The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936 as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1944, it was renamed as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The year 1964 was an important landmark in the history of the Institute, when it was declared Deemed to be a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act (UGC), 1956.

Since its inception, the Vision of the TISS has been to be an institution of excellence in higher education that continually responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centred, ecologically sustainable and just society that promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all.

Vision & Mission

In pursuance of its vision and guiding principles, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences organises teaching programmes to facilitate the development of competent and committed professionals for practice, research and teaching; undertakes research; develops and disseminates knowledge; and reaches out to the larger community through extension, at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Vision of the TISS has been to be an institution of excellence in higher education that continually responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centred, ecologically sustainable and just society that promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all. The TISS works towards its vision through:
  • Creation and provision of socially relevant and high quality professional education in a wide range of inter-disciplinary areas of Social Sciences to a larger number of students from all sections of the society in the country.
  • Facilitation of autonomous research and dissemination of knowledge.
  • Support knowledge creation through strong M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes and Post-Doctoral scholars.
  • Strategic extension, field action and advocacy through training and capacity building of State and non-State institutions and personnel.
  • Initiate field action and advocacy to demonstrate and facilitate creation of policies and programmes.
  • Professional response to natural and human-made disasters, through participation in relief and rehabilitation activities.

Recent Achievements

The synergy between teaching, research, field action and extension has enabled the TISS to continue to shape planning, policy and programme formulation, foster critical rethinking, and development of people-centred interventions.
  • The Special Cell for Women and Children, a Field Action Project of TISS, completed 25 years of work in 2009 on ‘Violence Against Women’ as a programme/service located in the police system. At present, 7 States have established Special Cells and efforts are on to establish the Special Cells in the remaining States and Union Territories of the country.
  • TISS is the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in a countrywide project for capacity-building of higher institutions of learning in HIV/AIDS Counselling. Named Saksham, the project will conduct master training programmes and help to build infrastructure to develop the capacities of 40 academic institutions all over the country, which, in turn, will provide supportive supervision and training to 12,000 counsellors working in the national HIV/AIDS counselling programme. The Global Fund has awarded Saksham an A-1 rating.
  • As a part of post-tsunami reconstruction in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the TISS has embarked on a programme of capacity-building of local communities in sustainable development. In collaboration with ANI Administration, TISS is in the process of setting up Disaster Early Warning System and structures for Rural Knowledge Centres.
  • The TISS is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a collaborating Centre for Health, Policy Research and Training. The UNAIDS Centre for Behavioural Research on HIV/AIDS is also located at TISS.
  • The TISS has been in working with the GoM to design an Outcome Budget covering 12 key government departments. This initiative is an attempt to link public expenditure to definitive positive outcomes rather than mere outputs so as to establish the relationship between financial allocation, actual expenditures, and eventual outcomes of that expenditure.
  • The TISS won the inaugural round of the Obama-Singh 21st Century award for research on leadership development in higher education.
  • Alongwith the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, the TISS established the Himalayan Universities Consortium of 25 universities from the sub-continent, Afghanistan and China for teaching and research on mountain development and climate change.
  • The TISS has established collaborative research and student exchange programmes with over 25 universities and consortiums in Africa, Asia, the United States and Europe.
  • The TISS has become a partner in a Consortium of 12 European Universities and 8 Indian Universities. This Consortium is led by Lund University, Sweden, and has received a grant of 9.6 million Euros for academic exchange under the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window India Lot 15. Under the Grant, TISS faculty members and students will receive fellowships for teaching and research work in various universities across Europe, and TISS will receive scholars and students from European Universities.
  • At the request of the Mumbai High Court, in 2005, the TISS Tuljapur Campus undertook a study of suicides in Maharashtra. The Report has been appreciated by the Court, both for providing valuable insights into the rural livelihood crises and its policy recommendations. A long-term action research project on agrarian crisis has been initiated.farmers
  • The TISS continues to be involved in critical research in diverse areas such as education and literacy, family and children, s issues, HIV/AIDS, rural and urban development issues, displacement, youth and human development, and the rights of Dalits, indigenous peoples, minorities and other marginalised groups.women


