The College of Social Work was founded in 1955 by a religious society of Catholic Christian women, known as The Daughters of the Heart of Mary, whose charism is to readily respond to felt needs of the people according to the signs of the times.
In the years following the independence of India, the founders discerned that the nation’s struggle for development would be served not so much by material relief as by sensitive social concern and insightful committed action. Accordingly the College was born to realize their dream. The Institute of Social Service Trust managed the College till 1978. Since 1978, the Nirmala Niketan Institute has become the parent body of the College.
The Institute awarded its own Diploma in Social Work, till 1965. The University of Bombay affiliated the course as PG Diploma since 1965 and then got it converted to the M.S.W. course in 1969 under the Faculty of Arts. Realizing the need to respond to professional interventions at different levels, the College also started its university recognized three year B.S.W. course in 1971. The courses are revised periodically in order to ensure that the educational content of the courses are relevant to the social reality of contemporary life.
The Government of Maharashtra recognized the College as a Catholic Christian Minority Institution in the year 1995.
The University recognized the College for registration of students for the Ph.D. degree in Social Work from the year 1997.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) constituted by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, awarded the College the FIVE STAR status for its academic excellence in 2001. On 31st March 2007, the same body, after further inspection and appraisal re-accredited the College of Social Work at the A+ level with an Institutional Score of 93 per cent. The College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan is reaccredited (Third Cycle) by the National Accreditation and Assessment Cell (NAAC) with A Grade (3.53 CGPA out of 4) in May 2015 valid up to 2022.
On 12th Feb 2019 The University Grants Commission has provided conferment of Autonomous Status to the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan for a period of ten years w.e.f 2019-2020 to 2028-2029.
The vision and mission of the College is –
- To contribute to building a new social order based on human dignity and social justice.
- To work with a preferential option for the vulnerable and exploited, both locally and globally.
- To build a cadre of young, competent professionals having a global perspective and a strong value base of compassion, personal integrity, moderation, tolerance and self-respect.
Objectives of the courses offered by the College
These objectives are derived from the Vision and Mission Statement:
- Facilitate an understanding of the history and context of the communities and societies within which we function.
- Develop a local and global understanding of the dynamics of poverty and human development, and its impact on various social groups
- Develop an understanding of the dynamics of the state and civil society organizations in the context of transnational influences.
- Develop skills for devising and implementing effective, people-oriented interventions to ameliorate the miseries of marginalized populations and develop skills for practice-based research into social phenomena and issues.
- Develop appreciation for the values of social justice, human dignity, tolerance and respect toward ‘the other’ in a diverse society.
- Develop sensitivity toward the vulnerable sections of the population and recognize and uphold their right to participation in governance and to self-determination.
- Develop professional ethics with reference to self and society and commitment to all aspects of work.
Over the years, the College has been evolving its specific commitments, which relate to all aspects of its functions-teaching, field instruction, research, administration, and field action projects. It encourages its teaching and non-teaching staff to get involved and contribute to the community through these services. The primary emphasis of the curricular and co-curricular programmes is on the most disadvantaged of the urban and rural population. The focus of the programmes provides a structural perspective of issues affecting the slum, rural and tribal communities and also searches for various approaches of problem solving processes. There is a commitment to address the problems of health, education and employment of marginalized and disadvantaged groups while adopting a humane approach of social and development services for all, irrespective of caste, creed, language and sex.