NASSCOM Foundation

NASSCOM Foundation

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NASSCOM FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization with a mission to leverage ICT Technologies for empowering and transforming the lives of underserved to create an inclusive India, created and supported by member companies of NASSCOM.

The foundation is engaged in a number of multifaceted activities whose strength is the power of partnership with the implementing agencies like NGO’s, Industries, Government bodies and people at the grassroots level.

NASSCOM FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization with a vision to leverage Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for empowering and transforming the lives of the underserved to create a truly inclusive India. Backed with a commitment by NASSCOM and its member companies to promote social development through the application of ICT, NASSCOM FOUNDATION works towards this aim by nurturing the ecosystem for Technology for Good.

The Foundation is engaged in a number of multifaceted activities which leverage the power of partnerships with the implementing agencies, NGOs, industry, government bodies and people at the grassroots level of society.

VISION

An inclusive and sustainable India, led by NASSCOM FOUNDATION, leveraging the capacities and competencies of the ecosystem of the IT-BPM industry.

GOAL

To impact 10,000,000 people by 2020 using Technology for Good.

NASSCOM Foundation Impact In 2017

NASSCOM-Foundation-Impact-In-2017

CSR INITIATIVES OF NASSCOM

EMPOWER

Skills Initiative:

The Skills Initiative is aimed at enhancing livelihood opportunities of youth amongst underserved communities in India through employment and micro-entrepreneurship. The program is in line with the NSDC’s goal of getting 125 million individuals skilled by 2022 and works to provide specific employable skills required by the IT-BPM industry in the country.

IMPACT: Over 2 Lakh beneficiaries trained on Employability Enhancement Skills

National Digital Literacy Mission:

National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) or the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDisha) is a part of the Government of India’s Digital India initiative with the vision to empower at least one person per household with crucial digital literacy skills, expected to touch more than 250 million lives. The program aims at helping adults with low technological literacy develop the skills they need to interact in an increasingly digital world.

IMPACT: 1 Lakh+ beneficiaries trained on Digital Literacy skills

Disability Initiative:

NASSCOM FOUNDATION encourages inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the IT-BPM sector by sensitizing organizations about employment and accessibility (Barrier-free Workplace and Assistive Technologies). It helps organizations inculcate best inclusive practices on Physical

Accessibility, Web Accessibility, Assistive Technology and Employability.

The Disability Initiative through its Centres of Excellence works towards skilling PWDs on various different employability driven skills.

IMPACT: 70% placement record of all the students graduating from the PwD CoEs.

ENABLE

MyKartavya:

MyKartavya – NASSCOM FOUNDATION’s volunteering initiative aims to utilize the strengths of the employees of the IT-BPM industry for assisting NGOs, simultaneously promoting employee engagement through strategic volunteering.

The program also works in assisting key government initiatives like Digital Literacy’ and DigiDhan’ through volunteer driven interventions.

The Program also runs a fellowship program under it called:

Metta Fellowship

The NASSCOM FOUNDATION Head Held High Metta Fellowship has been curated to provide corporate associates with an opportunity to become community conscious and create impact beyond business. An extension to the volunteering initiative, the Metta Fellowship carefully chooses skilled associates, inducts them into the social sector and aligns them to work with the NGOs like a regular employee. The induction is done by the fellowship knowledge partner – Tata Insitute of Social Sciences. A win-win for all, the Fellowship helps corporate associates gain cross sectoral experience while the NGOs are able to take advantage of the skills the fellows bring with them.

IMPACT: Last year, 400+ highly skilled volunteers spent over 18,000 volunteering hours to help 230+ NGOs resolve some of their most critical issues.

BigTech:

BigTech, the NASSCOM FOUNDATION software support program, facilitates easy access to ICT for NGOs. The high-end software solutions provided through the program help the NGOs scale-up and bring more efficiency to their operations.

Software solutions on offer from:

bigtech-IT-software-companies
IMPACT: INR 95 Crore worth software distributed to NGOs across India till date.

BigBridge:

The BigBridge program is an offering to corporates to ensure responsible e-waste management, promote re-use of computers while cash-strapped NGOs receive computers. The program gives new purpose to redundant computers and peripherals by promoting refurbishment and re-use of end of life systems. This in turn, helps NGOs access technology and scale up their operations.

IMPACT: 8500+ refurbished computer systems given out to 320+ NGOs across India till date.

