Rohini Nilekani: Private Resources and the Public Interest

India’s richest 1% own 58% of the country’s wealth, according to Credit Suisse. Structural inequity is historically embedded in India, but it seems to be worsening. What is the public responsibility of private wealth in such a scenario? According to a Bain report, India’s rich are more philanthropic than other country’s wealthy people were at this stage of their economies. Is that enough? How can private resources be better harnessed for the public good? What are the risks? What are the opportunities?

Rohini Nilekani is a committed philanthropist and Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher. A former journalist, she has written for leading publications such as India Today, the Times of India and several books for young children, including the popular Annual haircut Day.

She serves on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India and in 2017 was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Peter Ronald deSouza is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018
5.30 pm, CSDS Seminar Room