15 Jun 2017

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), previously known as the Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work, was established in 1936 in Mumbai, with the aim of creation and provision of socially relevant and high quality professional education in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of Social Sciences to a large number of students from all sections of the society in the country. TISS was the first recognized educational institution on social work in India. The feather in the cap was when TISS was accorded a “Deemed university” status in 1964. Since then, the Institute has focused on continuously enhancing the spectrum of social science studies by incorporating varied social issues as subject themes in tune with the changing socio-economic scenarios across various sectors in India.

True to its avowed objectives,TISS has evolved into an institution of excellence aiding all sections of society to gain valuable knowledge and education, and develop knowledge that is in style with the changing facets of Indian society and economy. The Institute apart from its quality autonomous research and knowledge extension services has also retained its focus on social field actions. In diverse fields these pioneering action have helped in the creation of new policies and programs by the government as well.

Also TISS has continuously offered professional aid in tackling rehabilitation and relief programs in cases of natural or man-made disasters. It has been an active participant in state planning and policy formulations, thanks to its synchronized approach it has adopted in fields of teaching, research and field actions.


Academics has been at the centre of all the seminal works at TISS. The academics wing of TISS comprises of schools, resource centers and independent centers, spread out at different campuses and locations  across India with a wide range of course offerings.

Centers of School under TISS include

School of Education School of Develop-ment Studies School of Habitat Studies School of Health System Studies
Centre for education Advanced centre for women’s studies Centre for urban policy and governance Centre for health and social sciences
Centre for higher education Centre for the study of developing economies Centre for science, technology and society Centre for health, policy, planning and management
Centre for public policy, habitat and human development Centre for water policy regulation and governance Centre for public health
Centre for climate change and sustainability studies Centre for hospital management
Centre for population health and development Jamsedji Tata centre of disaster management


School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance School of Management and Labor Studies School of Media and Cultural Studies School of Social Work
Centre for law and society Centre for human resource mgmt and labor relations Centre for critical media praxis Centre for community organization and development practice
Nodal centre of excellence for human rights education Centre for labor studies Centre for study of contemporary culture Centre for criminology and justice
Centre for social entrepreneurship Media archive and resource centre Centre for equity for women, children and families
Centre of social and organizational leadership Centre for disabilities study and action
Centre for public policy and governance Centre for health and mental health
Centre for social justice and governance
Environment equity and justice
Centre for livelihoods and social innovation


Apart from these academic Centers there are quite a few independent centers, as well functioning under TISS, including-

  • Centre for Human Ecology
  • Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Centre for Research Methodology
  • Centre for Studies in Sociology of Education


One of the core thematic components of TISS is Research.The Institute runs autonomous research programs mainly in basic and applied social sciences. Research programs leading to M.Phil and PhD generally focuses on contemporary and relevant social development and policy improvement themes. Uniqueness lies in its research and doctoral offerings with their flexibility and freedom to students to choose from research areas of their personal interest and of social relevance. In research programs at TISS, the scholars perse gain knowledge and learning, and also play a major role in promoting practical social actions across sectors in the country. TISS runs a research development cell, aimed at strengthening the institute’s research capabilities. Funding options for the research undertaken at TISS are available by way of self-funding by TISS, as well as by Central/State government, international organization and financial institution fundings. Keeping pace with the ever-changing socio-economic patterns and movements in the country, the areas of research and development have continuously evolved thus opening up new unexplored avenues.


Since its inception,TISS has initiated and promoted various Field Actions. Such Field Action forays have provided valuable insights to a program’s relevance to the real life socio-economic scenarios and this has helped both teachers and students alike to apply the theoretical learning they have acquired into practical action situations. Designed as an extension of the learning experiences, such actions have spread awareness on the latest happenings in the social sectors of the country, so that relevant and much needed programs are initiated in the future.

Some of the most popular Field action projects at TISS have been –

  1. Koshish– Targetted at the inter-related issues of begging, destitution and homelessness through a combination of support-building measures, pitched at varying levels, such as,

(i). Providing support for basic and immediate needs,

(ii). Facilitating linkages to provide employment opportunities and

(iii). Advocating the integration of the distressed masses into the larger society.

