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 26 Science Centres/Museums spread all over India. Science City, Kolkata, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata, Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM), Bangalore and National Science Centre, Delhi are National level centres of NCSM. All having its Regional and Sub-Regional/District Level Centres called Satellite Units (SUs).
As per the recommendation of the Task Force constituted by the Union Planning Commission in the early 1970s to assess the activities of the Science Museums, NCSM initiated the 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 26 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. organisations such as ONGC, BEL, ICAR and also collaborated internationally for the development of Museum/Science Centres or for galleries such as Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, Mauritius, ‘India’ gallery on Buddhism at ‘International Buddhist Museum’, Kandy, Sri Lanka etc. Today, NCSM forms the largest network of science centres and museums in the world under a single administrative umbrella.
In addition to the development of Science centres/museums, NCSM strives to communicate Science and educate the masses through its Mobile Science Exhibitions, Lectures and Demonstrations, Training and Workshops, Publications etc. NCSM has also sent exhibitions to various countries like USA, USSR, France, Bulgaria, China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, South Africa and the United Kingdom and the journey continues.