The History of Social Work Education in India.

History of social work education goes back to 1936 when Tata School of Social Work was established. Sir Clifford Marshardt an American Marathi Missionary thought of empowering and giving training to the manpower who will be equipped and trained with the knowledge, skills and training for should bring different kinds of responsibilities in the field of social work.

This school was based on the patterns of social work schools in USA but it had characteristic features in respect of social work interventions in industries to improve the conditions of workers Placed in industrial settings.

It is noteworthy that UGC started its first short-term course in social work in collaboration with Social Service League in Bombay in 1920. In this course voluntary workers engaged public welfare work.

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Beginning of Social Work Education in India.

The first -training in for social workers started in 1936 by the establishment of Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work, 1936 in Bombay, now Mumbai. It was the only institute which gave social work education till independence.

After independence, Kashi Vidyapeeth started its course in Ahmedabad who gave social work education since 1947. In 1948, Young Women’s Christian Association of India started Delhi School of Social Work with financial assistance from Foreign division of American Young Women’s Christian Association and it got its recognition from University of Delhi. Baroda also started teaching social work as a part of university system.

Lucknow University also started its Diploma in social service in the J.K. Institute of Sociology and human relations which was then replaced by Master of Social technique and then finally it started Master of Social Work.

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Subsequent to freedom, in Varanasi a new college of social work was opened up which became famous with the name of Kashi Vidyapeeth.

In 1947, in Ahmedabad social work education began by the University of Gujarat. North Young Women’s Christian Association in India started up Delhi School of Social Work in the year 1948.

This institute got affiliation from University of Delhi in the year 1961. In Baroda, M.S. University stated teaching social work as an integral part of the university system from the year 1949.

Lucknow University also started up its diploma program in social service with the efforts and help from J.K. Institute of Sociology and human relations.

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This course then got replaced with two years course of Masters of Social Technique (MST). And finally in 1954 it became masters in social work. In the year 1954 Madras School of social work also got established. Then there were a lot of schools and departments of social work started coming up in different parts of the country.

Beginning stages of social work curriculum

In the beginning stages of social work curriculum preparation here were three major areas or knowledge:

  • Knowledge extracted from the social services which even included the social research methods.
  • Knowledge about the social service and including the methods of social service administration.
  • Specialized knowledge of different fields of social work.

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Social work instruction included the knowledge about the fields and research methodology. It enabled practitioners to become aware of the real nature of social work problems and also to get to know about the different methods and techniques of doing social work education.

Social work is field where Specialization is focused mainly. For the stress requiring social work the multiplicity of factors must be included. This includes the following factors:

  • Difficulty in making curricula in the fields to be covered
  • Academic contention between the teachers of different methods of developing authority,
  • Demand for personnel with specialized training for the employers in the selected fields.

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In the Factories Act 1948, where specific provisions were made under section 49 whose qualifications were laid down for relevant rules which involved Master’s Degree program in social work. It gave specialization in labor welfare and industrial relations.

The minimum qualifications for this course were Bachelors. It was thought that it exist in the availability of employment opportunities. The fields are very wide in this area and it brought debates in the field between social workers. Social work lecturers first participated in the seminar of Udaipur in the year 1982.

When the concept of social welfare was adopted in the part of 1950 then it came up in the directive principles of state policy. Our Indian constitution kicked out the un touchability which was practiced in the past against SC, ST, and the other weaker sections of the society.

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All the plans which were made for the development gave rise to the different sectors of society which included the welfare of community, family, planning, and various other activities related to the field of social work. The area and span of social work education began to increase day by day.

In the year 1991 only government of India gave structure to the programme and they have started practicing the liberalization, privatization and globalization policy which helped in the incessant efforts and constant support from the people of India in the area of social work. Before 1991 there was least efforts were taken up by the citizens of the country.

The true essence of democracy lies in the democratic participation of people. Country has taken up a turn in 1991. Which leave the burden of promotion of people’s well being which in majority of cases have applied with the hopes from them because of prime concern of fulfillment of their own vested interest.

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Most of these schools were centered in basically three states Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka but only a few of them exist in North East.

The next problem raised which have that there were scarcity of teachers and the universities were not able to fill those positions. Quality of social work education was not upto the mark.

Different professions were given more importance like business administration, human resource management, industrial psychology, labor laws, etc. its association got established in 1959 with the improving standards of social work. It did not performed the role due to many reasons like policy Taking, planning formulation and oddice barriers.

After even 70 years of the prevalence of social work the, situation of the profession is still very poor. Politicians and some other professionals also did not know what is social work. In the higher education also it was taught as a different discipline and the scholars made it well established.

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Social workers used to sit in the four walls only and they did not have much work to do. They were not even able to bring any kind of improvement in the. lives of the people.

They used to go in the disaster prone areas to the destitute and reflected upon the sincere efforts to find the causes of failure which have learnt the lesson from the past and get ready for the future.

Any profession if it wants to develop must have to prove its worth in the eyes of society. It must improve its effectiveness of services rendered by professionals with least developments in the filed.

It is difficult for the Indian people to conceive that there could be professionals around called social workers to be approached when facing personal or family problems. The reason is not far to see. Helping each other in the Indian traditions is a noble cause.

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Every body therefore shows eagerness to help every body else. Why in that case someone pay a social worker? Since the very concept of professional social work is missing from the Indian minds, trained social workers are going to find it very difficult to establish roots in this country. It is also to remember that profession wise it is the clients who approach the professionals and not the other way round.

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