Interview of P. K. Sinha – CMD, Northern Coalfields Limited

Interview of P. K. Sinha – CMD, Northern Coalfields Limited

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With a diversified experience of more than 35 years in opencast and underground coal mining, Shri Sinha was working as Director (Technical) in South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), before assuming this charge as CMD, Northern Coalfields Limited. Born in January 1962, Shri Sinha graduated in Mining Engineering from Raipur Engineering College Raipur in the year 1982. He completed his post graduation in Mine Planning & Design from ISM Dhanbad in the year 1988. He is honored with many prestigious awards viz. Excellence In Environment Management, as Project head, from MPCCB-Bhopal for the year 2010-11 and Best Mines Manager at HB Ghosh memorial award hosted by MGMI at Kolkata for 2 consecutive yrs (2012, 2013). He has a professional affiliation with Mining, Geological and metallurgical institute (MGMI) and Indian Mine Managers Association (IMMA).

Shri Sinha uses his multi-fold experience in the work to become an able strategist for steering the organization in the most profitable direction and for succeeding in crisis management. He executes his leadership skills through open communication, teamwork and a positive moral in the organization.

Q. Indian business has entered the mandatory CSR era, wef. April, 2014. What has been the response of NCL to the Provisions of the Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013?

A. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained prominence from all the avenues. With the rapidly changing corporate environment, more functional autonomy and operational freedom, Coal India and NCL has adopted CSR as a strategic tool for sustainable growth.

For Northern Coalfields Limited, CSR means integration of business processes with social processes. Even much before the issue of CSR became global concern, Coal India and all its subsidiaries, were aware of its corporate social responsibility and was fulfilling the aspiration of the society through well defined Community Development Policy With the provisions of section 135 of the Companies Act 2013, NCL has further positively channelized its funds and energy with focus on inclusive growth and changing the socio economic profile of the region.

Q. For complying with the CSR Provision of the law, is there any changes in the CSR strategy of NCL post-April 2014 (Mandatory CSR Law being in force), if So, Please elaborate?

A. For Complying with the CSR provisions of the law, policy on Corporate Social Responsibility of CIL has been framed after incorporating the features of the Companies Act 2013 and as per notification issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India as well as DPEs guidelines.

Q. Which are the Key CSR projects of NCL and which one, you consider the FLAGSHIP project of NCL?

A. The flagship projects of NCL are:

  1. Construction of approx. 110 Kms of roads under GaonJodoAbhiyan Project in last three years improving the connectivity of very remote villages in the region
  2. Providing basic infrastructure facilities under Aadhar project like electricity, Handpumps, check dams, Community RO Plants for clean and safe drinking water, Community halls etc in the villages
  3. NCL has imparted different types training under : Kaushal Project viz. Poultry farming, BPO Training, Welder, Electrician, Fitter training, beautician training, embroidery, tailoring, plumbing training for employment generation through qualified trainers to the unemployed youths (both male & female) of the nearby villages
  4. NCL has contributed in various educational activities under Sab Sakshar Project like deficit grant, construction of aanganwadi, class rooms, conference hall, SC/ST Hostel, laboratories; development of playgrounds in schools, supply of furniture & lab equipment to Govt. schools etc.
  5. Besides in-house healthcare facilities under Sab Swasth provided to poor villagers in different project dispensaries, various different health camps like family planning camp, cancer detection camp for women, urology camp, diabetic camp, eye camp, child health checkup camp etc. are organized every year in different projects, Central Hospital and NSC.
  6. Every year Village sports/ tournaments under Khel Tarang are organized for promoting kabaddi, karate, football and Volley Ball etc. Talents are assessed and trained for higher platforms
  7. NCL was actively involved in Swacch Vidyalaya Abhiyan, a national campaign by the Government of India. Under this program NCL has constructed/repaired 6233 toilets in government schools of 12 districts of Madhya Pradesh

Q. Are the CSR projects limited to Mining Project Areas of NCL? Are they implemented outside the project area?

A. The primary beneficiaries of CSR are landoustees, PAP and those staying within the radius of 25Kms of the Project. Poor and needy section of the society living in other parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are these secondary beneficiaries. However, NCL can also undertake CSR activities in the states of operation i.e. UP and MP.

