OIL signs pact with IRMA for studying the feasibility of Project ‘Kamdhenu’

PSU (Public Sector Unit) Oil India Ltd. has inked an agreement with Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) to conduct a feasibility study for the company for its plan to set up dairy production facility in Assam. The project which has been named ‘Kamdhenu’ aims to set up big milk production centre in Upper Assam.

Why OIL intends to enter dairy sector?

OIL wants to set up dairy production facility under its project ‘Kamdhenu’ as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. The project would seek to boost milk production in Upper Assam by providing employment opportunity to the people of the state. In future, the project aims to enhance the production to supply milk and dairy products in the whole North-East region. The project derives inspiration from the ‘Amul’ model which has been very successful in Gujarat.

What is the role of IRMA in this project?

As per the agreement with Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) in Gujarat, the institute has the task of conducting feasibility study and prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) after the study in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam where Oil India Ltd (OIL) has significant presence. The DPR will help the company to devise a roadmap and a long-term broad vision plan for the project.

What is CSR?

As mentioned in the new Companies Act 2009, CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is the obligation of the companies to spend 2% of their net profit in philanthropic activities every year.

The law was meant to be applicable for all companies with

  1. a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or
  2. a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or
  3. a net profit of Rs 5 crore or more

Responding to the objections raised by corporate sector against this mandatory provision, the government has recently diluted it. Now, if a company is unable to do so, it will have to explain in its report as to why it could not fulfill its CSR obligations.

Cabinet approves constitutional status for JAC

The Union Cabinet approved constitutional status to a proposed Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary. In other words, the cabinet approved a constitution amendment bill to make the appointment /transfer of judges more transparent. The status ensures that the composition of the commission cannot be altered through an ordinary legislation and it would require an amendment in the Constitution to do so.

Presently, the composition of the proposed panel is defined in the JAC Bill, 2013 which was introduced along with a separate constitutional amendment bill in Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session. There were demands that the composition as well as the functions of the proposed JAC must be mentioned in the Constitution as a precaution against future changes.

The JAC Bill defines the establishment of the proposed body to recommend appointment and transfer of judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts. Excerpts of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill, 2013 –

  • The new Article 124 A of the Constitution will define the composition of the JAC and Article 124 B will define its functions.
  • The JAC will be headed by the CJI and have five other members, including the Law Minister and two eminent persons.
  • To appoint the two eminent persons for the appointments commission would be done by the collegium that will include the Prime Minister of India, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
  • Functions viz. recommending names for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of High Courts and judges of High Courts; recommending transfer of Chief Justices of High Courts and judges of High Courts, etc. 

Note: A parliamentary standing committee which examined the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill, 2013 also made a similar recommendation.