Round Table Discussion on Affirmative Action

Round Table Discussion on Affirmative Action
Held on 26 November 2010 at Bangalore

Mr P K Mohapatra, Past Chairman, CII and Chairman, Sub Committee on Inclusiveness and Affirmative Action, Southern Region Chairing the Roundtable Discussion

Affirmative Action in Southern Region is undergoing a major change and more and more industries are getting sensitized on this to take it up at their level. In order to take the initiatives at the regional level forward, it’s very important to generate awareness on AA and sensitize the member companies on AA at the state level and take their views on this. In this regard, a round table discussion was organized at CII’s Karnataka office to deliberate on the various issues related to AA and factors which are hampering the progress of AA with the industries. It also focused on making AA an inclusive agenda in the business plan of a company. This round table discussion would show the way forward and help us in preparing a road map for AA in the region.

The Roundtable Discussion on Affirmative Action at Bangalore held on 26 November 2010 was chaired by Mr P K Mohapatra, Past Chairman, CII SR and Chairman, Inclusiveness and Affirmative Action Sub-committee, CII SR. Representatives from member companies like Bosch, Titan Industries, Bhoruka Power and NTTF shared best practices of Affirmative Action followed within their companies.

The discussion focused on the challenges in implementing Affirmative Action and the strategies used to overcome these challenges. During the open floor discussion, companies shared their views, worries and solutions in putting AA in place. There are various factors which are hampering the growth of AA in the region and it was agreed that at times symptomatic action is required to take care of persisting problem and at times the root cause of the problem should be taken care. Companies are really concerned over bringing an attitudinal change in the mindset of the target group and state towards education and entrepreneurship. It was reiterated during the discussion that education should be vocationalised starting at an early age. A policy recommendation should be made to Mr Kapil Sibbal, MoE, GoI to bring in changes in the present system of education. There are some good Bangalore based NGOs who are exclusively working for the SC/ST children in the field of education in the remotest pockets of our country, can be invited to share their experiences in a proposed conference at Bangalore on how to drive AA on the four E’s.

Apart from that the companies present during the RT, felt that there is a need and scope for holding a Southern Region Conference with the theme - How to drive AA on Four E’s in the month of January 2011. These RT discussions in all the 5 Southern states will help us in internalizing the mindset of our member companies and the problems they face in ensuring AA with the marginalized. This will give us a lead in preparing the basic agenda of the Conference. One of the agenda of the conference will be a deliberation on various possibilities to synchronize education with vocational education at a very early stage in the life of marginalized children. The forum felt that Mr Kapil Sibbal can also be invited for this conference.

Way forward:

Mr Mohapatra urged the members present to sign the Code of Conduct on AA and encouraged members to take up initiatives on Education, Employability, Employment and Entrepreneurship at Karnataka. Mr S Chandrasekhar, Vice Chairman, CII Karnataka moderated the session and Mr Aroon Raman, Chairman, CII Karnataka proposed the concluding remarks with a promise that they are going to meet very soon in the Conference on AA in January 2011 in Bangalore. Mr Mohapatra proposed following initiatives from the present member companies:

  • Ethics At Work Place: Every member company should sign the voluntary CoC and inspire 5 other companies to sign it

  • Entrepreneurship: The member companies should raise at least 5 entrepreneurs as service providers

  • Education: Each member company present should provide scholarships to 5 students [no of companies present 20. So around 125 scholarships can be ensured from Karnataka membership only]

  • Employment: Each member company present in the forum should generate 5 jobs for SC/ST candidates

Sujith Haridas
[Deputy Director General]
Membership (CO)
Confederation of Indian Industry
Mantosh Sondhi Centre
23 Institutional Area
Lodi Road
New Delhi
Phone : 91-11-24629994-7; 1800 103 1244 (Toll Free)
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