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Social Innovation and Job-Creation in India


The Indian economy today generates lesser employment than the number of job entrants in the market. It is estimated that over 30,000 young women and men enter the labour market each day in India, of whom less than half find employment in the current economic scenario1. If we continue to have such high rates of unemployment, it can lead to social problems of drug addiction and rising crime rates especially amongst the youth. Opportunity has become one of the most perplexing questions of our times. Job creation calls for innovation in social institutions.

CSR Clause in the Companies Act: Four Years After


Clause 135 of the Indian Companies Act, 2013, or the CSR Clause came into effect from April 1, 2014. The practices have been studied by researchers and think tanks. Four years hence, this piece explores the impact and practice of the CSR Clause based on various analysis reports available in the public domain, from conversations with NGOs and from the experience of Tatas, a corporate group that has been practising CSR well before it was legislated (where the author led the sustainability function till August 2017).

Green Enterprises - Creating Resource Efficiency and Jobs


India is today among the world’s most rapidly growing economies. It is also home to a population of working-age youth that constitutes one of the largest potential labour forces anywhere. This combination of factors has led many to believe that the ‘demographic dividend’ it produces will automatically drive our nation to the top of the global economic ladder within a few decades.

For this dividend not to become a ‘demographic disadvantage’, let alone a ‘demographic disaster’, several of our economic, sectoral and social policies will need radical change. Some of these changes have been steadily evolving since the grand liberalisation of 1991. These are self-evident and generally recognised by government and business leaders. Others are emerging, subsumed under the more recent concerns with raising the ‘ease of doing business’. While many of these are important and necessary, however, it is less well-understood that they are not at all sufficient.

Sustainable Development Goals and Corporate Social Responsibility Conv


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted on September 25, 2015 by 193 countries as a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs focus to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, as part of a new sustainable development agenda. A total of 17 goals and 169 targets are set to be achieved by 2030 and the realisation of the same calls for a collective effort from the government, the corporates and the civil society organisations.

My Waste, My Responsibility


India being the second largest populated country in the world after China with more than 1.27 billion people contributes to 17.6% of the world’s total population (Official Population Clock). Annually, 62 million tonnes of garbage is generated by 377 million people living in urban India (Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy, Planning Commission, 2014). Our country has become the third-largest garbage generator in the world.

Holistic Approach to Women's Health


The term 'Family Planning' was initially coined by Margaret Sanger to indicate 'to have babies by choice and not by chance', in her pioneering social work promoting use of contraceptives in the slum population of Harlem, New York in the early twentieth century (Srinivasan, 2014). In India, it was in the All India Women's Conference in 1935 held at Thiruvanthapuram, where it was resolved to champion modern methods of contraception as a part of women's right to have babies by choice and not by chance.

Role of Grassroots Communication in Livelihood Campaign


Communication for development has emerged as an integral part of the development process. It is about engagement where all the participants are key members in the development process and not mere spectators. Communication for development works on two approaches - 'communication for results' and 'communication of results'.

Entrepreneurship for a Green Economy


Veer Singh Rajput is a 43 year old entrepreneur from Ganeshgarh, Jhansi who used his experience of working with technical institutes and organic farming centers to set up a vermi-compost production centre in his village. Within a few years, most people in the village started buying their compost from him and he successfully enabled the entire village to farm organically. In the local market he is known for the quality of his product, and has the Indian Railways and Forest Department among his clientele. He has become a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, while demonstrating that profits can be made by caring for nature.

Climate Change Narratives by Grassroot Communities


Over the last few years, discussions on climate change in many global, national and state level summits and conferences have mostly been around what the experts understand and believe. Understanding of climate change from communities’ angles and perspectives has been somewhat limited. Climate Outreach, CANSA and other civil society organisations like Development Alternatives have done a collaborative research on the topic and tried to create an understanding about climate change through the narrative of climate affected communities in rural Bundelkhand in Central India. The drought prone Bundelkhand region comprising of 13 districts in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is one of the most climate vulnerable areas in India. The participants in the two workshops were mostly farmers and all were men of varied age groups and low levels of education. The sessions were conducted in Hindi.

Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change


It is now well understood that the most viable alternative to reduce the CO2 impact of cement (and therefore, concrete) is the use of supplementary cementing materials (SCMs). The reduction in clinker factor of cement can also prolong the life of limestone reserves, making it possible to continue using cement as a major binding material for concrete...

Creating Low Carbon Communities through Behaviour Change


Community-led approaches stimulating individual and collective energy action have emerged as an alternative route for realising reductions in energy demand, through changes in people's understanding and behaviours related to energy consumption and generation. Much social and environmental psychological research has been undertaken on how domestic energy behaviours can be influenced in order to reduce energy consumption.

Scaling Up Mechanisms for Entrepreneurship


Micro enterprises are engines that boost job creation and fuel equitable economic development. However, despite their crucial role as enablers of improved local capacities and jobs, their growth is limited owing to lack of a nurturing ecosystem. Dialogue with rural communities and local stakeholders over the past few years, has revealed the unmet demand of support services for setting up and improving micro enterprises.

Managing our Natural Resources for the Benefit of All


To achieve a sustainable future, the world clearly has two priorities that must come before all others. The first is to ensure that all citizens have access to the means of satisfying their basic needs. The second is to evolve practices that bring the environmental resource base on which their lives and future integrally depend, back to its full health and potential productivity. To achieve these two primary goals requires urgent action on two fronts.

Potential Game Changers in Skill Development


India is going through a major transition. We are enthusiastically on our way to becoming an informed nation: knowledge-based economy. A knowledge based economy requires a new generation of educated and skilled people. The current government's 'Skill India Initiative', might indicate that we as a nation have embarked our journey on the correct path but there are still many speed breakers.

Waste to Wealth Special


Effects on the environment: Waste results in accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) primarily Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) which are responsible for global warming and climate change. CO2 is released into the atmosphere by the burning of solid waste. CH4 is emitted from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. NO2 is emitted during combustion of solid waste. Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Scientists predict that there is likely to be an overall trend towards increased precipitation and evaporation, more intense rainstorms and drier soil. Changing regional climates are expected to alter forests, crop yields and water supplies.

Technology and Innovation for Sustainability


Since the first major international conference was convened to address issues concerning the environmental and sustainable development in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972, titled, ‘United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the world has come a long way in understanding climate change and its consequences, global consumption patterns and the bio-capacity of its natural resources etc. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a report which was undertaken for the Government of the United Kingdom, argued that the cost of transitioning to a low carbon economy would be much less than the costs and risks of the impact of unmitigated climate change if high technologies and practices were to continue to dominate systems for energy provision (Stern, 2007).



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