SBI Youth for India Fellowship

Recognized as the flagship program of SBI Foundation, it is a 13-month long fellowship that enables nation's youth to work on rural development projects in partnership with experienced NGOs.

The fellowship provides a framework for India's best minds to join hands with rural communities, emphathise with their struggles and connect with their aspirations.


Launched on 1st March, 2011, the pilot batch had 27 fellows who successfully completed the fellowship.

The concept received a positive feedback from all the stakeholders involved, considerable impact was assessed on the ground.

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The Program seeks to help India secure an equitable and sustainable growth path by:

  • Providing educated and passionate urban Indian youth with an opportunity to touch lives and create positive change at the grass root level in rural india
  • Providing NGOs working on development projects in rural India with educated manpower whose skill sets can be used to catalyze rural development.
  • Promoting a forum for the Program alumni to share ideas and contribute to rural development throughout their professional life.

And a strong network of 303 alumni that are today working in diverse fields, 70% of which continued to be actively involved in the development sector.


Our vision is that one day every village has the necessary capacities to develop themselves sustainably.


To build a movement of passionate and sincere changemakers who bridge the rural urban gap, by:

  • Creating a trusted gateway for higher talents to flow into rural development, thereby reviving the grassroots development machinery and benefit marginalized communities.


These core values are reflected in our conduct and guide us to positively impact the community, fellows and partners.

  2. We hold respect for an individual as the cornerstone of the SBI Youth for India fellowship. We embrace diversity, value distinct opinions, encourage aspirations and appreciate unique talents to create a collaborative culture that is conducive to ideas. We believe in treating others as we expect to be treated.

  4. Healthy communities are the building blocks of great civilizations. Nations flourish when common objectives are put before personal goals. We, at SBI Youth for India, encourage an environment where relationships are valued, distribution is fair and roles are played effectively. For there is no doubt that even a small service to the community makes the world a better place to live in.

  6. Unconventional is the new norm and out-of-the-box thinking is the new mantra. We, at SBI Youth for India, value innovations and intend to create a culture where ideas are encouraged and nurtured. In our opinion, it is a simple yet imperative process that can be achieved just by changing our way of looking at problems. At SBI YFI, we replace "What?" with "What If!", "How?" with "How about!" and "Why?" with "Why not!" to create a new world of infinite possibilities.

  8. Nature treats everyone equally. We draw our inspiration from nature to look at every stakeholder with the same lens. Well-chalked out policies, transparent operations and honest communication to all the stakeholders are carried out to ensure an unbiased conduct. We wish to inculcate this value in all the communities and individuals we touch because we believe that Fairness alone can bridge the urban-rural development divide.




Shri Mahendra Kumar Rekhi assumed charge of SBI Foundation, the CSR wing of SBI as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on 10th April, 2017. A Post Graduate in commerce, Shri Rekhi joined the bank as a Probationary Officer in the year 1984. In his previous stint as General Manager (Social Media and Marketing), the bank’s social media presence witnessed an unprecedented growth and is No.1 Brand in the world, among Banks using social media as per the Financial Brand’s Power 100 Ranks – Banks Q 1 2017. It is one of the most followed banks in the world.

Since he joined the SBI Foundation, he has motivated and inspired the team to innovate and implement new ideas to take the CSR activities to a new level. Under his guidance, the foundation works in three flagship programmes including SBI Gram Seva, Centre of Excellence (CoE) and SBI Youth for India fellowship, apart from the on-going projects in health, education, women empowerment and others. He has undertaken new innovations to develop the youth participating in the SBI Youth for India fellowship programme. He believes in promoting the youngsters who leave their comfort to work in the rural areas.

The SBI Gram Seva, launched on July 1st, 2017 provides NGO support to work on the holistic development of a village. SBI Foundation is working tirelessly to support disabled person under the Centre of Excellence programme by providing specialized training sessions at various locations and two corporate tie-ups with the PSBs. CSR is very close to his heart and he always strives for the betterment and growth of our society.


President & Chief Operating Officer, SBI Foundation

Shri Nixon Joseph, took over as President & Chief Operating Officer, SBI Foundation in June 2018. A post graduate in English Literature, he joined SBI as probationary officer in 1985.

He has exposure in diverse areas of banking like retail, corporate credit and international banking. Had worked as Manager (Operations), Bahrain , Vice President, Syndications & Investments, Tokyo branch and Chief Executive Officer, Tokyo branch. He is also a Certified Credit Officer and Certified Banking Compliance Professional.

Shows strong interest and passion towards Community services Banking. An avid long distance runner, he has completed 29 full marathons so far.


Coordinator, Youth for India

"Priyvrat joined as Coordinator, Youth for India Fellowship in Aug 2019. A mechanical engineer by qualification, he joined SBI as a Probationary Officer in 2009.

He has exposure in International Banking, SME Credit and Retail Banking operations.

He is a YFI Alumnus from 2014-15 batch, wherein he worked on Solid and Liquid Waste Management in Rural Odisha, with partner NGO Gram Vikas. He brings in the practical experience of working in both the social and corporate sectors.