Indian Public Library Movement:

The Indian Public Libraries Movement (IPLM) works towards re-establishing the importance that public libraries deserve in the present context: A repository and source of information and ideas, a place for learning and enquiry, and for the generation of thought and the creation of new knowledge. The program is working towards uplifting the public libraries by application of relevant technology and making it into a community centre which not only gives knowledge but also engages with the community at a broader level.

IMPACT: 220+ public libraries currently being supported by IPLM

EDUCATE:

E-waste Sensitization:

It was during the 25th Anniversary of NASSCOM in March 2015 that the issue of e-waste found a voice with the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi pressing for a national awareness campaign. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) subsequently partnered with NASSCOM FOUNDATION to launch an awareness program on environmental hazards of electronic waste with the key objective of enhancing awareness amongst stakeholders involved in e-waste management in 10 urban areas in its pilot phase.

IMPACT: 123519 people across 10 cities of Moradabad, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Imphal, Bhubaneshwar, Pondicherry, Panjim, Kolkata and Indore sensitized on e-waste, its harms and the best way to dispose.

CSR ADVOCACY AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP:

NASSCOM FOUNDATION’s CSR Hub is aimed at creating an ecosystem of CSR practitioners, civil society members, advocates, thought leaders and policy makers to further help solve social development based issues across India through innovative and collaboratve ways by the means of conferences, workshops, research reports, government and media interventions.

CSR Advocacy And Thought Leadership

HARYANA VISION ZERO:

Haryana Vision Zero is a unique program aimed at enhancing road safety across the state with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of fatalities in any road accident in the state to ZERO. NASSCOM FOUNDATION, NASSCOM, Haryana State Government, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, World Resources Institute (WRI) India and other stakeholders have collaborated to work towards this goal. The Haryana Vision Zero initiative will study the current road conditions, blind spots, pedestrian pathways among other parameters and create strategies to help reduce the likelihood or severity of an accident.

INNOVATE:

NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum:

The NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF) is India’s largest technology for good platform with an aim to recognize and support technology led social innovations that fill critical gaps in key developmental areas such as Education, Healthcare, Disability, Financial Inclusion, and Environment among others. Celebrating its 10th edition this year (2017-18), NSIF has created an ecosystem of over 2000 social innovators, awarded grants in excess of Rs. 2.4 Crores and 30+ social innovators have been given Support to Scale’ industry mentorship. This year, in partnership with Mphasis, NSIF awarded 10 social innovations and provided catalytic grants of 40 lakhs to the winners in Education and Accessibility categories. All the winners will also receive a yearlong industry mentorship.

IMPACT: The NSIF has been able to build a 2000+ social innovator strong ecosystem over the past 10 years.

Social App Hub and Solutions for Good:

Social App Hub is India’s first app store dedicated to Mobile Apps developed for Social Good. Developed by Vodafone Foundation with principal partner NASSCOM FOUNDATION, it aims at curating, strengthening & promoting social sector related mobile solutions from critical sectors of health, education, governance, agriculture, disability and safety.

The Solutions for Good initiative is in response to the challenges faced by non-profit organisations that are unable to create a transformational impact due to lack of skills and resources to build on their technology solutions. Vodafone Foundation, along with principal partner NASSCOM FOUNDATION, seek to address this challenge by building technology solutions for select Not-for-Profit organisations in India and empower them to deliver large scale social impact.

IMPACT: The total number of apps for social good exceeds 800 on the Social App Hub portal.

NASSCOM’s positioning empowers it with unlimited opportunities for developmental impact through innovation and creativity which is yet to be actualized.

Shrikant-Sinha-CEO-NASSCOM-FOUNDATION

Shrikant Sinha

CEO, NASSCOM FOUNDATION

Shrikant joined NASSCOM Foundation as the Chief Operating Officer in September 2014 and quickly scaled up to the position of Chief Executive Officer. He plans to bring in more agility in the foundation’s working by directing, administering, and coordinating the internal operational activities, while contributing towards the goal of ‘Technology for Good’ through five of NASSCOM Foundation’s mainstream programs.

With over 25 years of experience in education sector, Shrikant played a key role in the success of Aptech; starting in 1989, fresh out of Delhi University and going on to become Senior General Manager for the company.

