T-Social Impact Group – Powering CSR in Telangana
The idea of T-Social Impact Group had been fermenting for the past two years following two apparently unrelated incidents – the implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility (henceforth CSR) Law in India in 2014 and the rapid rate at which the industrial sector of Telangana was emerging. The young state of Telangana has been recognised by domestic and international investors as the new hub of information technology. However, in the pursuit of the economic, the government was not ignorant of the sustainable development of the entire state. The Principal Secretary to the Departments of IT, E&C and I&C, Government of Telangana and the CEO of Surge Impact Foundation have since then, deliberated on establishing a structure through which the corporate social activities of the companies in Telangana could be carved out in such a way that they align with the government initiatives. It was out of this discussion that T-Social Impact Group (T-SIG) was born to make CSR initiatives across the state effective and sustainable. Telangana is not the first state to initiate such a program – states like Rajasthan, Assam, Odisha and Maharashtra have already launched these programs and have showed high rates of success in terms of CSR implementation by building synergies among all stakeholders. The objective of T-SIG is also based on similar lines of reducing small, sporadic and limited CSR implementations and organising them in a centralised structure, fitted to cater to the needs of the citizens of Telangana.
Approach of T-Social Impact Group
The functions of T-SIG are three-pronged:
- Open CSR portal is the official Telangana government CSR website where all the projects, both initiated by government or otherwise, are vetted and the profiles of all partners are listed out. The proposals of each project include details such as location, objectives, budget, support required by the government and also provided by the government for the specific project. The website being a common public resource, any stakeholder interested in participating in a particular project can register their details for free, thus intimating T-SIG to initiate the collaboration process.
- Quarterly Meetings are focused group discussions between government department heads and corporates. In every quarterly meeting, specific high-priority projects will be chosen to be pitched by the relevant government heads to the CSR heads of the corporates.
- Annual recognition where a high-level panel will also be set up under whose guidance screening and acknowledging of the most active and impactful CSRs will be done. The purpose of this conclave is to incentivise all stakeholders in the CSR arena to collaborate meaningfully for social impact and to utilise resources optimally for achieving the United Nations mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the state.
First Quarterly Meeting
On the 19th July, 2018, T-SIG organised its first Quarterly Meeting at the Telangana Secretariat with 5 government projects in focus:
i) Haritha Haram Project by GHMC
ii) Lake Restoration Project by GHMC
iii) Bio-Methanation Project by GHMC
iv) Project on Livelihoods Training for Women at Shelter Homes by Women, Children, Disabled and Senior Citizens Department
v) Project on Education and Skill Development for Youth and Woman by SoFTNET
The event was chaired by Sri. Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Principal Secretary, IT, E&C, I&C, Government of Telangana. Relevant corporates working in these sectors of education, skill development and environmental sustainability were invited for this session. The session began with a brief introduction of T-SIG and its objectives. All the projects were pitched to the corporates by the government heads themselves like Smt. D. Hari Chandana IAS, West Zonal Commissioner, GHMC, Sri. M. Jagadeeshwar IAS, Secretary to the Department of Women, Children, Disabled and Senior Citizens and Sri R. Shailesh Reddy, CEO, SoFTNET. A significant number of CSR members of approximately 20 corporates participated in this meeting including the stalwarts of the industry such as Google, Microsoft, HSBC, P&G, Godrej and ITC.
The Quarterly Meeting held by T-Social Impact Group is unique because unlike other CSR events, these meeting are not intended to be conferences. They are oriented more towards being round-table discussions. The idea is to encourage dialogues among corporates, government departments and implementing organisations on particular projects so that action points can be formulated out of them. During the pitching of the projects, peer-to-peer learning is also supported to champion resourceful and effective ways of advancing social interventions.
The first Quarterly Meeting was a huge success as apparent from the feedback of the corporates. It was not limited to only pitching important government projects to the corporates but went beyond that to ensure exploration of new topics such as possibility of issuing a mandate to corporates for disposal of their waste more responsibly and reconciliation of doubts such as opportunities for employee volunteering, utilising the skills of IT employees such as coding for conducting livelihood training sessions to youth and women’s groups.
At the end of each Quarterly Meeting, T-SIG approaches all the invited corporates to ascertain the projects which piqued their interest so that collaborations do not remain stagnant only in conversations but are translated into action. As a result of the first Quarterly Meeting, the invited corporates reverted with positive response and are eager to collaborate with the government departments for the discussed projects. The main task of T-SIG from hereon, is ensuring one-on-one meetings of the corporates with the government heads, providing platforms for discussing any of the project at a collective level and acting as a single window for obtaining clearance, permits and certificates for the corporates and implementing organisations from the government.
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018
Time: 12:30 – 14:30 hrs
Venue: Telangana Secretariat, Hyderabad
Time 30 Topic 12:00 -12:30 hrs 30 Registration & Networking 12:30 -12:40 hrs 10 Introduction of T-SIG and Meeting Agenda 12:40 -12:50 hrs 10 Keynote Address by Sri Jayesh Ranjan IAS Principal Secretary IT, E&C, I&C, Government of Telangana Read more about his profile at Sri Jayesh Ranjan IAS 12:50 -13:05 hrs 15 CSR Law and Right Practices: Q&A 13:05 -13:15 hrs 10 Brief Description about Haritha Haaram Project Speaker: Smt. Priyanka Varghese IFS, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at the CM’s Office (CMO) , Government of Telangana Read more about her profile at Smt. Priyanka Varghese IFS 13:15 -13:25 hrs 10 Brief Description about Lake Restoration Project Speaker: Smt. D. Hari Chandana IAS, West Zonal Commissioner, GHMC, Government of Telangana Read more about her profile at Smt. D. Hari Chandana IAS 13:25 -13:35 hrs 10 Brief Description about Bio-Methanation Project: Converting Organic Waste to Electricity Speaker: Smt. D. Hari Chandana IAS, West Zonal Commissioner, GHMC, Government of Telangana 13:35 -13:45 hrs 10 Brief Description about Livelihood Trainings for Women at Shelter Homes Project Speaker: Sri. M. Jagadeeshwar IAS, Secretary Women, Children, Disabled and Senior Citizens Department, Government of Telangana 13:45 -13:55 hrs 10 Brief Description about Education and Livelihoods for Youth and Women Speaker: Sri R. Shailesh Reddy, CEO, Society for Telangana State Network (SoFTNET), Department of IT E&C, Government of Telangana Read more about his profile at Sri R. Shailesh Reddy 13:55 -14:15 hrs 20 Focused Group Discussions- Parallel round table meetings for individual projects 14:15 -14:30 hrs 15 Takeaways and Concluding Remarks – – Tea / Coffee & Networking