JetPrivlege Donates 5 Million JPMiles to NGOs Nanhi Kali and Save Tje Children India

manish-dureja-md-jetprivilege-presentating-a-cheque-to-mana-shetty-vp-trustee-save-the-chirdren-india-to-commemorate-the-achievement-of-5-million-membersJetPrivilege, the loyalty and rewards management and frequent flyer programme of Jet Airways, today made a monetary donation equivalent of five million JPMiles, to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) – Nanhi Kali and Save The Children India, in support of child development and education.

An additional monetary donation equivalent of 6,08,000 JPMiles was made by JetPrivilege members for the two NGOs, through rewardstore.jetprivilege.com

In celebration of the five-million member milestone, JetPrivilege decided to bring smiles to the lives of children most at risk in our society.

Mr. Manish Dureja, Managing Director, JetPrivilege handed over the cheque to Ms. Sheetal Mehta, CEO of Nanhi Kali, and Ms. Mana Shetty, Trustee, Save the Children India, at a ceremony held at the school run by Save The Children India in Mumbai.

Manish Dureja, Managing Director, JetPrivilege, said, “By collaborating with ‘Nanhi Kali’ and ‘Save The Children India’, we support their cause of providing education to children from weaker sections of the society and enabling them to achieve their dreams. To celebrate the milestone of 5 million members, we thought of partnering with ‘Nanhi Kali’ and ‘Save The Children India’ to prioritize the well-being of children in Indian communities and schools.”

“We are extremely grateful to Jet Privilege and Jet Airways for their contribution to Project Nanhi Kali. The campaign has raised awareness about the cause for girl child education and will positively impact the lives of over 200 Nanhi Kalis from underprivileged families. These girls will not only get access to quality education but also receive material support in the form of uniforms, school bags and other school accessories including hygiene material.” said Sheetal Mehta, Trustee & Executive Director, K.C. Mahindra Education Trust. 

Ms. Mana Shetty – Trustee , Save The Children India, said, “We are very appreciative of Jet Airways and their wonderful initiative, Jet Privilege of supporting the various projects  of Save The Children India. Through this campaign we have been able to give forty functional toilets to villagers in the interior of Raigarh District besides giving holistic education to 250 children with Special needs. Since these children excel in sports we provided them with quality kits and training , the outcome of which was the selection of two of our children to Special Olympics in Los Angeles where they did their country proud by winning gold medals in Baseball, coming first amongst 36 participating countries. Thank you Jet Privilege for your excellent and generous support!” 

JetPrivilege and Jet Airways support various NGOs and social causes towards the betterment of vulnerable children in society. The airline regularly participates in ‘Flights of Fantasy’ operated for children from under-developed sections of the society, and the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ – educational excursions of the airline facilities.

Nanhi Kali supports the education of underprivileged girl children in India by providing academic, material and social support to enable the deprived girls to access good education.

Save The Children India is a non-governmental organisation that works towards the empowerment of underprivileged children and women, through health, vocational training and educational programmes.

Top 5 Tech gadgets to make your vacations perfect

It is always a good time to plan a trip, pack your bags and set out to explore new adventures and new destinations. And whether you are a business traveler or a backpacker there is always a handful of small pocket-sized gadgets that you can carry to make your travelling memorable. From entertainment gizmo to keeping your smartphone powered up, we have round up a few top end gadgets that you should surely consider for your next trip.

  1. Portronics POR 341 Power Brick (13000 mAh Battery)

A must-have that tops the chart is a portable charge of a high mAh ( 10000 and above) to be able to take care of your handheld devices while travelling. This power bank offers multiple protection features; it is equipped with protection against overcharging, excess voltage and excess current.  Another important feature is short circuit protection.  The device also deploys LED lights to indicate remaining battery. This is a perfect gadget for when your phone dies right when you need it the most.

  1. Lifestraw

This would probably not be your first choice when you are off to a luxurious kind of holiday. But if you like adventure and camping, this could be your tool and even life saver. Containing no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts, the Lifestraw is a gizmo that no adventure enthusiastic can do without. The Lifestraw’s microbiological water purification system means it can filter 1,000 litres of water sucked up through the straw, removing 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa. It does take a good hard suck to get the water up, but that’s hardly a problem when it’s a matter of life or death, right? Perhaps save this one for emergencies.

  1. Lechal shoes

Lechal – World’s first haptic footwear, and allows you to navigate hands-free and also tracks your fitness metrics. For users visiting a new city, or looking to rediscover their own, the footwear allows users to tag locations, set destinations and get real-time data on landmarks all around you. Lechal also boasts unique voice commands and an inherently social nature, enabling you to share your location with other users.  The footwear is also ideal for groups of families and friends that want to keep track of everyone. For example, if a group is scattered across an amusement park but plans to meet at the same restaurant for dinner, Lechal can provide real-time location data. It’s a boon for additional convenience and safety.

