The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936, as ‘Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work’. In 1944, it was renamed as TISS. In 1964, it was accorded the status of Deemed University. It is funded by the University Grants Commission since then. Since its inception in 1936, TISS never limited itself to the mandate of a conventional university, rather worked for the promotion of sustainable, equitable and participatory development, social welfare and justice. TISS, through its 9 schools and 3 independent centers at the Mumbai Campus, along with vibrant campuses in Tuljapur (Maharashtra), Guwahati and Hyderabad offers 39 highly competitive, socially relevant M.A. / M.Sc. / M.P.H./ M.H.A. Programmes in inter and trans-disciplinary areas of social work, health, management, development, habitat and climate sciences. The Institute has over 160 full-time highly accomplished faculty members involved in teaching, research, policy influencing and institution building activities. Currently, the Mumbai campus has over 1600 Masters and 380 Doctoral students. In 2009 TISS was reaccredited by NAAC and was awarded Grade “A” with a score of 3.88 out of 4. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has become the first institution in the country to be awarded the Obama-Singh 21st century Knowledge Initiative (OSKI) grant.
The Rural Campus was established following a review undertaken by the Institute in its golden jubilee year, 1987. The campus was established with the goals of promoting initiatives for sustainable, eco-friendly and equitable socio-economic development of rural communities, with a focus on gender and social justice. Through its programmes, TISS, Tuljapur seeks to contribute to the revival of the rural economy, society and polity by promoting alternatives in development. In order to achieve this, TISS, Tuljapur evolved a four-dimensional program comprising teaching, training, field action and research & documentation. It has built a strong team of multidisciplinary faculty drawn from social work, philosophy, sociology, economics, agriculture, and other related disciplines.
TISS, Tuljapur traces its origin to an initiative to begin and sustain the involvement of TISS in the field of rural development, that too in one of the socio-economically backward and agro-ecologically deficit regions of the country. Marathwada is home to the largest population of Nomadic Tribes and De-notified Tribes (NT&DNT), in addition to Scheduled Castes (SC) in the State of Maharashtra. The NT&DNT like the SCs in Marathwada are recognized as the poorest of the poor, disenfranchised by the much reviled caste system. The area is also drought prone with scanty rainfall, and falls in a seismic zone which increases the risk of earthquakes and other natural disasters.
TISS, Tuljapur has now evolved into a full-fledged educational institute with a fully residential campus spread over 100 acres of land. The land was given by the Maharashtra Government to enable TISS to undertake and initiate developmental activities for rural communities in surrounding villages and blocks of Osmanabad District. The initial focus of the Institute on rural development projects and field action has widened to include academic activity with grass root work in the last 9 years. Since 2004, TISS-School of Rural Development (SRD), attempts to prepare the cadre of development practitioners who are equipped with sound knowledge, skills, attitude and experiences to work with the village communities. Presently, TISS-Rural campus is offering Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BASW-RD), BASS-MA (Five Year Integrated), and Master’s Degree in Social Work with specialization in Rural Development (MASW-RD), M.A (DPPP), M.A (SLNG), M.A (SIE), and M.Phil. & PhD and PGDWASH. More than 500 students, largely hailing from rural community, have successfully graduated from TISS, Tuljapur and are working with many grass root organizations across India.