NASSCOM and NASSCOM Foundation launch workshops to demystify CSR rules and go beyond to leverage tech for good

NASSCOM-logoNew Delhi, India, May 20, 2014: NASSCOM and NASSCOM Foundation have come together to demystify the CSR rules in the new Companies Act for the IT-BPM industry. The industry thought leaders are organizing a roadshow to clarify myths and doubts related to CSR rules in the new Companies Act and also present opportunities for NASSCOM member companies to collaborate locally and nationally for social good. The roadshows addressed by NASSCOM Chairman and Vice Chairman along with Foundation office bearers have met with excellent responses in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, with plans for Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.

The purpose of the roadshow is to help NASSCOM companies in their CSR journey, in developing their strategies and showcasing the grand opportunity to collaborate and leverage technology for social good. The new CSR rules lack clarity on certain sections. NASSCOM, together with NASSCOM Foundation is working towards clarifying these ambiguities, enabling companies to develop robust policies and systems to deliver their CSR objectives.

To further supplement the cause, NASSCOM and NASSCOM Foundation are conducting the roadshow in a workshop manner. Companies are discussing their queries and sharing their understanding on the rules in the open forum, thereby clearing their doubts through active participation and discussions. These workshops are addressed by experts from KPMG, PwC, NextGen and IIM-B who addressed the audience of Directors, CEOs, Company Secretaries, CSR leads, legal and finance teams of over a hundred companies.

Speaking at the sessions, Ganesh Natarajan, newly appointed Chair, NASSCOM Foundation, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies, said “There are major initiatives for inclusion like the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) where companies can expand their interventions in schools or set up independent centres to take digital literacy and skills to millions of families.”

CEO NASSCOM Foundation Rita Soni said, “The success of the workshops is owing to the level of discussion on the law and beyond. Several of the recommendations, particularly with reference to inclusion of volunteering, expenses of CSR personnel, hardware and software products and service donation will help the industry to retain and scale some of its successful initiatives that contribute manifold to the social sector.”

Other industry experts who addressed the sessions were Mr. R Chandrashekhar (Chair, NASSCOM Executive Council, Executive Vice Chairman, Cognizant India), Mr. BVR Mohan Reddy (Vice Chair, NASSCOM Executive Council and Founder, Chairman & MD, Cyient Ltd.) and Mr. Sunil Kunte (Chair, Bengaluru Regional Council, NASSCOM and Managing Director, Fidelity)

The CSR Law (Section 135, Companies Act 2013) will lead to more than 16,000 companies contributing over Rs. 20,000 crore annually to CSR activities. For the IT-BPM industry, where volunteerism and inclusivity are especially celebrated, CSR has always held a unique position for demonstrating technology as a catalyst for good. Apart from strategic philanthropic projects, the industry has also helped in improving access to and delivery of services in healthcare, education and financial inclusion. It has helped bridge the digital divide by providing products and services which have benefited disadvantaged sections of society and has helped in governance.

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