Prior to joining NASSCOM Foundation, he was based out Malaysia, as Head Corporate learning, APAC and MENA, at GlobalNxt University (formerly Universitas 21 Global or U21Global), an Online Graduate School owned by Manipal Global Education, helping thousands of people working in corporates across the Asia-pacific, Middle-east and North African regions with limited or no access to good quality academic opportunities.
As the CEO, Shrikant looks over the entire operations and strategy for NASSCOM Foundation while directly controlling five different programs. Truly, a person with many hats, Shrikant’s extensive background in the skilling and education spaces will significantly complement NASSCOM Foundation, especially in the National Digital Literacy Mission, NASSCOM Knowledge Network and the ConnectIT programs.

Q. Your profile is rich as a champion for the cause of collaborative CSR. What attracted you to this & what have been your major experiences for collaborative CSR?
A. Earlier individual companies across the IT-BPM industry were trying to break an iceberg with a pickaxe. The problem remained that even with 50 people making the same efforts, the resultant impact was minimal. But in case all these fifty people were to combine their efforts and pick up a big hammer to do it, then definitely, the iceberg will break and that’s where our whole focus is.

NASSCOM has 3000+ member companies. If you look at the IT-BPM industry, there are about 20 – 30 large companies followed by 200-300 mid-sized companies and a long list of 15000+ small companies.

When we started with the programme on Digital Literacy, we realized that certain companies wanted to invest their CSR money into good causes, but they did not have enough funds to start something on their own and that’s where we said, can we all club of efforts together and make it happen! And that is how collaborative CSR started to help bridge the gap between digital haves and digital have-nots.

Another thing that we observed was in the area of providing employability enhancement driving skills. Today if we look at the Indian demography, fifty percent Indians are first generation graduates. We decided to work with them and help them get better employment opportunities. And that is where the second part of collaborative CSR came in where the companies joined hands together to get these graduates placed in well-paying jobs as they became a part of a ready resource pool for thee IT-BPM sector.

Those are just a couple ways through which the NASSCOM FOUNDATION initiated collaborative CSR.

The third model which became a huge success story for collaborative CSR was city based collectives like Pune City Connect (PCC), where we are working with Pune Municipal Corporation on one hand and the city collective of PCC (comprising of likeminded corporates), where one of the goals is to make Pune 100% digitally literate.

The aim is to have at least one person from every household become digitally literate by 2020 across the Pune district. That’s where we started getting in donors aligned to a particular cause under the umbrella where PMC, PCC and Corporates could come together and help make Pune, one of India’s first smart city.

Q. CSR in India is troubled by Adhoc charity orientation with a short-term perspective & unable to get out of its grip & adapt strategic CSR with a long term orientation in which they can collaborate with appropriate partners. Your comments.
A. Right from day one when the CSR Act got passed as a law in India, we have been running several advocacy workshops where we got the corporates from across various cities together and helped them demystify the law further giving them pointers on how they can best adapt their CSR policy to it.

So in those organisations where we have been able to help them draft the policy, we encouraged them to have a long term vision on CSR. We made sure to educate them on how CSR should be treated as a long term project that actually creates a sustainable positive change in the society. We asked them to invest for a minimum of 2-3 years in one project and be patient when it comes to the impact mapping because a project like, for example, girl child’s education would not show immediate results, but the impact would definitely be seen in the future, and would be felt over a much longer time.

It is therefore important to understand what an organization’s CSR policy is and what kind of a time frame of impact it is looking at. Interestingly, a lot of organisations today have moved towards this impact driven CSR model. I can definitely vouch for the IT-BPM industry and is already showcased in one of our recent ‘Catalysing Change’ reports. Some of the findings from the report:

  • Growing number of companies spending 100% and above of the CSR funds, among both MNCs and Non-MNCs: 61. 6% of the surveyed companies reported spends of 100% or above their prescribed CSR budget. This includes 63.3% of the MNCs and 68% of the Non-MNCs.
  • Smaller sized companies (turnover below INR 100 Crore) proactively pushing CSR initiatives with full utilization of prescribed budget: While 57.57% of large companies, 53.3% of medium companies are spending 100% of CSR funds, an impressive 72.7% of small companies spending 100% of CSR funds.
  • Underspending is a rare condition: Only 5% of companies surveyed reported a spend of less than 50% of their CSR budget.
  • Education remains the top focus area of companies’ CSR activities especially in MNCs: 76% of MNCs reported highest CSR spend on Education. Other MNC focus areas:
    • 12% on Hunger & poverty
    • 18% on Gender equality
    • MNCs increasing liaison with government to tackle developmental issues: While overall, 43.3% of participating companies confirmed working with the Central/State government in their socio-economic projects for 2016-17

Q. NASSCOM has been very aggressive in promoting IT in various development domains including disability. What has been the experience? Please share.
A. We understand the importance of accessibility, and are continuously working towards this cause. We were, along with NCPEDP championing the cause of ensuring that disabled people not just get a voice in this country but also contribute their part in its economic growth as proud citizens of India.

