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Call for proposals for implementation of CSR & Sustainable development activities

Deadline: August 19, 2014

NHDC invites EOIs, for empanelment of Agencies such as NGOs/ Self Help Group, etc., which are active at least for last 3 years and can demonstrate positive impact.

NHDC Limited (A Joint Venture of NHPC Limited & Govt. of M.P.), formerly known as Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation Limited, was set up on  August 1 2000 with its Corporate Office at Bhopal.

Qualifying criteria:

  • The Specialized agency should have successfully completed work of minimum INR 15  lakh per annum for the last three financial years ending March 31 2013
  • Recognition from the NCVT or MPCVET in case of agencies who undertake skill development through vocational training programmes
  • The Specialized agency should be registered under the Indian/ State Societies Registration Act/ Trust Act/ Charitable and Religions Trust Act/ Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 for more than 3 years with no political affiliations
  •  The Specialized agency shall have an office at Bhopal or at any location proposed for CSR and Sustainability Initiatives or shall furnish an under taking to set up an office in the allocated project area within three months of allocation of work
  • The specialized agency shall submit a declaration that the agency has not been black listed by any Government Department/ Ministry/ PSU/ Municipal body
  • Experience of successful completion of at least three Govt/ PSU’s/ Municipality projects in the areas mentioned in the Guidelines on CSR and Sustainability for CPSE issued by Department of Public Enterprises and CSR listed works within the notified provisions of the Companies Act 2013, during last three years ending last day of month previous to the date of submission of bids

Click here for the detailed EOI application form.

New circular on CSR Rules: Taking the ‘liberal’ stance to help kick-start implementation

While the government had notified the rules for implementation of Sec 135 (provisions on Corporate Social Responsibility) of the Companies Act 2013 on February 27, companies and other key stakeholders engaged in social development had sought clarifications on many of the key provisions. Last week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued a General Circular No. 21/2014, to address the major issues.

The clarifications have considerably enhanced the flexibility of the guidelines for companies to adhere to the law, particularly with regard to activities that can be undertaken and to their own involvement in these activities. In our view, the clarifications will help kick-start CSR efforts, particularly by companies that have not been actively engaged in CSR activities in the past.

While some points may need further clarification, we believe that these too will be addressed soon.

The key highlights of the circular are:                                               

1.  More companies will now be covered under Sec 135: The circular has clarified that companies that have met the financial thresholds specified in the Act in any of the three financial years prior to FY2014-15 will be liable to comply. We believe this provision may have resulted in some expansion in the list of companies covered by the regulation, vis-à-vis the earlier interpretation of one reference year.

2.  ‘Liberal interpretation’ means a wider range of activities can now be taken up: The circular mentions that companies developing programs as part of their CSR efforts can interpret Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013 liberally; while some activities being undertaken or currently being planned may not exactly match with the wording of Schedule VII, these could be taken up if they capture the essence of the subjects mentioned. Our reading of the illustrations in the MCA circular, suggests that across cause areas, activities that support the larger cause – even if this is in an indirect or peripheral way – will be allowed as CSR as per the law. This will include research as well as awareness building programs undertaken through mainstream media channels.

MCA has explicitly mentioned that:

  • Programs around road safety, creating consumer awareness, support to technology incubators not located within academic institutions (provided they are approved by the Department of Science & Technology) can be considered as CSR programs
  • Awareness programs such as financial literacy will be included as CSR activities. For the safety awareness program that the MCA has illustrated, expenditure on awareness building through print and AV electronic media is included
  • Expenses on research and studies on all areas covered under Schedule VII will also be included as CSR expenditure
  • Rural development has been defined as ‘any project meant for development of rural India’. Hence, a wide range of projects could be classified under this category.

Additional details, including cases where expenditure will not be permitted to be accounted for as CSR spend, are provided in the  General Circular No. 21/2014 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs,Government of India. Some notable exclusions are:

  • Sustainable urban development and urban transport systems
  • Capacity development of government officials and elected representatives
  • Professional exchange programs between countries
  • Any development expenditure mandated by state/local government regulations

3.  One-off events will not be considered as CSR activities: The circular states that CSR activities have to be in the nature of projects/programs rather than one-off events such as marathons, awards, charitable contributions and advertisements and sponsorships given to TV programs. Such events shall not qualify as CSR expenditure..

