Not many of us would be aware of the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, or more commonly referred to as ‘CSR’. At least I wasn’t until a short while ago. But after spending some time reading about it and working on a few CSR related projects myself, I feel I would be able to put my two cents in. Here in this article, we’ll talk about CSR and discuss the CSR program of Merck India.
What is CSR?
Simply put, CSR is a concept which talks about a company’s responsibility towards the society. It is a self-regulation policy for an organization, which focuses on contributing towards the benefit of society through various philanthropic activities. Think of it like the companies’ way of giving back to the society. CSR Program helps organizations in boosting their own brand while also having the obvious benefit of social welfare. Organizations implement CSR through a number of programs like scholarships, relief funds, health camps and other such philanthropic activities.
The concept of CSR has been around since the 1960s but it has managed to take a substantial form only in the past few decades. Organizations have now adopted structured policies when it comes to CSR. In India, with the amendment of the Companies Act 2013, our country became the first nation in the world to mandate and quantify CSR expenditure. With this amendment, it became mandatory for every company having a net worth of INR 500 crore or turnover of INR 1000 crore or a net profit of INR 5 crore to contribute 2% of its average net profit on CSR program and activities.
Merck India CSR Program
Merck is a global healthcare firm and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Founded in 1668, the company made its way to India in 1967. The Merck India Charitable Trust (MICT) is the CSR arm of Merck India. It was established in 2005 as an educational trust and has been at the forefront of various scholarship programs. The MICT scholarship program has helped hundreds of students realise their dream of quality education. Underprivileged students who are keen to pursue education and graduate in the subject of their choice can benefit from the MICT Scholarship Program. It encourages talented underprivileged students by sponsoring their education and thus prevents drop-out rates.
The MICT Scholarship is unique in the sense that it is not a one-time funding. Through MICT, Merck assists the student till graduation.
Eligibility for the MICT Scholarship Program 2018-19
To be eligible for this year’s scholarship, the applicant should have passed class 10 in 2018 with at least 80% marks. The family income of the applicant must be less than or equal to INR 20,000 per month. Moreover, this scholarship is only for students residing and studying in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Bengaluru.
A scholarship of INR 35,000 per annum will be awarded to the selected students till graduation. This scholarship is however dependent on consistently achieving good grades, failing which may even lead to the withdrawal of scholarship.
Selection of applicants
Each year, the applications for the MICT scholarship are invited around the time class 10 results are declared. The screening of applications is done based on the eligibility criteria mentioned. The screened students go through two rounds of interviews. The board of trustees make the final decision about the selection of candidates after assessing the students’ ability.
The applicant needs to furnish a set of documents so as to verify eligibility. Among these documents, the most important is the attested copy of class 10 mark sheet. Also, the applicant needs to submit a passport size photograph, a proof of permanent residence (like Aadhaar, election card) and an income declaration form.
Applicants must also keep in mind that this CSR program of scholarship is only for Indian students and a student studying abroad cannot apply.
A student can apply for this scholarship through online as well as offline means. The online link for registration as well as the address for the offline application can be found on the Buddy4Study website here.
Buddy4Study is India’s largest network for scholarship search and application. You can find other such scholarships easily on the Buddy4Study website here.