  1. GoPro Hero 3+

If you love surfing or skiing, what better than to be able to capture every moment of your adventure. GoPro Hero 3+ is a gadget for some serious action-adventure and wide landscapes in HD. For the ones who do not want to go all pro with f-stops and focusing, this is your magic pony! It allows you to connect via WiFi and syncs to your iPhone, iPad or smartphone device for remote viewing and it has longer battery life. Just push the button and create amazing memories.

  1. Divoom Airbeat 10

This portable bluetooth speaker has a suction cup that turns any hard surface into an extra subwoofer to amplify the bass. This one is perfect to enjoy your time in the hotel room or on a beach with some great foot tapping music. Since it is small and powerful, it won’t consume too much space in your luggage.

India Inc gifts Rs 1k cr to PM’s Swachh plan

NEW DELHI: Responding to PM Narendra Modi’s call, India Inc has jumped onto the Swachh Bharat bandwagon earmarking over Rs 1,000 crore towards the clean India project, analysts’ estimates show.

Major corporate houses such as L&T, DLF, Vedanta, Bharti, TCS, Ambuja Cements, Toyota Kirloskar, Maruti, Tata Motors, Coca Cola, Dabur, Reciktt Benckiser, Aditya Birla Group, Adani, Biocon, Infosys, TVS and many others have joined the effort by committing budgets for projects linked to Swachh Bharat.

These projects vary from building toilets in distant villages, running workshops to bring in behavioral changes, waste management to water hygiene and sanitation.

While most of these projects are funded under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) heads, there are also some that are partly funded through CSR or are designed as public private partnerships.

Experts say the initiative serves a dual purpose for corporates. While it helps fulfill the 2% mandatory investment in CSR, it may also fetch brownie points from the government.

“As soon as PM called for the campaign, the initial responses were to take up the broom and there were a number of companies who urged their employees in this campaign,” says Santhosh Jayaram, technical director, sustainability advisory, KPMG.

However, gradually many companies have institutionalized it by designing specific projects and budgets to implement them.

For instance, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Bharti Foundation, an arm of Bharti Enterprises, have both committed Rs 100 crore each as part of their CSR initiatives to construct toilets in schools. While TCS plans to finance hygienic sanitation facilities for girl students across 10,000 schools in the country, Bharti has adopted Ludhiana and is working with government to make the district open defecation free.

Though most companies are still focused on building toilets, there are also a few who have chosen waste management, water sanitation and other innovative projects, says Sudhir Singh, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). DLF, for instance, has launched a flagship waste management programme in villages surrounding Gurgaon. Under the project, funded under CSR, the company has created a waste treatment plant and waste collection infrastructure. The facilities have been handed over to village panchayats, which sell compost in the market to generate income.

“Cleanliness is the responsibility of all of us, not just the government. DLF Foundation’s contribution to Clean Haryana Campaign is an attempt to address the issue which is becoming a major challenge for the country,” DLF Foundation CEO Rajender Singh said.

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‘Mandatory CSR gives corporates an opportunity to serve larger stakeholders’

Prof V Kasturi Rangan is the Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing and the co-chairman of Social Enterprise Initiative at the Harvard Business School. Rangan was recently at the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to conduct a workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Rangan, an alumnus of IIM-A, has authored several books and working papers on CSR and its strategic importance for the companies and believes that Indian corporates have an opportunity to serve the broader stakeholders under the compulsory 2 per cent CSR spend as mandated in the new Companies Act, than keeping a narrower motive of serving the shareholders with profit numbers. Edited excerpts from the interview:

How difficult is it going to be for the business entities in India to comply with the mandated 2 per cent spend on CSR? Can they deliver what is expected from them?

Companies are very good at understanding what customers want and what they don’t want. So, working with the community is almost similar, they can understand what rural India wants. Lot of Indian companies do good work but there are even more Indian companies that don’t pay attention to it; it is not because their profit motive clashes. But it is more likely that these companies have not taken the service to the community seriously. They look upon themselves as serving their shareholders’ interest first. But they have to broaden their understanding to also serve the stakeholder and the community. For this, you don’t have to compromise on your profit. Its a more complex business model and this understanding a lot of Indian companies don’t have. This is an opportunity for these companies to take up the job under the 2 per cent mandate.

Looking at the Indian set-up where the government has a lot of schemes on social areas, which model do corporates need to adopt for their CSR spend?

Corporations may not know much about issues of sanitation, primary healthcare. But corporations know a lot about processes. They can do six-sigma. They can bring the efficiency by cutting costs and maximizing effectiveness. They know how to communicate, and influence behaviour change. They know all this because they do marketing. Corporates can go to communities and teach them health and hygiene practices through communication methods. Business and managerial methods, these corporations are very good at. They know how to get efficiency, effectiveness so they can bring the same discipline to address these issues. And they can use the government and the NGO sector, and act as a catalyst for change.

