

According to the book “Making Good Business Sense” by Lord Holme and Richard Watts, “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”.

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India has world’s largest number of voluntary givers

India tops the charts when it comes to the largest number of volunteers anywhere in the world. Nearly 18.65 crore people in India support non-profit organizations (popularly known as non-government organizations or NGOs) by volunteering their time and effort. In stark contrast, China, with only 6.8 crore volunteers, was fourth on this list.

Compared with the previous findings relating to 2012, the number of Indians volunteering time has shot up by three percentage points as 29 million more people contributed their time in 2013. These findings were released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a global non-profit that compiles the World Giving Index annually.

India has climbed 24 places (from 93) in its overall ranking of 69 out of the 135 countries that participated in the World Giving Index 2014 survey. This index looks at three measures of giving during 2013: The number of people who have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.

When it comes to the sheer number of participants in these acts of giving, India’s booming 100-crore population has shown that it has a large heart.

Nearly 40.9 crore Chinese went out of their way to help a stranger and China led the pack when it came to the number of people helping others. India, with 34.6 crore people doing so, was second.

via The Times of India.

India set to become second-largest internet market

According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million or 30.2 crore by end of 2014, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world.

The Internet user base in the country is further estimated to grow to 35.4 crore by June 2015.

China has the largest user base with more than 60 crore Internet users, while the US has an estimated 27. 9 crore users.

Of the 27.8 crore users, 17.7 crore are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from 2013. This is expected to reach 19.0 crore by December 2014 and 21.6 crore by June 2015.

In rural India, the number of Internet users is expected to reach 11.2 crore by December 2014 and 13.8 crore by June 2015.

Global Terrorism Index 2014

According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization based in Sydney, Australia, the number of deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44 percent increase on the previous year.

The Index defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”.

“Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well,” the report said. 

According to the report, the three main factors behind with terrorism were State sponsored violence, such as extra-judicial killings, “group grievances” and high levels of crime. Levels of school attendance, poverty rates, and most economic factors, however, had no association with terrorism.

Startups or Institutions – which are the right choice for you

Is an institutional career the right choice or getting engaged in (or incubating) a startup?

Both types of organizations have opportunities for challenging careers. They have different rhythms which we should understand to ensure that we make the choice which aligns better with our professional and personal goals at the stage when we are making the decision.

A startup grows from a small base and builds with time. In the early days the opportunity to engage with clients is constrained by the limited track record and similarly the ability to build and scale by the limited resource pool of talent and funds. It has to start with focused yet simple work and build up the level of sophistication and scale as it wins success and customer trust. This lack of opportunity and resources in the early days is the most important factor in making the choice to engage in a startup. It requires a significant commitment to the organization and to the work which it does to build it brick by brick for years while working with the constraints of limited customer opportunities and internal resources.

In contrast, working with an established institution brings the associated customer base, the track record, human and financial resources. This enables higher scope, scale, and sophistication of work because customer trust and resources enable it. Similarly, the better resource pool and quality of work tend to attract professionals of high caliber which in turn elevates the professional experience in working with top notch colleagues. All these provide opportunities for rich learning, professional enhancement and growth.

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India has more than 14 million people living in slavery

Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe, with India having the greatest number of more than 14 million victims of slavery, ranging from prostitution to bonded labour.

Releasing its second annual index, Walk Free increased its estimate of the number of slaves to 35.8 million, saying this was due to better data collection and slavery being uncovered in areas where it had not been found previously.

The Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based human rights group, estimated in its inaugural slavery index last year that 29.8 million people were born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, trapped in debt bondage or exploited for forced labour.

The index lists Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent..

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via Hindustan Times.

Understanding the permanent solution at WTO

Last week, India and the US reached an understanding on working out a “permanent solution” to the issue of public stock-holding for food security purposes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The deal is seen as a breakthrough, ending the impasse that had stalled the implementation of a landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) hammered out at the WTO’s ministerial conference in Bali last December.

The “peace clause” that India and the US have signed allows countries such as India to continue to freely procure and stock grains for the public distribution system even if subsidies resulting from these breach limits under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). The original peace clause proposed at the Bali ministerial conference provided only a four-year reprieve, during which no country would be penalised for any excessive expenditures on food security programmes. The India-US agreement – which has to be endorsed by the WTO’s general council – replaces this temporary peace clause with an open-ended one until a “permanent solution” to the issue of farm subsidies linked to national food security is arrived at.

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via The Indian Express.