Q. What is the profile of the CSR organization/division, including the profile of full time CSR professional engaged?

A. In NCL, Sustainable Development and CSR Committee consisting of board members and an apex committee consisting of executives of General Manager Level ensure policy framework and supervise CSR works in the company. Director (Personnel) is the Nodal Director of CSR. A team of dedicated personnel work under her supervision in CSR division of the company. Presently, the CSR division of NCL is headed by an executive of E8 level working in the capacity of General Manager (CSR). A good set of managerial and non-managerial staff work under his able guidance. CSR Department of NCL also has specialised CSR professionals belonging to Community Development cadre.

Q. What is the level of your personal engagement in CSR planning and execution?

A. I keep tracking the pace of CSR works every now and then. Various meetings attended by me encompass CSR as a vital component. As a head of the organization, I endeavor to integrate CSR into our core business philosophy.

Q. What is the level of top management involvement other than yourself in CSR? Can you give few examples?

A. In NCL, top management plays a crucial role in the effective functioning of CSR activities. Involvement of top management spans across the stages from mentoring to monitoring. Guidance is imparted after detailed discussions on the complicated issues. Further, constant follow-ups and monitoring is done to ensure the effective implementation of CSR activities according to CSR Policy.

Q. What is the level of Employee Engagement and involvement in CSR activities of NCL?

A. Be it CSR or non-CSR, employees of our organization takes ownership of the activities entrusted to them. This is engrained in the culture of NCL and is reflected in NCLs underlying idea of Mera NCL. In addition to the axial role being played by our employees working in CSR department for the betterment of the society, overall engagement of employees in CSR activities and PAP (Project Affected Persons) interface is considerably high in NCL due to limited area of operations. For instance- Medical and Welfare division of the company regularly visits villages to undertake various activities in supervision of CSR Team. Similarly, the works of Revenue & Rehabilitation Division and Manpower & Recruitment Division involves direct interface with Project Affected Persons (PAP). Working in close association leads to an ecosystem which not only helps in seamless implementation of CSR activities but also helps build a strong bond with people living in and around operational areas of NCL.

Q. How do you find your CSR in NCL is different from other coal companies in under COAL India and outside?

A. Projects/units of NCL around which most of the CSR activities are undertaken lie within the vicinity of each other. This vicinity helps Projects/units in particular and NCL is general to streamline their CSR activities. Further, it not only helps in better coordination and planning but also reduces the probability of duplicity in CSR activities.

Q. Do you think the CSR potential is fully actualizes in NCL?

A. NCL thrives towards optimizing the capabilities to attain sustainability across the performance parameters. In line with this, NCL is committed to the welfare of the needy section of the society. Therefore, NCLs attempt is to undertake such CSR Projects which are sustainable and impactful thus leaving positive imprints on the lives of the people.

Q. CSR is a domain with unlimited scope for innovation and creativity for addressing developmental challenges around the companies area of operations benefitting the company by default. What kind of developmental innovation is tried in NCL under CSR? If any or if not, what are the plans for future?

A. NCL is planning to incorporate technological solutions within its CSR domain. For instance, discussions are underway for development of CSR application which can collate data and generate reports regarding CSR activities. Further, geo-tagging of the assets created under CSR will be done and will be incorporated in the application itself. Further, apart from in-house expertise NCL is undertaking its CSR activities through other expert organizations which are using innovative techniques during implementation. For instance, Madhya Pradesh Women Poultry Producers Company Pvt. Ltd. (MPWPCL) has applied its technological innovation in the field of poultry farming which has resulted in the successful, self-sustainable and profitable model of poultry farming undertaken by SC/ST beneficiaries in Singrauli.

Q. Any information you would like to share with the readers of CSR VISION?

A. I would like to share the message that as we are in a coal business, we ensure energy security of the nation but no business can flourish in a society that fails. We design our activities in a way that brings about sustainable development with inclusive growth.

About the author

CSR VISION is India's (probably World's) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.