Looking at the Indian scenario, which are the sectors where corporates can contribute through their CSR spend?

The government has defined CSR in such a way that it has to be in areas where businesses do not benefit. If business is not going to benefit from the CSR, then it is purely on the philanthropic side. This will include basic needs of quality primary education, healthcare, clean drinking water, primary healthcare, adult literacy, sanitation, these are very important areas where there is a big need. Government is active in these areas but CSR can come and spark what the government does. CSR is just a small part of what the government is spending. CSR by corporates can bring efficiency to make it effective.

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Ericsson partners with NASSCOM Foundation for CSR initiatives

Ericsson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Smile Foundation and NASSCOM Foundation to implement its corporate social responsibility initiatives in India.

In collaboration with Smile Foundation, Ericsson will drive two programs – STeP Smile Twin e-learning program and Smile on Wheels. Under the STeP Smile Twin e-learning program, Ericsson will support thirty STeP centers across Gurgaon, Noida, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata for a period of three years. The program aims to provide access to quality education to underprivileged youth through training in basic computer, telecom and retail sales management skills – along with proficiency in spoken and written English. The curriculum also includes sessions on personal development, career counselling and placement support.

As a part of the Smile on Wheels program, Ericsson will support five mobile medical units across five cities – Noida, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru over a period of three years. Through this program, Ericsson aims to promote community health and increase the accessibility of healthcare services to the underprivileged and economically weaker sections of society.

In partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, Ericsson will support the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM). As part of this program, Ericsson will adopt and support fifty existing NDLM centers across India and train approximately fifty thousand people on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) over a period of eighteen months. With the purpose of creating employment opportunities for underprivileged youth, the program will also offer job oriented skills.

 

 

Azim Premji’s presence at an RSS function shows CSR is not as simple as we think

Wipro chairman Azim Premji’s attendance of an RSS function on Sunday has justifiably raised eyebrows across the country, but the billionaire businessman escaped with a caveat that he didn’t subscribe to the Sangh ideology.

According to him, he participated in the meeting – Rashtriya Sewa Sangam, a conclave of about 500 NGOs convened by the RSS – to explore “common ground”. “If there are differences of views or divergence of ideas, they can only be resolved through discussion and dialogue,” he reportedly said while admitting that there were apprehensions about his presence at the event. “Negative people only focus on differences. How empowering it would be for us as a nation if we focus on common causes,” he said.

Does it mean that Premji, whose foundation primarily works on education, is looking for opportunities to join hands with RSS-affiliated NGOs? While looking for a common ground, will he able to either overlook or resist the indoctrination of a certain ideology that RSS and Sangh organisations seek through textbooks and class-rooms? Doesn’t he know that the Sangh parivar has an instinctive dislike for a lot of NGOs in India purely because they don’t subscribe to its ideology? That from Dalit activism and human rights protection to environment conservation, they see grand conspiracies in every form of civil society intervention?

In his “pluralistic nation”, is he fine with feeding children with an education – particularly on culture, history and social values – that is driven by a certain ideology? In the long run, stopping this revisionism across the country will be a better idea than setting up schools in a few thousand villages with corporate profits.

This is the problem with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is arguably part of a company’s image management strategy and hence linked to its business model. When Premji presents himself at an RSS function, it is the businessman who makes the impact, and not the philanthrope. In CSR, the philanthrope doesn’t exist without the businessman. His presence, along with a few others, at the meeting is yet another instance of a predictable pattern of corporate behaviour in BJP’s India.

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Corporate Social Responsibility Hub created in eastern region of India

The MoU has been exchanged today at CII’S Annual Regional Meeting at the ITC Sonar Hotel in Kolkata with the presence of Viresh Oberoi, Chairman of CII Eastern Region, Asadur Rahman, Chief of UNICEF Field Office for West Bengal, Christine Edier, Chief Resource Mobilization & Partnerships of UNICEF India and around a hundred of participants from Corporate sector.

Covering five states including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, this Regional CSR Hub aims to strengthen knowledge base and build capacity of the corporate sector’s involvement in CSR, with one of the focus areas being women and children from the Children’s Rights and Business Principals perspective.

The Hub will act as a knowledge centre for holistic CSR activities, and as a think-tank, and play an advisory role for CII members in the region.

This MoU is the continuity of the MoU signed by UNICEF West Bengal and CII Eastern Region in December 2011 to incorporate a working relationship with each other through the establishment of a CSR Hub in Kolkata.