Koshish has also spawned the development of meaningful policies for securing rightful entitlements.

  1. Prayas– Established way back in 1990, Prayas is a social work demonstration project of the Centre for Criminology and Justice.Its project focus has been on service delivery, networking, training, research and documentation, and policy change in custodial/institutional rights and rehabilitation of socio-economically vulnerable individuals and groups.
  2. RCI-VAW Research Centre for Interventions on Violence against Women– RCI-VAW fostered creation of effective and efficient interventions with various stakeholders via training and research to enable deeper understanding of issues and interventions needed to stop violence against women.
  3. Tarasha– Tarasha, conceptualized as a community based rehabilitation model for women recovering from mental illnesses, this program supported women in achieving financial independence through psycho-social support, vocational training, job development and job support. One of the key aims of the program has been fighting poverty, unemployment, marginalization and increasing disabilities among women.
  4. iCall– iCall, a community service initiative of TISS, has provided psychological assistance and information – accurate, unbiased, non-discriminating and accessible information to all individuals coming from across India,with specific emphasis on those hitherto excluded, marginalized and discriminated persons. Support provided at iCall has been acknowledged as warm, patient and non-judgmental, with assistance provided via phone or email by professionally trained counselors. The hallmark of iCall service is characterises by its confidentiality, anonymity, accurate information/knowledge dissemination, easy accessibility and wide referral network.
  5. Saksham– Saksham, a part of TISS and with A-1 rating by Global Fund-was developed for conducting master training programs and helping in building infrastructure to develop the capacities of forty and odd academic institutions, spread across the country. The program aimed at providing supportive supervision and training to 12,000 counselors working in the National HIV/AIDS counseling program.

Key programs

Some of the key and Salient programs offered by the Institute:

  • Integrated B.A. and M.A. in Social Sciences and Arts Program
  • Integrated M.Phil and PhD. in Education and Women Studies
  • Direct PhD. in Women Studies and Social Sciences
  • Executive PG in HRM


  • Admissions for PG programs are based on a national entrance test, popularly known as TISSNET. Candidates cannot apply for more than five courses at a time. Once candidates clear the entrance test, calls are given for the interview round and based on the total scores rankings the course admission is granted.
  • Admissions for graduate programs are based on entrance tests and only candidates successfully clearing these tests are invited for the succeeding interview rounds.
  • Admissions for Integrated M. Phil and PhD programs are done once every academic year, mostly during June and July, at the beginning of the academic session.
  • Admissions for direct PhD programs are done twice a year, usually in June/July and Jan/Feb months.


Post TISS, there are substantial career opportunities available for graduating students. Graduates wanting to pursue social and developmental work, with an aim at affirmative social action, can have sizeable job offerings in various government and volunteer organizations.

Further, graduating students looking for higher paying jobs and substantial salary packages can opt for the major IT and other companies including MNCs and private organizations, such as Nestle, Nokia, Ernest & Young and IMRB, among several others, who regularly recruit at TISS Campus. It is notable that with changes in CSR regulations and corporate obligations thereof, opportunities have really burgeoned. TISS runs an active placement cell, with reputed institutions and companies calling at TISS every year to hire their graduates. As per TISS- pressers the placement percentage is total for each of the successive years.

Career opportunities are not restricted to any particular sector for a TISS graduate/PG. However, the key is the specific area of expertise in social reform and developmental programs,that one is specialised in. Many TISS grads move to IAS and such other Administrate Services as well where social action and leadership have a big role for which TISS students specifically are groomed too.

A career dedicated for a cause may have challenges and hurdles and also be inspiring and rewarding too. So, if contributing to mankind and society at large and bringing about positive changes in the society appeal to you as a career, TISS is one of the best institutes to get groomed in.

– See more at: /tata-institute-social-sciences/page/0/1#sthash.CijoUSQN.dpuf

Share this
Click Me