4.  CSR employees’ salaries and monetary value of employee volunteering can be considered as CSR spend: The circular mentions that the CSR expenditure will include the CSR employees’ salaries. Also, recognition of the monetary value of employee volunteering as CSR expenditure is a welcome step for companies which have a huge and/or high cost employee base and especially those that have no identifiable local community as stakeholders (IT companies, investment banks etc). This expenditure will be calculated in proportion to employees’ time/ hours spent specifically on CSR activities

5.  A foreign holding company’s spend on CSR activities in India can be counted as CSR spending of their Indian subsidiary: This will be valid only if the CSR expenditure is routed through the Indian subsidiary. This will be beneficial for many Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies that are required to undertake CSR expenditure according to the Act, since some large global companies also directly fund social development programs in India.

6.  Corpus expenditure can be included as CSR expenditure: The circular states that contribution to corpus of a trust/society/section 8 company will qualify as CSR expenditure, as long as it is created exclusively for a purpose that is directly relatable to a cause covered in Schedule VII of the Act. It would have been helpful to provide additional clarity on whether such contributions, which may be lumpy and thus in excess of the prescribed CSR spend for the year, could be adjusted and counted as CSR spend in the following financial years.

The circular does not lay down any deadline for creation and posting of CSR policies by companies, which will be a crucial first step for going ahead with implementation for companies that have not undertaken CSR in a structured way in the past. However, we hope that this will be addressed in circulars/FAQs expected soon.

Click here to download the PDF version of this article.

For all the highlights of the CSR rules as per the Companies Act 2013, click here.


IdeaPitch- Call for CSR project ideas

Deadline: July 25, 2014

 IdeaPitch is an initiative of NGOBOX to kindle innovative and impactful CSR project ideas under the ambit of the CSR rules. Applications are invited for CSR project implementing agencies (eligible under the provisions of the Companies Act 2013) to submit their CSR project ideas /concepts for the IdeaPitch.  Ten best project-ideas will be selected as per the process mentioned below and will be presented to the CSR Heads/Managers and other participants in ‘India CSR Summit 2014’.

Eligibility Criteria

• The applicant organization must be eligible for CSR project implementation under the Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013
• Applicant entity must have legal status as NGO/Society/Company and should have registered in India before 31st March 2011
• One entry should have only one idea
• An organization can submit maximum two ideas (separate entries)

Why should one apply?

  • Gain recognition in the development sector as CSR implementing agency/organization with innovative approach
  •  Increase your reputation and credibility at the national level
  •  Increase visibility among companies
  •  Showcase your organization’s innovation and commitment in delivering impacts
  •  Potential opportunity to get your idea implemented through a CSR partnership

Click here for details on guideline and to download the application form.


Request for Proposals from Social Organizations working in Uttar Pradesh

Deadline: July 7, 2014

Our client, a large automotive and farm equipment manufacturing company operating across the country, is looking to partner with Social Organizations (NGOs and/or social enterprises) for its CSR activities. The organization must be:

Eligibility Criteria

  • The organization must be located in Uttar Pradesh
  • The organization must be working in either Gorakhpur, Hapur, Mahrajagunj, Mirzapur or Agra
  • The organization must be operational for a minimum of 3 years
  • The organization must be registered as a non-profit that implements social development projects in India, with no religious or political affiliations
  • The organization’s physical address must be verifiable
  • The organization must have a valid 80G and 12A
  • The organization must have an Executive Board that maintains budgets, annual activity reports and audited financial statements. These yearly records must be available and submitted upon request

If your organization fits the criteria, please provide us with your organizational details in the form.


Request for Proposals from social organizations working in Alwar or Dausa districts, Rajasthan

Deadline: June 28, 2014 (Saturday)

Time: 12:00pm

Our client, a large automotive and farm equipment manufacturing company operating across the country, is looking to partner with Social Organizations (NGOs and/or social enterprises) for its CSR activities. The organization must be:

1) Working in the districts of Dausa and/or Alwar (Rajasthan)
2) Registered and in operation for a minimum of 3 years

If your organization fits the criteria, please provide us with your organizational details in the form.

Fundraising through Crowd funding and CSR Partnerships: A Training Workshops for NGOs

Deadline: July 25, 2014

NGOs need to identify new streams of funding for their projects and ensuring financial sustainability. ‘Crowdfunding’ and ‘CSR partnership’ are the two new avenues of fundraising for NGOs as well as social businesses.

