IIT KGP Launches Corporate Social Responsibility Program for Funding Higher Education and Research
In a novel initiative of aligning the needs of society and corporate houses along with research & development, IIT Kharagpur, the premiere higher educational institution in India, is organizing the first edition of IIT KGP CSR Conclave. The day-long event will be hosted at the Kharagpur campus of the Institute on January 10, 2017. It shall have participation of more than two dozen corporate houses and entrepreneurs. About sixty R&D projects will be showcased in the event.
IIT Kharagpur is primarily funded by the Ministry of Human Resources Development. But with dynamic needs requiring financial commitments from multifarious avenues, the Institute has established non-governmental channels; the most prominent among these are sponsored research and consultancy and alumni donations. However, with Government of India setting up minimum contribution norm to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for PSUs and corporations, the Institute has ventured in the domain of CSR fundraising for its various projects and schemes. The giants in the field of automobile, industrial manufacturing, semiconductors, software, electronics and electrical hardware etc. and many PSUs already have research collaborations with the Institute. To further strengthen corporate relations, many of them have funded projects within the scope of their CSR programme. The projects range from R&D projects to students’ assistance to women empowerment. An R&D project on Medical Imaging Informatics for Skin Wound and Malaria Screening, which has been completed in 2016, had a 3-year long funding from Microsoft Corporation. Also there was a recent announcement by Infosys Foundation to support students’ (preferably women) to international conferences in addition to their funding of an R&D project related to Indus Valley Civilization. The PSU Balmer Lawrie has instituted several scholarships for SC/ST/PC students. Eastern Coalfields Limited, CIL has funded a project on development of a Community Participation Model for Economic Development and Nutritional Health Management through Organic-farming And Education.
To further expand the CSR programme and take a step further towards sustainability and transparency, IIT Kharagpur is organizing the CSR Conclave next week. The Institute shall be offering an assortment of more than sixty innovative projects that are aligned to the various areas listed under Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013. IIT Kharagpur has also aligned itself with the CSR goal of strengthening the brand position of corporations. The Institute despite its focus on development of high-end technologies has given special emphasis on R&D work with direct societal impact. The projects are modelled to strengthen the corporate sustainability strategy by offering innovative developmental designs and deployable cost-effective solutions aimed at creating a healthier society and greener planet. The key domains which would be covered in this conclave are (1) Hunger, Poverty, Malnutrition and Health, (2) Education, (3) Rural Development Projects, (4) Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, (5) Environmental Sustainability, (6) National Heritage, Art and Culture. Additionally the presence of diverse population of faculty and students associated with the Institute and the scope of further improvement in their engagement also give organizations to collaborate with the Institute and make a lasting impact towards the largest IIT community in the country.
The Conclave will not only demonstrate the R&D strength of IIT Kharagpur but will also boost awareness for CSR in the higher education community of India which will further strengthen corporate relations of the universities in India leading to long-term benefits. The educational sector and the stakeholders therein have a lot to offer and CSR collaborations has the potential to unleash this latent potential.