Professor R Nagarajan, Dean, International and Alumni Relations, the funding obtained through CSR is funnelled into socially relevant projects in agriculture and farm technology, water technology, education and entrepreneurship and energy by IIT-M faculty.
“Laboratory solutions need to be proven on the ground. Every solution for a critical need — be it in water, in energy, in sanitation, in education, in land use — needs to be researched and developed in an academic setting, but eventually implemented in needful communities.” Prof. R. Nagarajan, Dean (International and Alumni Relations), IIT-M, said. “It is in this latter phase that IIT-M sees a huge need and opportunity for CSR funding,” he added.
Social entrepreneurship is another front where CSR funding can make a significant impact, he said. While support from the Centre in sustaining this process is crucial, the role of the corporate sector cannot be overstated, the professor added. The Companies Act, 2013, provides an ideal route for the latter through the CSR.
The projects taken up include rural electrification project using a Solar-DC technology of IIT-M. This is a five-year project being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 135 cr. Sustainable water and energy management in agricultural activities and bridging the gaps in supply chain and marketing of farmers/producer organisations and urban lake integration for water utilisation and recreation.
Stating that business houses from different parts of the country have come forward as partners to support socially relevant projects at IIT-M using their CSR budget, Nagarajan said the institute has received support for its incubators and also for faculty R & D projects with social impact.