Corporate Social Responsibility and Civil Society in India

This project investigates how a 2013 law in India that mandates corporations to engage in philanthropy is shaping the civil society sector in India.  

The 2013 Companies Act in India replaced a 1958 set of regulations for the governance of private corporations.  One of the new provisions requires companies to join public sector firms in annual donations under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  All firms with net worth above $75 million, turnover over $150 million, or net profit over $750,000 are required under Section 135 to spend at least 2% of their annual profits (averaged over 3 years).  This is a major innovation with the state brokering a partnership between the private sector and civil society organizations.

This law is the first of its kind in the world.  We don’t know what impact it is having on business, government, and civic life in India.  I have been conducting interviews with companies and civil society organizations over the past 3 years in addition to gathering and analyzing publicly available data.  I hope to complete my data analysis next year and to begin writing and disseminating my findings. I will be presenting initial findings in Madison at the South Asian Studies annual conference and in Michigan at the Sustainability and Development conference this Fall.