Affirmative Action and Corporate Social Responsibility
The influence of the private sector companies over our economy has been tremendous, especially over the last two decades. Today the private sector plays a leading role in providing employment, investments and contributes majorly to the Indian gross domestic product (GDP). Reports suggest that more than 80% investments lie in the private sector and a major part of employment is covered by the private sector. The Affirmative Action (AA) Policy in the form of Reservations is limited to the Government sector, thereby leaving the vulnerable populations mostly exposed to low wages, poor labour rights and discrimination. The impact of the AA policy remains inadequate and hampered. This leaves little or no scope for the Dalits – Adivasis and other marginalised to participate in the market economy.
The over shadowing of the corporate over the government sector has severely constricted the possibility of Dalits and Adivasis to fully explore, compete and develop their potentials. ‘Proportionate representation’, which is the very basis of the idea of Affirmative Action, remains incomplete as the marginalised remain excluded from the private arena. The scope of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy remains arbitrary and unaccounted for, reducing it to a mere activity-based policy with no reflection of the societal realities.
NACDOR recognises the long-term impact of this inverse relation of the burgeoning market economy and shrinking space of the lives of Dalits and Adivasis. Following Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s mandate, NACDOR since 2004 has launched a resolute plan for ‘Fair Share in Businesses and Economy’ and for ‘Increasing Dalit Stake in Economy’. NACDOR’s efforts are streamlined by following mainly a multi-pronged engagement strategy:
- Private Sector and the Affirmative Action Policy
- Private Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy under the New Companies Act, 2013
- Online job portal for SC-ST job seekers
- Fair Budget Campaign
- Public Procurement Bill, 2012 for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
- Skill and Entrepreneurial Development Programmes