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April 03, 2020
2 months
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Discuss the various ways in which Corporate Social Responsibility can be effectively used by the Government of India to prevent a crisis on a war time footing. (200 Words)

Refer - Financial Express

Enrich the answer from other sources, if the question demands.

 

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IAS Parliament 1 month

KEY POINTS

·         In war time, as is the case now, CSR needs to acquire a new sense of urgency and indeed responsibility.

·         In a war-situation which has unfolded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CSR spend can easily double. World Health Organisation has alerted that a lockdown alone does not help in controlling the spread of virus.

There are three important areas of urgent strategic intervention.

·         Our testing capacities must increase several-fold. We just have 118 government labs and 12 private labs. Many of them are still equipping themselves. This is one critical gap where CSR can contribute very effectively.

·         For instance, in the North-Eastern region (NER), for a population of over 50 million there are just eight labs, and half of them are in Assam.

·         We need mobile testing labs and deploy them in large numbers. For epidemiological reasons also, a mobile testing lab has many advantages. CSR is quick and an effective instrument to ensure that this happens.

·         The second area of intervention is addressing the severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This shortage has the serious risk of healthcare workers getting exposed to the virus. Just imagine more than 12% of all those who are infected and indeed dying are healthcare workers in Spain. It is important to identify the current and potential epicentres in India and ensure that PPE demand is met in all healthcare centres and hospitals.

·         It is equally important for CSR to reach out to the most vulnerable sections of our society with an emergency basic income. Cash relief to those who are daily wage earners and must stay home due to lockdown can get the priority.

·         Corporates can start this at least in their own catchment areas where they are working. The challenge here is to design a fool-proof and leak-proof method of transferring cash to people in need.

 

 

Shivangi 2 months

Please review.

IAS Parliament 2 months

Good attempt. Keep Writing.

reign4518 2 months

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently stated that Companies can fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility obligations by donating to Prime Minister Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund.A new statement made by the Secretary of Corporate Affairs urging the companies to donate more than the prescribed limit of CSR,which will be settled against the CSR obligations in the subsequent years.This statement clearly indicates the dire need of CSR in the present ongoing crisis.Many corporates came forward and donating for the cause,so its time for the Government to use these funds effectively.

The following are the various ways in which the CSR can be used effectively by the Government :

Improving testing capacities : We are having 118 Government land 12 private testing labs which will not be sufficient for testing the vast numbers.Also there is a need for deployment of mobile testing labs which can test population of remote areas who are not able to undergo testing due to lack of proper health care centers and lock down issues.

Addressing the severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) : Lack of PPE equipment is leading to more number of infections in front line workers.Since PPE needs a lot of technology to be incorporated and more funds are required for the same ,Government can use CSR funds for the manufacturing of PPE.

Cash relief to the daily wage workers : Cash transfer using digital technologies offered by different companies can be used by the Government for fool proof and leak proof transfer of cash to people in need.

Even Government can use the innovative strategies which are already in work under CSR,for tackling the crisis on war time footing.Finally,Foresight to make CSR mandatory by law by Government of India has not to be the lost sight. 

IAS Parliament 2 months

Good attempt. Keep Writing.
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