How An Expansion Spree Put TISS On The Brink Of Collapse

Nikhila Henry
Students of Azim Premji University protest in solidarity with TISS, Hyderabad.

HYDERABAD, Telangana — A walled but a neglected 100-acre stretch in Telangana’s Mamidipalli village is a telling sign of the fall of its ‘owner’—Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

The land in the Kothur block of Mahbubnagar district was given to TISS in 2009 by the state government for its Hyderabad campus. While a threat of closure looms over the temporary campus that operates from the congested premises of a private school in the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, not a brick has been laid at the Mamidipalli site.  

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Mamidipalli is a reminder of TISS’s indiscriminate expansion spree that has failed to find support from the Union government or the Tata Trusts, leaving one of the country’s storeyed institutes staring at an uncertain future.

Founded by the Tata Trusts in 1936 and declared a deemed university by the Centre 20 years later, TISS has been at the forefront of spreading social awareness through its various programmes. 

Its once generous aid programme helped students from social and economically weaker sections to pursue higher education and research. Many of its initiatives shaped public policy in the fields of education, health and labour laws. 

But today, TISS is struggling to stay afloat. There is growing discontent at the mother campus, in Mumbai, over a drop in financial aid. The Guwahati campus is still incomplete and the one in Hyderabad has been rocked by student unrest for almost a year.

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What went wrong?

Set up by Tata Trusts in 1936 as Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work, TISS was...

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