Industry Information Updates

UGC paves way for university-industry partnerships for research, paid internships, funds

To encourage research through industry partnerships in universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has drafted guidelines on sustainable and vibrant university-industry linkage for the institutions.

The draft guidelines on Sustainable and Vibrant University-Industry Linkage System for Indian Universities recommend creation of Industry Relation Cell or IRC at the universities and University Relation Cell at companies for collaborations.

The main objective of the IRC, as per the guidelines, is to enable collaborative project creation between a university faculty group and an industry group. Its responsibility will be to identify research topics, including topics relevant to the local area, identify potential research problems for industry and the university, explore funding sources for the research among others.

It also suggests creating a “cluster of universities and industries” enabled by technology at state level led by institutions of state or central government in each region.“ Each cluster may create a technology centric mechanism to capture the local problems and then assign the same as projects to the students based on the infrastructural cum human expertise available at the host institute of a student,” the ugc guidelines state.

To facilitate this, the guidelines encourage joint development of new technologies in research labs of the universities or educational institutions to benefit technology transfer.

The guidelines further facilitate roping in professors of practice to facilitate collaboration between industry partners at the universities.

Endowment, degrees by industry partners

The industry, as per the guidelines, can provide endowments to create advanced facilities and vocational training centres as per the requirement of the industry or for the cause of education.

It allows industry partners to help university students to use “sophisticated and costly equipment” available in industry and open access of university resources for industry partners for testing and certification.

According to the draft, industries can also establish industry chairs in universities and support scholarship schemes to attract meritorious young researchers to university.

To make students job-ready, the guidelines recommend offering collaborative degree programmes tailored for industry personnel or with emphasis on practice. Project work under this programme can be executed under joint guidance of the teachers and experts from industry on generic or industry problems, the guidelines states.

Internship and apprenticeship

Apart from research collaborations, the draft guidelines also bat for internship and apprenticeship opportunities. University can introduce internship or apprenticeship irrespective of the field including Arts, Science and Engineering as per the UGC Curriculum and Credit framework for programmes. The internship related credits will be awarded based on the credit framework.

Universities will be free to decide the number of internships and types of internships with the approval of statutory authorities. A faculty member will be assigned to handle and coordinate the internships related to the academic programme.

The guidelines further encourage firms to offer paid internships to students and put in efforts in making the internships sustainable. To safeguard students’ interest, the guidelines also have provision for companies to ensure accident insurance protection for the participants.


SEBI – Regulatory Frame Work

Sebi – Regulatory Framework for value chain ESG disclosures for listed entities

Sebi came out with a regulatory framework for listed entities on ESG disclosures on supply chain and assurance.

Sebi has introduced BRSR Core, a sub-set of the BRSR (Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report), comprising nine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for several E, S and G factors that need to be assured. Under the framework, large listed companies will have to make disclosures and obtain assurance as per ‘BRSR Core’ for their value chain.

Keeping in view the relevance to the Indian market context, few new KPIs have been identified for assurance such as job creation in small towns, openness of business and gross wages paid to women. Further, for better global comparability, intensity ratios based on revenue adjusted for purchasing power parity have been included.

In addition, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has introduced disclosures and assurance for the value chain of listed entities, as per the BRSR Core. In the supply chain, Sebi said that ESG disclosures according to the BRSR Core for the top 250 companies on a comply-or-explain basis will start from 2024-25, with assurance beginning the following year, according to a circular.

Disclosures for the value chain will be made by the listed company as per BRSR Core as part of its annual report. In this regard, the value chain would encompass the top upstream and downstream partners of a listed entity, cumulatively comprising 75 per cent of its purchases or sales by value, respectively.

As per Sebi, listed entities will have to report the KPIs in the BRSR Core for their value chain to the extent it is attributable to their business with that value chain partner. Such reporting may be segregated for upstream and downstream partners or can be reported on an aggregate basis. Sebi also said the board of the listed entity will have to ensure that the assurance provider of the BRSR Core has the necessary expertise for undertaking reasonable assurance. Further, the listed entity would have to ensure that there is no conflict of interest with the assurance provider appointed to assure the BRSR Core. For instance, it needs to be ensured that the assurance provider or any of its associates do not sell its products or provide any non-audit related service, including consulting services, to the listed entity or its group entities


Announcement – ICAI issues Social Audit Standards

Social Audit Standards – Sustainability Reporting

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has issued the Social Audit Standards (SAS) for the members. These Social Audit Standards will be applicable from the date of their hosting on ICAI website. (SAS 100 should be read in conjunction with the “Preface to the Social Audit Standards” and “Framework for the Social Audit Standards”, issued by the ICAI

This Social Audit Standard relates to the thematic area of “eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality’’. The Standard aims to provide the Social Auditor with the necessary guidance in relation to independent impact assessment engagement of Social Enterprises engaged in eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality and the audit steps and procedures that should be applied while conducting the social impact assessment. The Standard sets out the minimum requirements to be followed while conducting impact assessment. Laws or regulations may establish additional requirements which should be followed, as applicable.

The Social Auditor should conduct a desk review of existing documents to gain further insight into the evaluation procedure and impact assessment.

The social auditor should review the evaluation questions addressed through Questionnaires, In – depth Interviews and Focused Group Discussions to assess the responses received from various stakeholders and to understand what has changed.

The Social Auditor should review the project/program documents to frame the evaluation criteria for assessing impact. Such key metrics may be collated from base-line, mid-line (monthly / quarterly) and end-line assessment (if available), respectively at the beginning, middle and end of the reporting period/project/program to effectively understand and evaluate impact.

The Social Auditor should identify the inherent limitations of the evaluation process which might have an influence on the impact assessment.

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WAD 2022 Event Update from CCC

World Accreditation Day Conference – Post Event Update

World Accreditation Day Conference 2022 – Post Event Update

WAD 2022 Conference jointly organised by International Accreditation Services (IAS), USA; Bureau of Indian Standards and Consultants Consortium of Chennai ended on June 10th 2022 with a positive a note.

Two days conference held on June 9th and 10th had eminent speakers from India and abroad , from various sectors , sharing rich insights about Standards, Certifications, Accreditations, Inspections & Regulations related to Sustainability and Environment across the globe.

Two days of intense learning sessions came to an end on June 10th.

Conference had 324 delegates registering for multiple sessions across two days and the feedback received from them is very encouraging.

The conference is supported by many Trade and Industry Platforms as listed below :

Sharing few pictures of the event for reference :

Session Videos are shared here for industry and stakeholders benefit. Please check the links below

Theme – Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment

Theme – Sustainable Standards for a Safer World

Theme – ESG Rating for Sustainability Initiatives

Theme – Sustainability Initiatives in Food Sector

Theme – Sustainable Healthcare Initiatives

Theme – Incorporating Sustainability in Educational Institutions