TATA AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM
Social equality and justice are the basic tenets of the Indian constitution where there is a provision for equal opportunity to all sections of society. Societal equality can be brought about through creation of suitable employment opportunities. A country that ensures the employability supported by a system that backs employment generation is clearly on the path of bringing about an overall economic development of its citizenry.
Tata Power-DDL’s Affirmative Action Program began with the signing the CII Code for Affirmative Action on February, 2007. Since then, Tata Power-DDL has implemented its Affirmative Action program by carrying out ground level initiatives in the areas of Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Employability and by catering to the most underprivileged section of society, Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe communities, in its area of operation.
Our approach is to focus on the educational needs for the members of the SC/ST communities and provide them equal opportunities, so that they are able to compete with students who hail from privileged backgrounds. Education is considered as one of the most important pillar out of the four pillars of the Affirmative Action program. One of the most important initiatives in this field has been our support to SC/ST students every year from classes X, XI and XII. We support children from 46 government schools located in our licensed area of distribution. This initiative has successfully been taken forward since 2007 and till date 3,000 SC/ST students have benefitted.
In the past, scholarships were given to students on merit cum means basis but subsequent interactions highlighted the lack of access to resources which inhibits the merit of SC/ST students. Hence, the criteria for selection has been modified to “economic need criteria”.
Under this school scholarship program, students are supported with reference books, school bags, and other stationery material. An annual and customized personality development, interpersonal skills, career counseling and competency testing of these students is held. The career counseling program attached to government schools indicate that the dropout rate has declined among SC/ST students and it also depicts an improvement in their academic performances.
The most disadvantaged SC/ST students are supported financially to pursue degree and engineering degree courses from Delhi University. Although, SC/ST students get through to professional institutions due to the relaxation in entry criteria, often they are not able to complete the course due to fund shortage. Tata Power-DDL makes effort to support them by providing financial assistance as per eligibility criteria approved by the senior management. These students are associated with us till they want to study and being oriented by Tata Power-DDL for their career guidance.
This section focuses on training and supporting the SC/ST community and its youth. We aim to empower them and make them employable and also ensure the sustained development of their families. Tata Power-DDL’s efforts has been to support them with supplementary funds and give them access to skill training so that they can become employable in the competitive job market, this is done to widen the pool base of capable and employable SC/ST students within the job market. The company offers financial support to the students for ITI and Polytechnic courses. The students are selected only after receiving recommendations from the principals of their respective institutions and on the economic need criteria basis. Tata Power-DDL offers internship to these students which gives them some practical exposure, by using its core competence in the electrical sector. The students who have passed out have found employment in good organizations through campus placements.
Tata Power-DDL has supported 1,125 students from Polytechnics & Industrial training institutes since 2007.
This section focuses on training and equipping the unemployed youth with the desired skills to make them self – reliant and skilled in generating income. The objective of Tata Power-DDL is to make use of its core competence and expertise in grooming and training the youth for the electrician program.
Without any compromise on the quality and agreed cost, Tata Power-DDL shows preference to SC/ST run undertaking of promoters for inclusion in its supply chain, provided such companies transparently and voluntarily share this information prior to bid participation. A complete waiver of tender fees, 50 % relaxation in security deposit, relaxation in bank guarantee and 25% relaxation in the company’s turnover under qualifying requirement criteria of General Conditions of Contract (GCC). The tender procedure and the GCC mention its spirit of positive discrimination to create awareness and sensitize its Business Associates. A record total volume of business gained by six SC/ST vendors is 1.70 crores in FY 2015-16.
In order to enhance and increase the ratio of the SC/ST employment within the company, preference is given to SC/ST candidates during campus recruitment by relaxing the qualifying marks, without diluting merit (positive discrimination). A 5% relaxation in marks is given to candidates belonging to the SC/ST category during campus recruitment. Besides these, summer trainees from the SC/ST community are also encouraged to take up internships with Tata Power-DDL.
Tata Power-DDL tracks the category-wise data of all trainees through the joining form and updates the same into the SAP database. For existing and current employees, the category-wise data has existed since the beginning and uploaded on the SAP database. For BA employees, the category- wise data has been continuously collected since 2009. This was done during the issuance of identity cards. A centralized database is being maintained for the same. Tata Power- DDL employs and absorbs the SC/ST as Business Associate employees. At present Tata Power-DDL employs 1100 SC/ST employees as BA.