Report by OrissaDiary.com correspondent; Bhubaneswar: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) in collaboration with CII hosted ‘CEOs Roundtable on Affirmative Action’ on 25th November, 2011. Mr Rajive Kaul, Past President, CII & Chairman, Nicco Corporation Ltd, acted as the session moderator.
The panel consisted of Mr. Ranaveer Sinha, Chairman, CII Eastern Region & Managing Director, Telco Construction Equipment, Mr. B.L. Raina, Past Chairman, CII Eastern Region and Chairman, Jamshedpur Utilities & Services Company Ltd. (JUSCO), Mr. B.L. Bagra, Chairman, Odisha State Council, CII & Director (F) & CMD (I/C), National Aluminium Co. Ltd, Mr. Suresh Thawani, Vice Chairman, Odisha State Council & Managing Director, Tata Sponge Iron Ltd, Mr. Tarun Daga, Managing Director and Executive Director, Tinplate Co. of India Ltd. and Mr. S.S.Nandurdikar, Chairman, Task Force on Agri and Food Processing, CII Eastern Region and Managing Director, Paradeep Phosphates Ltd.
The event started with a short address by Fr. P.T. Joseph, S.J., Director, XIMB who welcomed the esteemed panelists. Mr. Rajive Kaul, the moderator, then introduced the panelists and invited each one to address the audience with their views on Affirmative Action. The discussion was very informative as the panelists enumerated on how the CII is promoting the ‘4 Es’- Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Employability – among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs). They cited various examples such as equal opportunities for African-Americans in US companies and the implementation of the ‘Broad-based Economic Empowerment Programme’ in South Africa which supports the employment of black citizens. They also encouraged the audience to undertake Affirmative Action with a sense of responsibility and conviction rather than a sense of duty and helplessness.
The discussion was then opened up to questions from the audience. Students questioned the panelists on various issues including their stance on the inclusion of other economically backward classes and not just SC/STs into the Affirmative Action programmes, on the ability of SC/ST students to cope up with students from the general quota and on the inclusion of economically well-off SC/ST students in the programmes. The panelists, using examples from their work in the Affirmative Action programmes, were able to answer the questions put across to them and encourage further interest in Affirmative Action.
CII is a non-government, not-for-profit industry led and industry managed organization. It works closely with the government on policy issues, improving efficiency, and building business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services. CII has taken up the agenda of “Business for Livelihood” for the year 2011-12. This includes creating a focus on spreading growth to the disadvantaged sections of society. In line with this, CII is placing increased focus on Affirmative Action, Skills Development and Governance during the year.