We are running two Centres of Excellence – One in Noida and another in Bangalore. We are training the Persons with Disabilities in employable skills so that they may get jobs in the IT or any other industry. Today, the IT-BPM industry has got less than 1% PwDs employed in it and we want to change this figure. We are continuously working towards getting more and more companies to absorb talented and skilled PWDs as their workforce.

In the RPD Act passed in 2016, the number of recognized disabilities has been changed from 7 to 31 providing more opportunities for all PwDs to be employed and help support their families.

Also at NASSCOM FOUNDATION, we promote social innovation, especially in the area of assistive technologies. Three years ago we helped this organisation named Innovision which had created this amazing refreshable braille keyboard for persons with disabilities at a fraction of the market available keyboards. Earlier such things costed in excess of INR 1.5 Lakhs when imported and their innovation promised to bring the costs down by a sixth of the available.

Another example could be of Soham Technologies, social innovators who even our Prime Minister recently mentioned in his ‘Mann ki Baat’. NASSCOM FOUNDATION supported them through mentoring a couple of years ago. Soham Technologies had developed a solution to help detect early childhood health risks, came to us as an innovation in its starting phase. We hand-held them for a period of one year, supported them and helped them test out their product.

Our belief is very simple ‘It’s Our inability to see their ability that is our biggest disability’.

We have also been supporting CABI (Cricket Association for Blind India) along with an organization called Samarthanam, through the last couple of years and are glad to in some way help become a part of the world champion team.

In fact, in our flagship, The CSR Leadership Conference, we had a separate workshop devoted only to educate CSR and HR leads from across organizations on the RPD act and how they may heklp empower persons with disabilities.

We also have a portal called as ‘inclusion powered': www.inclusion.nasscomfoundation.org, with the aim to bring the disability sector under one roof. We hope for it to become a one stop-shop for everything on ‘disability’ and encapsulate everything from assistive technologies and consultants to NGOs that promote accessibility and work on empowering PWDs.

Q. The major IT companies through their respective CSR foundations are busy in implementing various developmental programs but the impact made by them needs much to be desired in absence of collaboration and a National Vision. Your comments.
A. There are discussions that we are leading along with NASSCOM, with our member companies on areas such as Med-Tech, Digital literacy, environment, education, accessibility skilling and many others, because, we are confident that it can have a huge national impact.

Q. Do you believe the top IT companies combine their resources and enter into collaborative program that can solve major National problem?
A. Pune City Connect is a great example, already discussed above where the corporates and Pune Municipal Corporation has joined hands together to make Pune digitally literate by 2020. They just reached a target of making 30,000 people digitally literate A huge accomplishment for any city. We are already on our journey over there. Of course, these are our early steps. It needs to be amplified to a much larger scale but I think at least the first steps have been taken in the right direction. We are positive that we’ll be able to do more things, empower more people and positively impact more lives through collaborative CSR.

Q. Does NASSCOM promote collaboration among ICT players for development in the social sector? If so. Please share few examples.
A. One big point before I answer this question, that I would want to address is how do we define ‘ICT players’. To us, any particular company which has a prominent IT department is our potential member organisation and basically works in the ICT space. That means that most banks, retail organizations, manufacturing organizations, energy and utilities companies etc are ICT driven organizations.

In fact, Hero Honda Motors, are one of the biggest donors for our Haryana Vision Zero program where our goal is to reduce the number of fatalities due to road accidents in Haryana to ZERO. Our board permits us to work with anyone and everyone.

One big point before I answer this question, that I would want to address is how do we define ‘ICT players’. To us, any particular company which has a prominent IT department is our potential member organisation and basically works in the ICT space. That means that most banks, retail organizations, manufacturing organizations, energy and utilities companies etc are ICT driven organizations.

Another example that we may talk about is how during the demonetization exercise last year, the whole industry came together and through its associates volunteered to train underserved people on various different cashless transaction tools. We had volunteers coming in from banks like RBS, Barclays, Bank of America, Retail organizations like Amazon, IT services companies like Accenture, Genpact, Financial product companies like Mastercard and even other NGOs like Youth for Sewa making it a true and complete example of joining hands to solve a larger issue.

About the author

CSR VISION
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.