T. K. Oommen

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T. K. Oommen
Born (1937-10-16) 16 October 1937 (age 83)
OccupationSociologist, Educationist, author
AwardsPadma Bhushan
V. K. R. V. Rao Prize
G. S. Ghurye Award
Swami Pranavananda Award
Mar Chrysostom Navathy Award

Tharailath Koshy Oommen is an Indian sociologist, author, educationist and Professor Emeritus at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University . He was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third highest Indian civilian award in 2008 for his services to the fields of education and literature by the President of India.

He was the 12th president of International Sociological Association (1990–1994).[1]


T. K. Oommen was born on 16 October 1937 as the second male child to K. M. Koshy and Saramma Koshy in the Keerikattu family at Tharailath, Venmony, Alleppey, Travancore.[2] After early schooling in Alappuzha, Oommen obtained his BA in Economics from Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram in 1957 and MA in Sociology from Pune University in 1960. He continued at Pune University for his doctoral research and obtained PhD in 1965 on Charisma, stability and change: an analysis of Bhoodan-Gramdan movement in India under the supervision of Prof. Y. B. Damle.[3]

He currently resides at National Media Campus, Gurgaon in Haryana.


Oommen started his career as a lecturer in Social Sciences at Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi University (1964–70) where he worked as the Reader in Sociology (1970–71). He then moved to the Centre for the Study of Social Systems (CSSS), Jawaharlal Nehru University as Associate Professor (1971–76) and later became the Professor of Sociology (1976–2002).[4]

During 2003–2006, he was involved with the following projects:[4]

  • He was the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Gujarat Harmony Project, to explore the possibility of reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims after the 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat.
  • He was a member of the Prime Minister's High Level Committee, to study the Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India, popularly known as the Sachar Committee.
  • He held the Chairmanship of Ford Foundation on Non-traditional Security.

In 2007, he was made Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University.[4]

Positions held[edit]

T. K. Oommen held various positions at International Sociological Association during the period 1986 to 1994.[4]

  • 1986 Secretary General, XI World Congress of Sociology, New Delhi
  • 1986–90 EC member
  • 1990–94 President (He was only person from Asia and Africa to hold the post[5])

He also held other positions during his career:[4]

He was also U.G.C. National Lecturer in Sociology, 1985–86, Visiting Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of California (Berkeley), USA., Fall, 1990, Visiting Professor, Maison des Sciences de L'homme, Paris,[6] June–July 1992, Visiting Professor, Wissenshaftszentrum, Berlin, May–July 1993 and June 1994, Visiting Fellow, Research School of Social Science, Australian National University, Canberra, December 1993 and Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, Budapest,[7] October 1994 – July 1995.[5]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Oommen received many awards for his services to the social milieu.[4]

Books and publications[edit]


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]