CSR Policy amended to include R&D on Drugs, Vaccines for COVID-19

Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) vide two notifications dated 24th August,2020 has amended the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy Rules, 2014 by allowing companies to spend CSR funds in Research & Development (R&D) activities related to new vaccine, drugs and medical devices related to COVID-19 for financial years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 subject to the following conditions:

  • such R&D activities shall be carried out in collaboration with any of the institutes or organizations mentioned in item (ix) of Schedule VII to the Act.
  • details of such activity shall be disclosed separately in the Annual Report on CSR included in the Board’s Report.

Item (ix) of Schedule VII to the Act includes the following institutes or organizations:

(a) Contribution to incubators or research and development projects in the field of science, technology, engineering and medicine, funded by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or any agency of the Central Government or State Government; and

(b) Contributions to public funded Universities; Indian Institute of Technology (IITs); National Laboratories and autonomous bodies established under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE); Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Department of Science and Technology (DST); Department of Pharmaceuticals; Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH); Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and other bodies, namely Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO); Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), engaged in conducting research in science, technology, engineering and medicine aimed at promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This decision will encourage the discoveries of new drugs or vaccines for COVID-19.

Source: MCA-G.S.R. 525(E) & G.S.R. 526(E)