Building institutions of knowledge and ramparts of research has been a hallmark of Tata Trusts’ work in supporting and enabling the spread of academic excellence in India. The Trusts’ role in establishing and backing some of the country’s best-known institutions for higher learning has been sustained for more than a century and covers a wide spectrum of disciplines, from fundamental and social science to medicine and the arts.
The first such institution to benefit from the Tata philosophy of philanthropy was the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), established in Bengaluru in 1911. IISc has evolved in the manner that the principal patron behind its creation, Jamsetji Tata, hoped it would, becoming a sought-after destination for postgraduate education in science and engineering and playing alma mater to many of India’s brightest minds.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, established in Mumbai in 1936, has done standout work in social development in the Asia-Pacific region. The Tata Memorial Centre, set up in Mumbai in 1941, has become a global benchmark in cancer research and treatment. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, established in 1945 in Mumbai, is another remarkable institution. The Tata Medical Center, set up in 2011 in Kolkata, has in a short span of time grown to become a world-class facility, and one that offers treatment free of cost to about half of its patients.
Building of Institutions that enhance the knowledge and learning quotient of India as a whole has been a high priority for Tata Trusts from its earliest days. The ‘Tata Medical Center’ in Kolkata in West Bengal, which began functioning in May 2011, is the latest — and one of the best — illustrations of this exemplary commitment. About half the beds at the state-of-the-art facility are reserved for the free or subsidised treatment of poor patients. The Center concentrates its attention on cancer diagnosis, treatment and care, but also excels in education and research.
Envisioned as a “university of research” by Jamsetji Tata, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) came into being in 1911. The Tata Founder had passed away by then, but his contribution to its creation has remained forever alive. Informally known for long as the ‘Tata Institute’, IISc serves as a window to gauge the competence of research and development in science and technology in India. It is housed in a 375-acre campus in Bengaluru, and has 40 departments and centres pursuing research and teaching in science, engineering and technology. Its library, devoted to science and technology, is among the largest in India.
The Tata Memorial Centre, initially commissioned by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust in Mumbai in 1941, specialises in cancer treatment and research. The Centre is the premier institution in India for treatment, education and research in cancer, and is recognised as one of the leading cancer hospitals in Asia. A pioneer in many different ways, the Centre provides free or subsidised cancer treatment to the majority of its patients. It has postgraduate and doctoral students, residency and super-speciality programmes, multiple research initiatives and also conducts shorter training courses.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936 as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. The TISS mission is to be a centre that responds to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge. Importantly, it strives to promote and protect dignity, equality, social justice and human rights. Through its MPhil, PhD and post-doctoral programmes, the institute provides high-quality education in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas in the social sciences.
The birthplace of India’s first digital computer and the nation’s atomic energy endeavour, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was established to strengthen the country’s science infrastructure. Founded in 1945 with support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, the Institute now carries out basic research in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science and science education. Its main campus is in Mumbai and it has centres in Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.