THE BIRTH OF AN IDEA:
"It was as early as September 1941 that I submitted my proposals to the Government of India regarding the desirability of establishing in India a National Chemical Laboratory. The proposal was finally accepted by the Government of India and the Board of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Chairmanship of Sir A. Ramaswamy Mudaliar in their tenth meeting held in July 1943 and proceeded to appoint a planning committee for the National Chemical Laboratory."
Shanti Swarup, Bhatnagar, (1894-1955)
- Government of India allocates a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs for the building and other capital expenditure in 1944.
- In the spirit of the institution being created, Government asks CSIR to seek support of industry in the setting up of NCL.
- Dr. D. G. Karve, Principal, Brihan Maharashtra Commerce College (BMCC) appointed as Chairman, Local Advisory Committee for the establishment of NCL.
FUNCTIONS AND OBJECTIVES OF NCL (1945)
- Embrace all applications of chemistry with due attention to the advancement of the fundamental science.
- To serve as a link between university, the state, the scientific institutions and industry.
- To undertake fundamental research directed towards the acquisition of knowledge which is likely to help overall industrial development.
- Applied and development work will be concerned with improvement of existing processes, efficient utilization of raw material resources and the discovery of new processes and products.
- Plans for building on a 475 acre land completed in 1945.
- Mr. B. G. Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay State in pre-independent India lays the Foundation Stone on April 6, 1947.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
"There are hardly any new lands which Indian can hope to exploit. The only new lands on which we may have our eyes must lie in the domain of mind and have to be created in the research laboratory. It is on these sources which will emerge from the national laboratories that we may have to depend now and in the future for the means to maintain and raise our standard of living and to keep abreast amongst the best nations of the world."
6th April 1947
- Construction of laboratory begins in 1948 under the supervision of architects Master, Sathe and Bhuta, Bombay. The Main Building of NCL consisting of 130,000 sq.ft. of laboratory space is built at a total cost of Rs. 35 lakhs.
ANOTHER ACT OF MUNIFICENCE FROM THE HOUSE OF TATAS
"The Tata organization have taken much interest in the establishment of NCL and have generously placed a sum of Rs. 8,30,000 at the disposal of the CSIR for this purpose. I take this opportunity of offering our grateful thanks to the House of Tatas for this munificent donation."
6th April 1947
- Research activities commence in the main building in March 1949.
- NCL is set up with the objective to undertake research in chemistry in areas of importance to industrial development, to collaborate with other scientific and academic institutions and develop technologies that can be commercially exploited by Indian industry.