Looking For CSR Courses in India

A media professional with over 20 years of experience across media production, people engagement, and development communication, with a huge interest in CSR Courses. Her first question was – is there a course that can help me get a line of sight into this space? This is a question that arises often – if you are looking into step into the space of CSR Courses, from the social, corporate or related space – where do you start?

It has been almost 2 years since the passing of the mandate for companies to spend 2% of their net profits towards society, under the CSR Law. And if incoming reports of CSR activities are to go by, there has been unprecedented interest and momentum across sectors and companies towards designing corporate social responsibility programs that not just tick the legal boxes but also bring a wealth of value to communities, people and the company itself in the short, mid and long-term. One of the key elements for programs to succeed are the people at the helm – CSR professionals who can design, lead and manage the company’s CSR vision and realise the aspirations of all stakeholders.

According to a recent report published in Economic Times, the demand for CSR professionals has gone up by 40-50% across levels. There is widespread recognition that CSR within the company is a dedicated function and requires professionals who can bring in a blend of development sector experience, corporate sector skills, the ability to engage with multiple stakeholders as well as drive an entire gamut of activities, from strategy to impact assessment.

Various top educational institutions have joined the fray in introducing CSR Courses short-term courses to equip CSR professionals with skills, know-how and tools to work in the space of CSR.

The following is a quick compilation of select courses that are being offered by various institutes in India in the context of Indian Corporate Social Responsibility.

1.Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA)

COURSE: Certificate of CSR courses (ICP-CSR)

DURATION: 9 months

THE PROGRAMME: Run by the body that drafted the Law, IICA’s course on CSR is the official course on CSR and the first of its kind in the country that covers theoretical and practical CSR and case-studies across development sectors under Schedule VII to develop professional CSR goals. The course has been designed to suit the needs and the availability of corporate, with the course being entirely online – it is laptop based and requires 2-3 hours per week. All course material is delivered to executives through a Learning Management System (LMS).

The course material comprehensively covers the provisions of the Law and landscape including  Global definitions; Evolution in India; Sect 135, Companies Act 2013; Modalities of Comply or Explain; Policy to Reporting: The Indian Agenda and so on. There are 15 centres across 11 cities in India which offer this course, maintaining a 1:10 teacher-learner ratio. There’s provision for optional contact classes as well.

The course commenced with its second batch on 1st January 2016. For further news on the commencement of the third batch, visit the course site here.

2.IIM Indore

COURSE: Business Management and Corporate Social Responsibility: Managing expectations to create winning stakeholder support

DURATION: 3 days

THE PROGRAMME: Conducted under the tutelage of Professor Kajari Mukherjee, the programme is “designed to equip business executives to strategise and implement appropriate body of CSR initiatives such that it is embedded in business yet serves to manage expectations of myriad stakeholders including requirement of Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.”

This course seeks to equip executives who are involved in formulating various strategies for their companies with skill sets that directly address the aforementioned issues namely, strategic thinking to generate and apply unique business insights and opportunities to link value chain and competitive context opportunities with society at large; achieving appropriate balance between containing negative externalities and/or building up on positive externalities, and expectations of the State; identifying and categorizing appropriate stakeholders to business; driving paradigm shift amongst employees regarding social responsiveness of business; linkage between business-embedded CSR, citizenship responsibilities of business and regulatory requirements (The Companies Act 2013).

Registrations for the course are most likely to open in July (as the last one was held between 18th and 20th July). One can register for news and download the brochure from their website.

3. IIM Bangalore

COURSE: Leading Responsibly: Strategic CSR course for Corporate Advantage

DURATION: 3 days

THE PROGRAMME: The course explores the emerging relationships between social responsibility, non-market environment, strategy and competitive advantage. The course aims to help the participants develop their own personal approach for identifying and solving strategic environmental/social issues facing businesses. Using a mix of cases, readings, lectures, and videos the course is designed to enhance one’s understanding of the alternative models of conceptualising and implementing CSR strategies.

The Programme Directors for this course are Professor PD Jose and Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan and is slated to commence this year in November.

The last date for registration for this year’s batch is 28 October 2016. The Start Date of the course is 07 November. The early Bird Cut-Off Date is 17 October. For more information, visit the course page here.

4. IIM Calcutta

COURSE: Corporate Social Responsibility and Citizenship: Managing for Effectiveness

DURATION: 3 days

THE PROGRAMME: The vision is to enable businesses to plan, executive, monitor and communicate about their CSR operations effectively. By examining the strategic linkages of CSR the programme is designed to provide participants the perspectives necessary to anchor CSR programs in their business models. The discussions on the operational aspects including regulation, reporting, creating and managing partnerships etc assist the participating manager in developing the necessary skills and perspectives in implementing CSR effectively.

Registration for 2016 has not been announced yet. The course took place in mid June last year under the tutelage of Prof. Nimruji Prasad J. For news on future announcements, visit the course page here.

5. Indian School of Business (ISB)

COURSE: IICA’s certificate course from its premises.

DURATION: 9 months

THE PROGRAMME: ISB successfully launched the first long term 9 months IICA Certificate Programme (ICP) in CSR in October 2014.

The programme is co-designed for delivery at ISB’s Hyderabad and Mohali campuses and the IICA campus at Manesar by the National Foundation for CSR (NFCSR), IICA and the Center of Executive Education (CEE), ISB. Offered as a hybrid model combining classroom and online learning, the programme spreads over a period of 16 weeks and includes three on-campus contact sessions. Participants continue the course online during the interim periods through ISB’s Technology Aided Learning (TAL) tools.

The programme is designed to also enable and build the capacity of participants who are not necessarily from the CSR domain but have to execute this function within their organisations.

Though there has not been any news announcement regarding future partnership between the two bodies, interested participants may keep an eye on the ISB website for future update.

6. Karve Institute Social Service, Pune

COURSE: PG Diploma and Certificate Course in CSR

DURATION: 12 months for PG Diloma; 9 months for Certificate

THE PROGRAMME: Karve Institute of Social Service,CSR cell launched two autonomous course modules to create an academic platform for corporate, professionals, volunteers & other social organisations to interact and discuss new thoughts to scale up sustainable social efforts and also to help companies design and implement responsible initiatives.

Certificate, PG Diploma and need based course modules are designed for Professionals, volunteers, employees of corporates and industries, NPOs, NGOs, Govt. officials, welfare organisations or people interested in engaging with CSR initiatives and projects.

To enrol or download the brochure for the course, visit the course page here.

7. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

COURSE: ‘Positioning CSR Initiatives: Strategic Integration Approach’

Duration: 3 days

THE PROGRAMME: The National CSR Education Hub of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) holds a training workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility Management for public and private sector companies. The course aims to give clarity on purpose and spirit of CSR with framework of strategically positioning CSR initiatives.  The csr courses provides comprehensive learning on CSR management and broadens perspective to be creative and innovative in devising CSR initiatives by providing hands on knowledge to lead and implement the CSR initiative effectively. 


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