Group policy on affirmative action | The 4Es
The Tata Affirmative Action Programme attempts to address the prevailing social inequities in India by encouraging positive discrimination for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) communities by Tata companies. The group has a legacy of engagement with the disadvantaged sections of society dating back to its founding fathers, which has facilitated the adoption of this more recent attempt to uplift the SC/ST communities in India through a policy of affirmative action (AA).
The Tata agenda is aligned with the framework on AA prepared by the Confederation of Indian Industry, which focuses on four areas of development: employment, employability, entrepreneurship and education. The Group AA policy, adopted in April 2007, commits Tata companies to exercising positive discrimination in employing SC/ST personnel and in engaging them as business partners, without sacrificing merit or quality.
Tata companies have CEO-led AA committees to decide AA strategy and oversee the implementation of the programmes. The Group AA Forum, set up in 2006, has devised a system of recognition and rewards based on external assessment of companies’ AA initiatives and modelled on the Tata Business Excellence Model.
Group policy on affirmative action
- Tata companies believe in social equity
- Tata companies adhere to the principle of equal opportunity, irrespective of caste, whether in recruitment or career advancement within the organisation
- Tata companies are also committed to directly conducting or supporting initiatives to ensure an equal footing for socially and economically disadvantaged sections in the country at large, and specifically the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities
- Towards the ultimate goal of enhancing their employability and entrepreneurship abilities, Tata companies are committed to creating and promoting access to quality education and technical skills and competencies for members of the SC/ST communities
- Further, to speedily enable these communities to overcome the social discrimination that has prevented them from realising their potential as productive members of society, Tata companies will assist members from these communities towards employment opportunities and as business associates, provided everything else (merit for employment; cost and quality for business associates) is equal
- Tata companies are creating livelihood opportunities for SC/ST candidates and focusing on increasing their representation in management cadres.
- Nine percent of employees in 47 Tata companies’ India operations are from the SC/ST communities.
- Companies are embedding a policy of boosting numbers of SC/ST employees in their growth strategy, leading to a significant increase in their rolls.
- Tata Consultancy Services has employed some 650 youth in the last year in its BPO operations.
- Trent has added nearly 650 youth to its rolls in the last two years.
- Nearly a dozen companies have embedded the spirit of positive discrimination, without diluting merit, for increasing the number of candidates from the SC/ST communities into their recruitment pool.
- Tata Steel lowers qualifying marks by 5 percent in written tests, before the interview for the final selection, for recruitment of trade apprentices and junior engineers.
- Tata Power Delhi Distribution relaxes age norms and qualifying marks in recruitment at entry level and, where needed, provides additional training before candidates come on to its rolls.
- For candidates to qualify to appear for the selection process in campus placements, Tata Power relaxes its eligibility cut off threshold by 5 percent marks for SC/ST students.
- Close to 12,500 youth were skilled in FY 2011 by 26 Tata companies in marketable trades.
- Companies are partnering nearly three dozen ITIs to make them into Centres of Excellence.
- A variety of training programmes are run by companies: proprietary and in partnerships with NGOs.
- TCS has provided 2,109 SC/ST youth with skills for the BPO industry in proprietary programmes in 78 locations in nine states.
- TRL-Krosaki has trained over 500 SC/ST youth at its proprietary Rural Self Employment Training Institute, run in partnership with the State Bank of India, at Belpahar, Jharsuguda district in Odisha.
- Tata Motors has trained over 2,000 through the ‘Kaushalya’ scheme at 21 ITIs, five motor mechanic training institutes, driver’s training institute and trade apprentices at its five plants.
- Eight Tata companies have enlisted close to 50 SC/ST vendors in their value chain, giving business worth Rs14.5 crore in FY 2011.
- Titan outsourced business worth approximately Rs5 crore to 325 SC/ST karigars (craftsmen).
- Tata Motors has enlisted four Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce (DICCI) members as second tier vendors.
- Tata Steel has raised its target of business to be given to SC/ST entrepreneurs from Rs5 crore in FY 11 to Rs30 crore in FY 12.
- Creation of entrepreneurship development programmes:
- Tata Communications has partnered with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmedabad, to train nearly 400 SC/ST youth in entrepreneurship, of whom over 150 have either become self-employed or entrepreneurs.
- The emphasis is on long-term scholarship schemes with significant engagement by company volunteers, in partnership with proven NGOs, particularly among government schools. Also, companies are encouraged to measure the impact of the scholarships.
- 2,185 scholarships worth Rs1.18 crore were given by 22 companies in FY 2011.
- Some notable examples:
- Tata Power’s partnership with Pratham to improve the math and language skills of over 3,500 primary school children in Maithon (Jharkhand).
- Tata Power Delhi Distribution's partnership with 26 government schools in Delhi to assist and mentor 150 students through their high school years.
- Tata Motors’ Vidyadhanam scheme to provide holistic education assistance to nearly 300 children in 20 schools around Pune (Maharashtra).
- 33 companies contribute to the group pool to finance 100 scholarships worth Rs70 lakh per annum for college students in professional courses. These scholarships are administered by the Delhi-based Foundation for Academic Access & Excellence (FAEA), that has a robust metric for identifying poor but academically bright SC/ST youth.