The Indian Institute of Education (IIE) was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 1st January 1948 by J.P.Naik, the main founder of the Institute, and along with the strong support of R.V. Parulekar, who became the first director of IIE. From 1948 to 1952-53, the Institute was affiliated to Bombay University. The aim of the Institute at its inception was to provide facilities for teachers in Greater Bombay to study for post-graduate degrees such as the Master of Education, Doctorate in Education and to pursue independent research in education. In Bombay, Prof. R.V. Parulekar was replaced by Dr. V.V. Kamat as Director of the Indian Institute of Education. In 1976  Dr. Chitra Naik retired from the post of Director of Education, Maharashtra State and took reigns of the  Indian Institute of Education where her philosophy of non-formal education and challenging educational orthodoxy became the leitmotifs of the institute. The Institute then shifted to Pune on condition that a centre of the Institute would be maintained in Bombay. When the Institute was shifted to Pune on 1st August, 1976, Prof. A.B. Shah, Prof. A.R. Kamat, Prof. D.A. Dabholkar, Prof. J.P. Naik, Prof. Chitra Naik were the torch bearers of the institute. Dr. Chitra Naik worked as Hon. Director. 

The Indian Institute of Education today is based in Pune, Maharashtra, and is considered to be a premier institute of social sciences and humanities and is recognized to be as one of the leading academic centers in India, primarily working on issues related to education and developing societies. Based on the philosophy of education of J.P.Naik, its chief concern has been universal and compulsory education and the socio-economic development of the educationally backward communities.