National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous society under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India was formed on April 4, 1978. Today, it administers 25 Science Centres/Museums/Planetariums spread all over India. Science City, Kolkata, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata, Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, Vishvesvraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM), Bangluru and National Science Centre, Delhi are National level centres of NCSM. All having its Regional centres and District Level Centres called Satellite Units (SUs).
As per recommendation of the Task Force constituted by the Union Planning Commission in early 1970’s to assess the activities of the Science Museums, the NCSM initiated process to set up National level science museums/centres, Regional Science Centres and District Science Centres located in metropolis, state capitals and district headquarters respectively. NCSM, with its Headquarters in Kolkata, has its own network of 25 science museums/centres spread across the country and a Central Research & Training Laboratory (CRTL), in Kolkata. CRTL is the Council’s central hub for professional training, research and development. In addition, NCSM develops Science Centres/museums for different States and Union Territories of India. NCSM has also developed several centres and galleries for different Govt. organsiations such as ONGC, BEL, ICAR and also collaborated internationally for development of Museum/Science Centres or for galleries such as Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, Mauritius, ”India gallery on Buddhism’ at ‘International Buddhist Museum’, Sri Lanka etc. Today, NCSM forms the largest network of science centres and museums in the world.
In addition to development of Science centres/museums, NCSM strives to communicate Science and educate masses by its Mobile Science Exhibitions, Lectures and Demonstrations, Training and Workshops, Publications etc. NCSM has also sent exhibition to countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Russia, USA, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Bulgaria and France.
In 2011, NCSM has formed a fully owned non profit company named ‘Creative Museum Designers‘ (CMD) for development of other types of museums and centres than Science museums. CMD is presently developing a museum for Reserve Bank of India and ‘Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Museum’ for Gauriya Math, Kolkata.