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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

February 21, 2009

Why not CGR Index for Nations?

We have often read & heard of Corporate Social responsibility, a form of mandate set by companies to make a difference to its surroundings. Its basically a clarion call of their conscience emphasizing that they deserve to give back something to the society in which they operate. It is generally seen that companies that are well known, having respected brands and quality managements generally emphasize their CSR activities well & document their contributions in their Annual reports. Why don’t countries take a leaf from here & develop such yardsticks of their own? After all they are also entities operating in a larger microcosm of global society and responsible towards it. Indian scriptures have always emphasized this thinking in the timeless verses Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) & Sarve Janaha Sukhino Bhavantu (well being of Human race). So why not a Country Global responsibility (CGR)?

The urgency of such a thought stems from the turmoil that the world is facing today due to the enormous fissures created by Economic, Social & Political turmoil in a truly globalised world. Lets take the classic case of Kyoto protocol, a global call on reducing emissions that is impacting global warming. It called for countries to show responsibility (of a global kind) and to take steps & measures to reduce their carbon footprint. But alas, many countries bickered and eventually dithered on their commitments blaming each other eventually displaying just an ordinary human trait (“Most species are individually stupid but collectively smart. Humans are the opposite, they are collectively stupid but individually smart” -Edward Wilson). Even the US of A, supposed to be a lone superpower and Global leader made vain attempts to block & impede progress at the event prompting a small nation representative to remark “ If you cant be a leader (and set example) then step aside”

A country that has been a trendsetter in this respect & that i admire has been Norway , the "Land of the Midnight Sun", a small Scandinavian country of 4.7 Million people that displays remarkable alacrity and collective conscience in this respect. It is the only nation in the world that gives away 1% of its GDP as foreign aid and spends substantially on the protection of rain forests. The country has resolved towards making its Oil & Gas sector as efficient & environmentally friendly as possible. It is also probably the only country whose emissaries are respected for their apolitical & neutral standing and are generally in the forefront of arbitration/mediation in conflict ridden zones. It is also a remarkable coincidence that this country ranked highest of all countries in human development index from 2001 to 2006, and was ranked second as of 2008 (behind Iceland). It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index
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