Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth was established in 1921, as an education a memorial of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 'the father of Indian unrest' and an advocate of National Education. The establishment of the Vidyapeeth was aimed towards imparting National Education conceived by Lokmanya Tilak in his four-fold formula (other three were Swaraj, Swadeshi and Boycott).
Prominent persons having national recognition such as Shri. Yashvantrao Chavan and Shri. Shankarrao Chavan, (both former Union Home Ministers), and Shri. Shivraj Patil-Chakurkar (the present Union Home Minister) have been the Chancellor of the University in the past. Presently, Shri. Sushilkumar Shinde, Union Power Minister holds the position.
Several eminent personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Zakir Husain, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma and others during their visit to the University campus have appreciated its uniqueness, culture and research work.
The teaching and research work carried out by the Departments of Sanskrit, Ayurveda and Social Sciences are well acclaimed. The concept of non - formal education was first discussed at the national level in the year 1985. Eminent scholars associated with the University gave a serious thought to the promotion of non-formal education and thus in 1985 itself the Department of Distance Education (initially known as Mukta Vidya Kendra) came into being.