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Scientific Social Responsibility policy

News:India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR).

Facts:

What is Scientific Social Responsibility(SSR)?

  • The draft defines SSR as the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity.

Aim of the policy:

  • The policy aims to encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with society. 
  • It also aims to develop a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.

Features of the Draft policy:

  • Under the proposed policy,individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
  • The draft policy has proposed to give credit to knowledge workers or scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
  • No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.
  • A central agency will be established at DST to implement the SSR. Other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.

Additional information:

About Corporate Social Responsibility:

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) was initiated through the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The act mandates companies and government organisations with (a)turnover of Rs1,000 crore or more(b)net worth exceeding Rs 500crore or (c)having more than Rs 5 crore in net profits,to set aside 2% of their average net profits for CSR activities.
  • The provisions of CSR are not only applicable to Indian companies but also applicable to branch and project offices of a foreign company in India.
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