The DōMerit Project: Facilitating the implementation of India’s CSR Law

GIST’s stated object encourages policymakers and governments to measure and manage their natural, human and social capitals. To this end, DōMerit is a social transformation facilitator that collaborates across the supply and demand parts of the social-sector eco-system i.e. corporate-private, government, NGO’s and not-for profit set ups. 

The DōMerit Project is developing deep insights into the dynamics of social transformation with a unique, integrated approach to “mobilisation", "management” & “measurement” of social transformation. The outcomes from this initiative will ensure that such transformational agenda achieve sustainable social impact, utilise resources optimally and engender long-term commitment.

 

The first DōMerit Project module is aimed at facilitating outcomes from India’s pioneering Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Law.

 

A key provision of The Companies Act 2013 was Section 135 – which requires companies that meet certain requirements to ensure that they undertake Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The Companies Act goes on to stipulate the definition of CSR, which kinds of activities qualify as CSR and the manner in which it may be undertaken.

 

This CSR Law, unique to India, was conceptualised as a significant engine of social change. Since its enactment and over the last 5 years the law has evolved with several amendments. The scope of its impact is across some 19,000 companies and can conservatively generate upto Rs. 30,000 Cr. per annum of investment in social projects.

 

The DōMerit Project seeks to:

  • Examine and research the evolution of India’s CSR law and the many associated policy decisions that have shaped this

  • Understand the law in terms of implementation ground up, what has worked and what is not working

  • Develop good understanding of the law from the perspective of corporates, the social sector and government/regulatory authorities

  • Understand CSR in terms of implementation at the grassroots level through the commissioning of the part of the DōMerit project that routes CSR expenditures to various selected empanelled NGOs

  • Gain better comprehension of how the CSR law works specifically with respect to relatively smaller corporates that do not have organisational mechanisms to throughput their CSR initiatives

  • Understand better how CSR can impact grass-root level NGO organisations that typically do not have the outreach mechanisms and reporting disciplines that would attract CSR funding

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