Uday Chandra Singh’s domain expertise lies in journalism – its teaching, practice and training. With a Master Degree by his side in Mass Communication, he is Channel Head at SMBC Insight- News Channel. He has held various journalistic assignments in electronic media including NDTV, Live India and NNIS(Broadcast News agency). Uday was the core member of Launching Team of NDTV INDIA and Live India and played an instrumental role in the conception, setting up and running of the channel. He worked with NDTV for 13 years as Output Editor. He was the member of core team of NDTV that conceptualize and produce special shows like Good Morning India, Jai Jawan and Muqabla. He was Executive Producer at Live India, Hamar TV and India News-Channel. He is also in Advisory Board of ALL INDIA BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION. (AINBA). As a Media Trainer he also teaches at Indian Insititue of Mass Communication as Guest Faculty. Singh is the recipient of the Best Output Editor of the Year Award, 2007. This award was given by the Media Federation of India. He is also the recipient of Media Achievement Award 2007.
As a seasoned media personality, presently heading a TV Channel, how do you react to the mandatory CSR provisions under the new Companies Act, 2013?
It is too early to assess the degree of effectiveness of the provision of the Companies Act, 2013 with regard to implication mandatory of CSR contribution and it falls in the domain of the social scientists and management thinkers to keep vigilance over the implementation mechanism of CSR likely to be evolved during the forthcoming decades. However, it may be asserted that CSR is definitely an important initiative of the legislators for bringing about egalitarianism in the process of distribution of national income and wealth among the citizens of the country.
What is your perception about the effective contribution made by Corporate India through CSR for development of India?
CSR has a great role in social development as far as development of India is concerned where the gulf between the ”haves and have nots” is considerably wider and CSR initiative may be an effective instrument to reduce this disparity of income distribution that prevails at alarming rate in Indian society.
As per your assessment, what are the key development challenges, Corporate India should address through CSR?
Both the government and industry should work together in addressing concerns of consumers. The companies are involved in some CSR activities. However, it is largely restricted to community development. I think they should set aside part of CSR funds for consumer awareness. ,CSR funds can be used for raising consumer awareness, especially in rural areas, to prevent sale of fake products and check misleading advertisements.
A Large percentage of companies are currently engaged only in complying with CSR law, without any heart in it. What need be done to motivate the companies to get involved in CSR with passion?
In India, hardly anybody cares to do any good for the society unless it is made compulsory or obligatory by the law of the land. When businesses decide to engage in CSR practices many top management teams should start with implementing CSR values and ideals within the company first. By focusing internally, companies are able to change the internal structure of the organization and the corporate identity overall. When implementing corporate social responsibility policies and values in a company the employees play a very important role in whether the implementation will be a success or failure. If the employees does not support or understand the decisions then it will be very difficult to make any changes even though it is ultimately the top management team who makes the final decisions. There is a difference between the ideals of CSR and actual practice of CSR. The company has to coordinate the changes slowly and it is best for the employees to take part in the discussion. When the company is identifying CSR strategies it should be a participative process. This will make the companies to get involved in CSR with passion.
What possible roles may be played by Media Houses to promote CSR Movement in India?
The media have a huge role to play in how CSR is broadcast to the world at large. It is simply not enough for corporations to do their bit for social causes. They must also let the world know so that others are inspired and they set an example for others to follow. The media can be used to seek volunteers from the society or the specific places where the corporations are launching their CSR initiatives. Further, they can be used to publish articles pertaining to the values and the mission of the company in promoting CSR. Media can also take a critical view of the CSR programs that a corporation claims to run and it can ensure that the corporation is not indulging in “Green Washing” which is the case where a corporation pretends to follow CSR but in reality does not do so.
Do you believe, Media Houses has a social responsibility, if so, how should they perform their Social Responsibility?
The question of social responsibility in the media continues to be timely and topical. Media is deviating from the laws, ethics and principles that it should follow. These days, it is nothing but a money minting business that ignores its social responsibilities. Media today no longer cares about the responsibility that it has towards the public, the responsibility of bringing the truth ethically and objectively without hurting anybody’s sentiments and the consequence of this is over-hyped news. I strongly believe that to be relevant and meaningful, every media house must have a social and clear conscience. The social responsibility of media is an extremely important issue and that to in a developing democracy like India. In a diverse country of 1.2 billion people, there are bound to be differences in opinion, preference and taste, in attitude and ideology and in language and political likings, I firmly believe that the plurality of our society is reflected in the diversity of our media and its reporting too.
Any information, you would like to share with our readers.
The law besides making any provision for practice must also make necessary provisions for prosecution of those who are responsible for implementation if they fail to do so.