Nilekanis to donate half their wealth

Infosys co-founder and tech billionaire Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini have joined The Giving Pledge, an elite network of the world’s wealthiest individuals committing half their wealth to philanthropy.

The Giving Pledge website uploaded Nilekanis’ letter signing up for the cause.

The letter said, “We thank Bill and Melinda for creating this unique opportunity to realise a moral aspiration inspired by the Bhagwad Gita.

“We have a right to do our duty, but no automatic right to the fruits from the doing. It is critical that we do not slip into inaction fearing that we may not be able to reap direct reward. It is to this ideal that we pledge,” it added.

Later, Bill Gates tweeted about Nilekanis’ pledge on Monday. “I’m amazed by how @NandanNilekani has lent his entrepreneurial passion to philanthropy. I’m delighted to welcome him and his wife Rohini to The Giving Pledge,” Gates tweeted.

The Giving Pledge was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in August 2010 following a series of conversations with philanthropists around the world about how they could collectively set a new standard of generosity among the ultra-wealthy. It is an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will.

The Nilekanis are the fourth Indians after Wipro chairman Azim Premji, Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Sobha Developers chairman emeritus P N C Menon to sign up for The Giving Pledge.

Talking about their initiatives as EkStep, Nilekanis’ letter said “We are excited by our initial experimentation with societal platforms in early education and see immense potential for scaling up diverse solutions.

They also said their philanthropic efforts would be directed at societal platforms, which are open, technologyenabled ecosystems or nurturing networks.

“Our philanthropic journey of two decades has been led by Rohini’s passion and commitment!” Nilekani tweeted. Nilekani recently returned to Infosys as non-executive chairman after the exit of Sikka as Infosys CEO.

Sikka quit following a long-standing feud between board and founders, especially N R Narayana Murthy, who had raised concern over falling corporate governance practices at Infosys. Rohini is also founder of Arghyam, an initiative for safe and sustainable water. 

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