Historically business houses in India have had religious and charitable trusts, to undertake various kinds of philanthropic work across the country. In the west also, various corporate houses have trust and Foundations, viz. the Rockefellers and Ford Foundations. The new company act in India has now made it compulsory for business enterprises to have the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as part of their obligation towards the society by earmarking funds for social and development intervention. Primarily due to religious and philanthropic outlook, old and new business houses have had an agenda similar to that of today’s CSR.
The NGOs, now popularly called development sector is growing at very fast pace. With the CSR factor coming into the picture through the Company Act, it may see a further growth. There has been mushrooming of community based organizations (CBOs), Civil Societies and all kinds of Non-Government organizations (NGOs) in the country. While some corporate houses have their own set up for CSR activities, others have funded the exiting NGO networks.
It has been presumed that the growing private and development sector is a satisfactory pay master and has a conducive working condition. This is a myth and only those at the top level and those working for the Big firms and funding agencies are better paid. The majority (90%) of the people working force in private and development sector are poorly paid and without much privileges. No wonder that youth still want a government and public sector undertakings Job. Even in pre-independence period, people in large numbers preferred to join army, constabulary and babus in government departments.
Recently the TOI reported that 156 head constables, 288 constables who joined Delhi police, had 16 B.Tech, a MBA, MCA, BBA, and a B.Pharm, along with 88 graduates, hailing from all corners of the country. This scenario speaks for itself.
A general pay and privileges comparison between the government and public sector undertakings and their counterparts in Private and development sector, shows a huge gap. A peon or class four employee in government and or public sector gets a pay of twenty to thirty thousand per month, where in private and development sector it ranges from five to six thousands only. A government clerk, driver, an army jawan, a constable, village level worker, school teacher, are drawing a salary of twenty five to thirty five thousand per month, whereas a sales officer, manager in private sector and project officer or project coordinator in development sector is in the range of eight to twelve thousand. A section officer, administrative officer, project officer in the government department draws a salary of forty to sixty thousand per month and their counterparts like project manager, project head in development sector will be drawing fifteen to twenty five thousand. 90% of government and public sector undertakings staff get twenty five to thirty thousand per month while 90% of their counterparts in private and development sector get five to fifteen thousand only. Interestingly marriage market reflects this reality, where government clerk, school teacher, constable and Jawan and others, are preferred over private sector employees, viz. Sales officer, accountant, junior executive, market and sales representative, manager and NGO professional.
While today many of the unemployed youth want to join the NGO sector, as they see this as an easy entry point for some employment but for some it’s a stop gap arrangement and for others a waiting room for better opportunity.
The political leadership and the bureaucratic dispensation have undermined the development sector. Bureaucrats controlling the government societies have blatantly selected and promoted individuals who are not even mediocre just to please their political bosses and in league with them have skilfully utilized project budgets.
Unfortunately, the bureaucrat is the ‘ring master’ even outside the ring. No wonder, many of the professionally qualified youth in the country don’t want to build infrastructure but want to inaugurate one. The major decision has to be on the human resources and the policy governing it. In the effort to have, induct and retain people, to make the organizations a place of excellence, innovation, and productivity, the issue of the individual’s growth, privileges and congenial atmosphere needs to be looked into. In the age of privatization and globalization and in the system of contractual employments, there is a need for a liberalized contractual conditions and obligations.
Transparency is the key and an essential ingredient of an organization development. The worker must also be made to think that he also own the house he builds and nurtures and is not just a paid artisan. The differences in vision and mission across the development sector can lead to conflicts in policy, planning and program interventions. However, the development sector is meant for initiating welfare interventions, charity and philanthropic work for the welfare of the under-privileged, downtrodden and the marginalized to usher in social justice and for voicing their human rights.
The CSR mandate of the corporate houses must also reflect the ideology of human rights at the core of agenda.
It will be of interest to see the shaping of the synergy between corporate and development sector in the coming years and how government policy and interventions promotes collaborations to achieve human development goals.