1936: The beginning of social work education in India. The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust establishes the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work with 20 students. Dr. Clifford Manshardt is its first Director.The beginning of social work education in India. The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust establishes the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work with 20 students.
1937:The Child Guidance Clinic, the s first Field Action Project, is launched. Today, it is known as Muskaan: Centre for Child and Adolescent Guidance.Institute
1940:Publication of The Indian Journal of Social Work, the first journal of social work in South Asia, begins. The journal is currently in its 72nd year of uninterrupted publication.
1944: The Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work is renamed as the 'Tata Institute of Social Sciences'.
1948: In the aftermath of the Partition, the Institute sends a relief team of students and faculty to work in refugee camps. This tradition of responding to human needs and natural disasters by sending relief teams continues even today.
1954: The Institute shifts to a new campus at Deonar, Mumbai. Today, this is the Main Campus of the Institute.
1964: The Institute is recognised as a Deemed University by the Government of India (GoI), and is primarily funded by the UGC.
1967: The social work specialisation in 'Labour Welfare and Industrial Relations' develops into an independent Master's Degree programme in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.
1969: The Unit for Child and Research Youth - the first research unit of Institute theis set up with support from the UNICEF. Other research units are also set up in relevant areas, between 1970 and 1984.
1980: Evening certificate programmes are initiated in (i) Hospital Administration, and (ii) Personnel Management and Industrial Relations. These programmes later develop into Diploma Programmes.
1986: The idea of a Rural Campus is conceived. The Government of Maharashtra (GoM) donates 100 acres of land in Sindphal village (Tuljapur Taluka, Osmanabad District), for this purpose.
1988: The Institute is designated as a Curriculum Development Centre for Social Work Education by the UGC.
1993: Master's degree programmes in Health Administration and in Hospital Administration are initiated.
1999: The Mumbai campus expands with the inauguration of the 11-acre Malti and Jal A.D. Naoroji Campus Annexe.
2002: The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) awards a 5-Star rating to the Institute.
2004: A Bachelor's programme in Social Work commences at the TISS Tuljapur Campus.
2005: Diploma programmes in Sustainable Development commence in Ladakh and in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
2006: A landmark year for TISS. (i) Academic restructuring of existing Departments and Units into 5 Schools and 4 Independent Centres is operationalised. (ii) Two new M.A. programmes are introduced: Development Studies and Education (Elementary). (iii) The M.A. in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations Programme is renamed as M.A. in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations, with significant changes in its curriculum. (iv) The M.A. in Social Work and both the M.H.A. programmes also revamp their curriculum. (v) A revamped integrated M.Phil.-Ph.D. programme is introduced. (vi) The Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management is inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India.
2007: Three new Master's Degree programmes Disaster Management, Globalisation and Labour, and Social Entrepreneurship-and two new Diploma programmes Media and Cultural Studies, and Psychosocial Care and Support in Management Disasterare initiated. Centre for Studies in Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy inaugurated.
2008: Three Master's programmes Degree-Disability Studies and Action, Media and Cultural Studies, and Health Public-and one Diploma programme in Gerontology are initiated. School of Habitat Studies established. Foundation stone for establishment of TISS Hyderabad Campus laid.
2009: Three new Master's programmes Degree-Habitat Policy and Practice, Counselling, and Women's studies - and one Diploma programme in Counselling initiated. TISS Hyderabad Campus offers its first academic programme: Certificate in Decentralised Planning and Rural Development from February 2009. TISS Guwahati initiates a Diploma programme in Community Organisation and Development Practice from June 2009.
2010: Two new Master's programmes - Public Health in Health Policy, Economics and Finance, and Social Work in Rural Development- initiated. NAAC re-accredits the Institute with an 'A' Grade and a cumulative grade point of 3.88 out of 4.00, one of the highest scores awarded to universities accredited this far.
2011: The Institute celebrates its Platinum Jubilee. The ambitious and path-breaking Transformation of M-Ward Project is initiated.
2012: The M.A. Social Work programme is restructured to be offered in 9 thematic areas. Five new Master's Programmes are initiated: Climate Change and Sustainability, and Library and Information Science (from TISS Mumbai); and Ecology, Environment Sustainable Development, Rural Development and Governance, and Social Work (from TISS Guwahati). 5-year Integrated B.A. Social Sciences and M.A. is introduced from the Guwahati, Hyderabad and Tuljapur Campuses.
2006-2014: The number of Master's programmes offered by TISS increased from 4 to the current 38; a revamped M.Phil.-Ph.D. programme was introduced, and several new Diploma and Certificate programmes as well. New TISS campuses in Guwahati and Hyderabad are established.