Nadar and his family donated Rs 826 crore, while Azim Premji gave Rs 453 crore and Ambani parted with Rs 402 crore, according to the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2019.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian, comes third among philanthropists, in a list that is led by Shiv Nadar of technology company HCL.
Azim Premji, who created headlines by announcing a $ 21 billion commitment to charity, is second in the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2019.
Corporate families have been championing social causes for long, but the Companies Act 2013 made it mandatory for entities above a certain threshold to devote 2 per cent of their profit to CSR.
The list includes data from company disclosures and also interviews.
Nadar and his family donated Rs 826 crore, while Premji gave Rs 453 crore and Ambani parted with Rs 402 crore, according to the list.
Edelgive Foundation chief executive Vidya Shah said fear of being associated with causes like civil liberties, along with lack of measurability of the impact, are working as impediments for corporate from pledging more.
The number of Indians who have donated more than Rs 5 crore to social causes, excluding religious donations, almost doubled to 72 from 38 in 2018.
The overall philanthropic contributions also nearly doubled to Rs 4,391 crore, with nearly half of the contributions coming as individual donations, while the rest have come from companies.
There has been an uptick in the percentage of wealth that has been parted with by the rich families, shows the list, which assumes 10 per cent of networth is held in cash, 1.9 per cent given away now as against 1.5 percent in 2018.
Education continues to be the most favourite among the causes, followed by healthcare, while Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who along with wife Rohini have spent Rs 346 crore, have chosen "societal platforms" for charities.
There is a tendency among Indians to give more as they grow older, as per the list, adding the average age of the giver is 64 years.
However, as more exits happen, new age entrepreneurs are also getting more active on the giving side, Shah said, adding the Bansals of e-commerce major Flipkart are planning to start donating via a recently set up family office.
Hurun managing director Anas Rahman Junaid explained that the list limits itself to the amount spent due to which Premji comes second.
The Tatas are excluded as the list focuses on individuals.
Photograph: PTI Photo