NGOBOX is organizing ‘Fundraising through Crowdfunding and CSR Partnerships: A Training Workshop for NGOs’ on July 25 in Dehradun

The workshop covers:

  • Fundraising scenario in India
  • New Fundraising options for NGOs
  • CSR Partnerships for NGOs
  • Fundraising through CSR
  • CSR provisions under the Companies Act 2013
  • Whom to approach and how to approach
  •  Writing concept notes · Dos and Don’ts in CSR partnerships
  •  Crowd funding for NGOs and Social Businesses
  •  What is Crowd funding and how NGOs can raise funds
  • How to use/select crowd funding platforms
  • What are the requirements/eligibility
  •  How to design a campaign/cause
  • How to engage with online community

The workshop is a must attend for Senior management of NGOs (CEOs, COOs, CFOs), Fund-raising managers/executives, Project /Programme Managers, Communication Managers, Researchers and students.

Venue: Hotel Amrit Regency, Near ISBT, Saharanpur Road, Dehradun

Register for the workshop here.


Jagriti Ambassadors for District Entrepreneurs (JADE)

Deadline:  October 30, 2014

We are inviting you to be the Jagriti Ambassador for District Entrepreneurs (JADE) in your respective region, and hunt for future entrepreneurs and help them participate in the Yatra. You have the chance to directly get involved in this fantastic talent spotting activity by being the nominated Jagriti Ambassadors for your region.

JADE is an awareness program of Jagriti Yatra to recruit Yatris as Jagriti ambassadors in the selected Tier 3 and 4 districts in country so that they can bring quality applications from the entrepreneurial youth of their region. Through JADE, we mobilize participants (20-27 yrs) and facilitators (25 yrs and above) from their districts to apply for Jagriti Yatra.

We are seeking for:

  • Independent, self-motivated, mature and responsible high achievers
  • Excellent communicators in both group presentations and one-on-one conversations
  • Well-networked with contacts and ability to engage with a variety of audiences
  • Resourceful and perseverant in the face of obstacles
  • Organized and accountable for their deliverables; professional in their approach to the work at hand
  • Committed to Jagriti Yatra’s vision and mission


Please visit the website here to apply

Basics of Marketing Strategy for NGO products

Deadline: June 21, 2014

Balaji Iyer, currently VP – National Sales Development at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd will guide NGOs on how to design a business model for the products manufactured primarily by/for the beneficiary community.

The session aims to cover the importance of marketing and market research, exploring models of consumer decision making and making projections for the NGO products, etc. It will also cover positioning strategy, distribution options, promotional methods and ways to scale up product.

This training is most suitable for CEOs, Marketing officers, executives who are engaged in market research, identifying markets for distribution of NGO products and positioning them.

Register for the session here.

Workshop on Entrepreneurship for Women at Sparkpluggers Innovation Lab

Deadline: June 20, 2014

Sparkpluggers Master Class is an innovative two day engaging program that helps to-be entrepreneurs get their business idea validated by experts, learn skills on creating a business model and network with some of the best minds in the start-up community. It gives a budding entrepreneur a platform for getting their idea evaluated by experienced mentors, receive feedback from collective peer-mentor discussions, learn to create one’s own Business Model Canvas and what it takes to pitch ones idea to an investor, all in action packed two days.

The workshop will cater to students who aspire to be entrepreneurs from any education field like commerce, technology, arts, design, finance, legal etc. Any & everyone who is planning to start his/her own venture or is enthusiastic about improving his/her skills & talent to successfully launch a new project.

To enroll for this opportunity, click here.


Applications are invited from young innovators across India for the ‘Young Social Innovators Conclave’

Deadline:  June 30, 2014

The Young Social Innovators Conclave is a dynamic platform that will brings together young innovators, technologists, academics and experts to share their cutting-edge initiatives and solutions, experiences and challenges in urban development. The Conclave will provide young innovators an opportunity to interact with a wide cross section of social ideators and practitioners and to encourage integrated action that matches the complexity of urbanization issues.

 If you are a young innovator with a crackling new idea, a strategy or an initiative to tackle India’s urban challenges, we want to hear about it! And if it sparkles, we’ll promote it and put you in touch with like-minded individuals to scale it up.

The themes of the conferences are:

  • Urban Planning
  • Governance
  • Livelihoods
  • Environmental and Climatic changes
  • Health
  • Art & Culture
  • Sports
  • Education

It is a joint initiative of the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, UN-Habitat, Sir J.J. School of Architecture and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

For detailed information on the application procedure, please visit