In a bid to expand in a big way in areas like infrastructure, research, field action projects and fellowships, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has embarked on an ambitious drive “Emerge” to raise a whopping Rs 755 crore. This is probably the first such move by a public institute in the country.
Since the launch of “Emerge” in February this year, TISS has already raised Rs 25 crore. The aim is to forge partnerships with public and private sector enterprises, corporate organisations, alumni, high net worth individuals, banks and trusts in ways similar to collaborations in foreign universities. The institute is looking at working on live problems of companies and industries.
“Lot of money goes into social welfare programmes and so, it is important to have trained professionals. Currently, there is an acute shortage of human resources. The project has been initiated to meet the need for development sector professionals, and for that, expansion is required in all areas, in the new and existing campuses. We are, however, not looking at a one-time philanthropic contribution. The idea is to establish long-term collaborative partnerships with companies, industries and individuals, like a Harvard or University of Pennsylvania does. We will focus more on applied research through these collaborations, including solutions for the business problems of our partners and addressing the needs of communities,” said Shubha Srinivasan, campaign manager for “TISS Emerge”.
While a major chunk so far has come from a private firm, which does not wish to be named, other big contributors are Standard Chartered Bank and CMC Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). According to the plan, Rs 202 crore has been earmarked for Mumbai (main and Naoroji campus) and includes additional infrastructure development like new academic block, hostel, library and health centre expansion.
While another Rs 225 crore has been proposed for construction at the Hyderabad campus, Rs 100 crore will be set aside for site development and physical infrastructure at the Guwahati campus. Further, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for creating a research corpus and fellowships. Several research projects have been converted over the years into field action projects at TISS, which include Muskaan (child adolescent guidance), special cell (violence against women and children), Childline (helpline for children), Navchetna (child rights and abuse) and Prayas (rights of prisoners), among others.