Founded in 1930, the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) is one of the oldest institutions for economics teaching and research in India. Though mainly a research Institute, from its inception the M.A. and Ph.D degrees offered by GIPE were recognized by the University of Bombay. With the establishment of the University of Poona (1949), GIPE became a constituent recognized institution of that University. In 1962, recognizing its contribution to research in agricultural economics, the University Grants Commission (UGC) selected the Institute as a Centre of Advanced Study in Agricultural Economics. The scope was broadened two years later when the UGC declared GIPE as a Centre of Advanced Study in Economics. In 1993, Keeping in view its professional standing and scope for further development, the Government of India declared GIPE as ‘Deemed to be a University’.
The Institute is located in the premises of the Servants of India Society, established in 1905 by the great Indian nationalist leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915). On the Fergusson Hill behind the Institute lies the spot where Gokhale took the vows of the Society – poverty, obedience, and service to nation - and administered them to three others. It has become a landmark because of the erection of a column there. Gokhale’s bungalow still stands in the precincts of the Society. So does a massive banyan tree under which Gokhale and M.K. Gandhi used to discuss political issues. Gandhi regarded Gokhale as his ‘political guru’. The Gokhale Institute was established in 1930, incorporating the Servants of India Society library.