Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan means self-reliant India or self-sufficient India, is the vision of the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi of making India a bigger and more important part of the global economy, pursuing policies that are efficient, competitive and resilient, and being self-sustaining and self-generating. Atmanirbhar Bharat does not mean self-containment, isolating away from the world or being protectionist. The first mention of this came during the announcement of India’s COVID-19 pandemic related economic package on 12 May 2020. The five pillars of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ are economy, infrastructure, technology-driven systems, vibrant demography and demand.
Corporate Social Responsibility directly supports the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat would be achieved when each stakeholder in the larger socio- economic ecosystem of the nation e.g., corporations, academic and research institutions, civil society and the government can collectively contribute. Corporations play a major role because they have the resources, the professional manpower and the ability to create “development labs” in targeted areas. The COVID-19 pandemic and the territorial challenges faced on the borders have created a situation where it has become imperative for India to reduce dependencies on global supply chains, and focus on creating innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems that would lead to economic and technological self-reliance and self-sufficiency through homegrown success stories.
Fireside discussions were organized by Brand India on Atmanirbhar Bharat and the role of CSR in making New India. The event focused on discussing five pillars of self-reliant India including Economy (quantum jumps, not incremental changes), Infrastructure (that represents modern India), System (technology-driven), Demography (vibrant demography of the largest democracy) and Demand (full utilization of the power of demand and supply) with eminent thought leaders to understand the overall social development with the prime aim of improving lives of people. It became evident that the CSR initiatives are playing a significant role in making New India self-reliant. Many big brands in the corporate are now aligning their CSR initiatives with UN sustainable development goals to make India Atmanirbhar. The industry has contributed to the PM Care fund and launched several programs to improve the lives of people through skill and livelihood programs, spending beyond the compliance amount of CSR. With an aim at reviving the Indian economy and making the country a world leader across industries and support the government innovative movement of Atmanirbhar, where the government is ‘Vocal for Local’; three roundtables were organized on 16, 27 and 30 October 2020.
To conclude the series of discussions the prestigious “Brand India Excellence Awards -2020 ” were presented to individuals by Dr. K. K. Upadhyay – CSR Trainer of The Year, Dr. Lopa Mudra Priyadarshini – CSR Person of The Year, Mr. Ajit Kumar – Corporate Social Responsibility in Priority Areas and Mr. Vikas Bhatia – CSR Professional of the Year for their outstanding achievements. Three companies were awarded Integrated Centre for Consultancy (P) Ltd as PR Agency of the Year, Sterlite Tech Foundation as Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year and Vedanta- ESL Steel Ltd. Bokaro as Most Innovative CSR Program of the Year.
A limited-edition book on “CSR and its role in making Atmanirbhar Bharat ( A Self-Reliant India)” by Mr. Sandeep Simon Behera Director Branding – Karunya University , was launched at the function. The book provides insight into various aspects of Atmanirbhar Bharat and role of corporate in achieving it. The prominent contributors have highlighted how we can achieve the goal of self-reliance much before 2030 with the right approach and partnerships between the government, corporates, civil society, community and other institutions. The involvement of all stakeholders will enable a 360-degree approach towards creating a stronger solution and working together will bring the required change far more efficiently and relatively quickly. It will boost their work and generate better socio-economic benefits in a holistic manner, strengthening Atmanirbhar.