TCI was established with a $25 million endowment given to Cornell University from the Tata Education and Development Trust, a philanthropic branch of the Tata Group. The endowment was made possible by the vision of Mr. Ratan Tata, the former chairman of India’s Tata Group and a Cornell alumnus from the Class of 1962.
Since 2013, under the direction of Dr. Prabhu Pingali, TCI has experienced rapid growth in our projects, our team, and our ambitions. Starting as a staff of only three, TCI’s programs and on-the-ground research have sufficiently expanded to require personnel in offices in Ithaca, Mumbai, and Delhi.
TCI funds and advises more than a dozen Ph.D. and master’s student researchers from disciplines across the Cornell campus. Most of these TCI scholars conduct intensive fieldwork as an integral part of their thesis research. TCI believes that field research that addresses the problems of the rural poor is highly compatible with analytically rigorous research that is expected of Cornell graduate students.
TCI also regularly hosts visiting fellows and scholars from partner institutions in India and elsewhere.
In December 2015, TCI was awarded a $13.4M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish its flagship project, TARINA, or Technical Assistance and Research for India Nutrition and Agriculture. TARINA has greatly increased TCI’s footprint in India and strengthened the Institute’s partnerships with the NGOs and policy/research institutes that form the TARINA Consortium.