Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday suggested that corporate India should join the public sector and civil society in facilitating social change, while outlining primary education, health and nutrition as areas where the three could collaborate.
"An alliance of the public sector and civil society is necessary for social transformation. Industry must be an integral part of such an alliance", she said, addressing the India Economic Summit, organised by the Confederation of India Industry and World Economic Forum in New Delhi.
She said there was a need for greater effort and sustained commitment by Indian industry in social initiatives.
Gandhi wanted the government to develop a framework for institutionalising this collaboration, while suggesting that the alliance partners could also look at tackling HIV/AIDS and terrorism.
Stating that the reality of India is complex, varied and full of contrasts, she said the country has moved ahead on economic growth, business and science and technology fronts, but formidable challenges remain.
The session saw presentation of the Indian social entrepreneur of the year Awar of the Schwab Foundation to Vikram Akula, Founder and CEO of SKS Microfinance Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad based company that applied global business practices to microfinance.
The institution has loaned over Rs 3.2 billion (Rs 32 million) to 400,000 women for income generating activities.