CSR initiatives across India to get technology boost from IIT Kharagpur

IIT Kharagpur is on a mission to help people reap the benefits of several of its research outcomes. The institute is gearing up to partner with corporate houses and NGO’s to shape their CSR initiatives with its end products and in the process help millions to have a better life.
In order to help the industry and NGO’s get a glimpse of the available end products by IIT-Kharagpur, the institute jointly with Indo-German Chamber of Commerce Kolkata and SREI Foundation organised a seminar on “Corporate Social Responsibility” on October 16 in Kolkata.
Talking about the initiative by IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay Dean of Alumni Affairs and International Relations (AA&IR) said, “For years we have been doing a lot of research works. Apart from publishing the work and obtaining patent for the same we want them to create an impact in the society. And helping the corporate and NGO’s reach their CSR goals with our technology will be our way of giving it back to the society. We are also looking at collaborating with industries from Germany and France working in India for their CSR initiatives here.”
Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) too has expressed interest to collaborate with IIT Khagarpur. “When we came to know about the technological interventions at IIT Kharagpur which can be used in a CSR context, we felt that this would be an interesting area for our members to explore for potential collaborations. As a Chamber of Commerce, it is our task to provide a platform and we would be happy if this will result in some fruitful ventures. Further, we would be happy to support selected projects, such as for example on Vocational Training at IIT Kharagpur, by linking them with the SES (Senior Experten Service, a Foundation of German Industry for International Cooperation). In this scheme, retired professionals from Germany can share their expertise on a number of areas at a very nominal cost,” said Sharon Mogose, executive, IGCC Kolkata.
Shrachi group has already expressed interest to go for a tie-up with IIT Kharagpur for its WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) project. “We are among the pioneers of Bio-Toilets in India. The work being done by IIT Kharagpur in the area could be of great use for us. We have already written to the institute expressing our interest for an MoU to facilitate us with technology on bio waste management. While technology transfer for rural development and behavioral training can be done with the help of IIT Kharagpur, the students of the institute’s Biotechnology department too can help with R&D,” said Sudip Sen, business development head – WASH, Shrachi.
IIT Kharagpur too wants its students to work on CSR projects. “Our students are our most important product. Hence, to ensure that our students are rooted to realty and connected to Indian people we want them to remain involved in various social impact creating projects. And getting associated with CSR activities, working on technology development to help create an impact on society will make them well-rounded technocrats,” Prof. Mukhopadhyay said.
“Also, once these technologies are put to use we can tweak the designs after getting feedback from end users.  Thereby making the final product suitable for end users,” Prof. Mukhopadhyay added.
The institute has already been offering technological interventions and other CSR related projects that can be realized jointly with corporate. More than 50 projects are presently active or ready to be operationalized at the institute, which is aligned to the CSR strategies of companies.
Kadam Haat an NGO, which imparts training to empower rural population is already working with IIT Kharagpur. “We have used technology developed by IIT Kharagpur in many of our projects. We feel if the corporate sector, NGO’s and the technology maestro like IIT Kharagpur can come together lot of work can be done for rural development. While NGO’s like us working in the grass root level can help them get a clear idea of the kind of technology required for various interventions, IIT Kharagpur can develop the technology and corporate can sponsor us for implementation of the same. At the end of the day people in need will be the winners,” said Payal Nath, member of Kadam Haat.

Authored by Mou Chakraborty