MBA in CSR, tomorrow’s in thing

ICSM based in New Delhi offers management courses in Corporate Social Responsibility

Published: 26th May 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th May 2014 11:02 AM   |  A+A-


The new Companies Act 2013 mandates that companies of a pre-defined size have to spend a percentage of profits on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In this context, we throw the spotlight on Institute of Corporate Sustainability Management (ICSM), New Delhi, established in 2010. Their flagship offering is an MBA in CSR. “There is a huge need for CSR professionals in the market. ICSM was started adhering to that need,” begins Debasis Bhattacharya, Founder and Director, ICSM. The core areas of ICSM are CSR and corporate ethics.

Rooting for CSR to emerge as the most alluring specialisation in management, Debasis says the academic value of an MBA in CSR can be found through the many academic options and opportunities available. Spanning two years, the course is spread over four semesters and is delivered through class lectures, field work and internships. Subjects you would study include Development Economics, Financial Management, Entrepreneurship and Welfare Business, Corporate Governance and CSR, Legal Aspects of Business and CSR, Cooperative and Corporate Foundations, Cross Cultural Management and Prospective on Liberalisation Privatisation and Globalisation and World Trade Organisation. The summer internship entitles working with an NGO in a bid to develop your fundamentals, qualitative and quantitative skills. In the second-year, you will be given an opportunity to work with corporates to develop group dynamics and interpersonal skills and a deep understanding of your area of specialisation, and you will be expected to submit a dissertation on it.

What is the edge ICSM can give students? “India produces several MBAs from affiliated and non-technical colleges. There are those graduating through the distance mode also. Interestingly, none of them are eligible for the specialised CSR department! Currently, it is students of Master of Social Work, PG in Rural Management and MA in Development Studies who could possibly fit the roles required of CSR management but these students’ core strengths are related only to the non-industrial aspects and are not preferred by corporates because CSR core work is inter-dependent with industry vis-á-vis corporate knowledge,” says Debasis. He also stresses that the industry requires at least 2,000+ CSR specialists and now is a good time to specialise in the same.

ICSM’s recent endeavours include an MoU with University of Mysore in April to facilitate a specialised MBA in CSR; they have also started a PhD in CSR (in affiliation with University of Mysore) and a web-based advanced postgraduate certificate course in CSR. Details at



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