C20 India 2023 is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20 that provides a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSO) around the world to voice people’s aspirations to the world leaders in G20. It gives CSOs a forum to protect the agency of this sector, reflect the primary and common concerns affecting the people of the world, and to promote social and economic development with the vision of leaving no one behind.

Indian society is known for its uniquely dynamic and plural character. Although the Indian approach is quintessentially society-centric at its core, it is also a deeply independent culture which allows autonomous space for society. Because of this innately autonomous way of functioning, Indian thought has flourished over the centuries. Our approach relies on non-state initiatives, from temples and dharamshalas, to voluntary bodies to educational and welfare institutions, seeking to resolve public issues through public participation. We are committed to this path because we collectively believe in the idea of self-reliance and sustainability, where economic growth, ecological health, personal enlightenment, and social well-being go hand in hand. In India, civil society has historically remained independent of political powers and is self-supporting in every aspect. We expect this ethos to permeate this year’s C20 activities and to shift the dynamics between state, society, market, family, and individual from conflict and contradiction to cooperation, collaboration, and compassionate assistance.

Indian philosophical tradition recognises the importance and limitations of individualism and collective action. Volunteerism, which bridges this gap between these two is the essential spirit behind civil society in India. As an ideal, volunteerism, or selfless service, should reflect a sense of personal ownership of ones surroundings and a sense of belonging. Beyond this, for volunteerism to have the most positive impact, we require a genuineness of passion for reforms and improvement, self-inspired initiative, and creativity in approaches that reflect the complexities of the real world. Lastly, it represents a democratic, participatory, and harmonious way of working together. Volunteerism in India has always been driven by a sense of duty and indebtedness to society. In that sense, this consciousness is in fact beyond government as each individual develops a personal responsibility for ensuring national (and global) wellbeing. This perspective reinforces the role of individual citizens rather than placing the entire burden on the government alone. The C20 in India, would thus focus on a uniquely Indian experience, bringing these aspects to the fore.

Civil society culture in India has been shaped by illustrious figures such as Mahatma Basaveshwara, Dayanand Saraswati, Ramkrishna Paramahansa, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Mahatma Phule, Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. These figures have laid a foundation of self-motivated efforts to provide solutions to social problems. Continuing this tradition in post-independence India, Vinoba Bhave, Maharshi Karve, Baba Amte, and Sundarlal Bahuguna ensured that the spirit of volunteerism manifested in multiple ways. While considering the previous communiques and policy packs, India’s C20 Presidency aims to focus on issues ranging from wellness to sewa (service) and from cyberspace to social justice.

The logo of C20 India 2023 symbolises the flame of hope, self-motivation, and selfless service. The tagline #YouAreTheLight is a call to every member of civil society to come together, make their own path, find solutions and resolve issues through collective effort.

Get to Know C20

C20 is one of the official Engagement Groups of the G20. It provides a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) around the world to voice people’s aspirations with the world’s leaders in G20. C20 also aims to protect the essence of the sector, promote social and economic development with the vision that no one should be left behind.

How C20 Works

Under the Indian Presidency of the G20 this year, the Civil20 remains committed to advocate evidence- based policy recommendations. C20 will strive towards the realisation of the Indian C20 motto – “You Are The Light”.

The priority issues of C20 will focus on solving the socio-economic matters which touch the daily lives of the people, which include education, health, environment, technology and sewa (sense of service).

The C20 India will conduct regular consultations with national and international Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to deliberate upon and to structure the priority agenda. Along with this, C20 India will hold regular dialogues with G20 Engagement Groups along with other key actors to ensure adequate representation of civil society voices and aspirations in the G20 Leaders Summit.

The C20 advocacy will generate the C20 Policy Pack and C20 Communique, which will contain the policy recommendations that will be launched at the C20 Summit July 2023.

C20: Past Presidencies