The Tata Affirmative Action Programme (TAAP) began in 2007 as the result of India Inc’s resolve to partner with the Indian government to empower the country’s 300 million historically disadvantaged and marginalised communities – the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/STs). Better known as Dalits and Adivasis, the communities continue to face social discrimination along with economic disadvantages.
A critical catalyst for the affirmative action (AA) programme was the Tata group’s legacy of CSR / nation building. The Tata group, with a long and impressive heritage of integrating ethical, social and environmental principles into its core business, has always worked for the benefit of the communities it serves. Between the CSR activities of individual companies and those of the Tata Trusts, the group traditionally spends around four percent of its aggregated net profits on giving back to the society; of which a considerable amount is dedicated to support the Dalit and Adivasi communities.
The Tata Affirmative Action Programme is aimed at building on this legacy and providing a strategic context in the areas of CSR and HR for the Dalit and Adivasi communities.
TAAP seeks to embed affirmative action with Tata companies by adopting an assessment methodology that the companies are familiar with. TAAP assessments, inspired from the TBEM assessment criteria, gauges companies in six categories:
- Leadership: The engagement of a company’s senior leadership in advancing the positive action agenda, its governance and review structure, and communications.
- Strategy: The AA vision and strategy, long-term action plan, budget, partnerships, horizontal linkage with the programmes under the 4 Es.
- Employment, Employability, Entrepreneurship and Education – the four Es: Approach, deployment of initiatives (process), societal impact (results), and their continuous improvement.