One of the first projects undertaken by the Hub was for CII to lend corporate support and UNICEF to provide its technical expertise for, under the request of the Government, upgrading the Integrated Child Development Services (Anganwadi) Centres in Metiabruz, making them into ‘model’ centres,. This was undertaken through the provision of improved infrastructure, additional nutritional supplements as well as pre-school education.

Initially, 6 ICDS Centers were upgraded servicing over 500 women and children. Currently corporate donors are supporting 26 centres in the area.

Further, with the success of these ‘model’ centres, UNICEF has been invited by the state government to assist with making of additional ‘model’ centres elsewhere in the state.

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Digital India to get a CSR boost

Most of the Indian companies have been undertaking social initiatives proactively, driven by a desire to give back to the society.

With a concerted approach, it is possible to channelise these energies towards sustainable and inclusive growth, notably by making collaborative use of technology for national good by plugging gaps in India’s social development. In sync with this sentiment, over 200 leaders from IT, government and NGOs gathered at Nasscom Foundation’s CSR Leadership Conference 2015 in New Delhi last week, to discuss ways to create social impact through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

With ‘Catalysing Change through Corporate Social Responsibility’ as the overall theme, the conference was designed to advance the cause of CSR towards sustainable and inclusive growth by bringing together leading industry figures to discuss insights, best practices and leadership experiences. The conference also showcased the efforts of companies leading socially responsible initiatives and provided a platform for industry and other stakeholders to discuss and find effective solutions to meaningfully engage with CSR.

Significantly, IT industry forum Nasscom and the Nasscom Foundation revealed that their CSR initiatives will now be aimed at participating in the Digital India programme. R Chandrasekhar, president of Nasscom, said, “We are not only thinking and talking about creating a fund for the member companies but are also trying to get non-IT industries on board as well.

The CSR spend of IT companies will certainly rise from $0.5 billion to $2.5 billion and we want to direct this cash flow towards technology for good.” As a part of this initiative, Nasscom Foundation will try and brings together corporates, NGOs and the government on one platform to focus on catalysing change. “The leadership that will emerge from this summit will aid the implementation of the schemes of the government in close association with NGOs or ground-level bodies,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government after coming to power had announced several schemes that would make India a technology hub and one of them was the Digital India programme. Speaking at the event, chairman of Nasscom Foundation, Ganesh Natarajan, explained, “Most of the Indian companies have been undertaking social initiatives proactively, driven by a desire to give back to the society. With a concerted approach, it is possible to channelise these energies towards sustainable and inclusive growth and this conference aims to propel the same. Nasscom Foundation will be working as a direct partner with the government of India on the digital literacy programme under the broader Digital India initiative.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also aiding us on the digital literacy programme,” Natarajan added.

There is a need for collaborative approach under the public private partnership model for creating collective and sustainable Digital India. The National Digital Literacy Mission, aimed to create digital literacy in one member of each family, is one of the great examples of collaborative approach for effective collective impact, Ajay Kumar, secretary of department of electronics and information technology, who was also present at the meet, said.

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CSR spending: Private firms unlikely to meet 2% target

New Delhi: Private sector companies, which have been working hard to get clarity on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Rules, 2014, are unlikely to meet the target of spending 2% of their net profit on CSR activities in this first year. The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has slashed its estimates on the corpus to be created through CSR expenditure by half. Early estimates pegged CSR spending at Rs.10,000-12,000 crore; recent estimates put the figure at Rs.5,000 crore. “There are many queries we receive each day about the CSR rules and, therefore, feel that it will take some time for private companies to get used to the process before they can successfully spend the mandated 2% of their profits on CSR activities,” said Pankaj Srivastava, director at MCA. Government-run businesses have been under an obligation to spend a part of their profits, in a percentage slab inversely proportional to their profits, based on the guidelines being issued by the department of public enterprises (DPE), since 2010. The CSR expenditure ranged from 3-5% of the net profit of the previous year for public sector enterprises (PSEs) making a profit of less than Rs.100 crore, 2-3% (subject to minimum of Rs.3 crore) in case the profit ranged between Rs.100 crore and Rs.500 crore, and so on. MCA has often stated that the DPE guidelines were used as a sort of a template before extending the mandate on CSR expenditure to other companies.
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On a mission to rejuvenate villages

The Telangana government’s ambitious Mission Kakatiya is not just aimed at rejuvenation of village tanks and lakes but restoring the lifeline of all villages in the state, major irrigation minister T Harish Rao said.

In an interview to TOI, Harish Rao said Mission Kakatiya was unlike any other programmes implemented by the previous governments. “We have gone beyond political differences. Irrespective of which political party represents a constituency, tanks are listed for development. This is a transparent process and even the tendering process for desilting the tanks is online. The proof of how well the system is currently working is that nearly 95 per cent of the tenders for desilting of 2,210 tanks were less than the estimated cost,” he said.

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