A Post Pandemic Analysis of CSR in India
The Journal of Comparative Law, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021
Date Written: April 15, 2021
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evaded effective definition thus far. India’s new CSR provision, embedded in the Companies Act, 2013 has attempted to define and measure the concept, and is in this respect something of a milestone. However, by thus providing a definition and measurability to CSR, the concept has lost some of its innate flexibility. Based on corporate responses before and during the COVID-19 crisis, this article seeks to analyse how effective the CSR provision has been in achieving its goals. The article finds that the rigidity in the provision has impeded corporate responses to the pandemic. Despite this, the article argues that the CSR provision in India has expressive value and, to address the lack of flexibility in the current provision, proposes an amendment to the list of categories that are to be considered CSR. Finally, the article also provides a theoretical basis for the CSR provision within the Indian Companies Act 2013. The model proposed in this article will also be relevant to recent international discussions on corporate purpose.
Keywords: CSR, India, COVID-19, pandemic, corporate law, collaboration theory, expressive law
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