To promote flexible funding of new initiatives at the Institute in research activities at the forefront of Science, Technology and Mathematics, there is a pressing need to create a substantial corpus. The TIFR Council of Management has approved the establishment of a general purpose Endowment Fund for this purpose. Such a Fund could serve to promote extended visits of young and distinguished scientists from different institutions in the country and abroad for collaborative research. The Endowment fund collected will also be able to strengthen the other activities of promoting academic excellence at the Institute which includes financial support in the form of augmented research scholarships and additional funding to exceptionally talented and highly motivated young students and scientists who would wish to join the Institute for their doctoral and post doctoral research.
Sir Dorarbji Tata Trust made a firm beginning of this Endowment activities by donating rupees one crore towards Chair Professorships and Archives, during the Golden Jubilee celebrations (1995-96) of the Institute.
Institutions of higher learning are distinct indicators of the intellectual traditions of a society. With strong traditions of learning, seats of higher education have played a crucial role in the history of India. Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha conceived of an institute devoted to basic science, one that would provide the atmosphere for fundamental research to flourish while contributing to the nascent project of nation building. Dr. Bhabha described his vision in a letter to Shri J. R. D. Tata in 1943, and then, with the latter's encouragement, made a formal proposal to the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The soundness and the need for such a centre of excellence was immediately perceived by the Industry and the Government. Support came from the Trust and from the Government of Bombay Province. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) started functioning on June 1, 1945. Dr. Bhabha was also encouraged by the University of Bombay which recognised the Institute for awarding Master and Doctoral degrees.