The National Test House [NTH], formerly known as Government Test House was established long way back in 1912 in Calcutta by the then Railway Board to cater to the needs of the Indian Railways by import substitution. During 1916-1918 the Indian Industrial Commission recommended for an Indian Stores Department and the same was formed which absorbed NTH for regular testing of the general stores required by the Government Departments including Defense Department for a long period. In 1934 the Industrial Intelligence and Research Bureau later re-designated as Industrial Research Bureau, the genesis of modern CSIR, was formed by the Government of India and was housed and nurtured in NTH for conducting researches on problems directly connected with the indigenous development of raw materials. Thus NTH has travelled a long way and has established its importance in the panorama of the Indian industry. Since independence the responsibilities of NTH have increased manifold. It has been actively involved in all aspects of technology connected with industry, commerce, trade, import substitution, export promotion and standardization. NTH has been an active partner in standardization and formulation of National Standards and has the proud privilege of assisting Indian Standards Institution presently known as Bureau of Indian Standards since its very inception in 1947. NTH is also actively involved in rendering assistance to NABL in accreditation of Testing and Calibration Laboratories in the country. To serve the long felt necessities of the Indian industry spreading over this vast subcontinent, it was envisaged to open Regional Test Houses in various parts of the country. The NTH has now six regional Laboratories located in the Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, North West and North East of the country. The chronological events leading to the development of NTH to its present stature are enumerated below:
Established in Calcutta under the then Railway Board to check the suitability of indigenously manufactures stores for use by the Indian Railways.1914 Entrusted to undertake the testing of munitions by the then Munitions Board.
Absorbed by the Indian Stores Department on the recommendation of the Industrial Commission. General stores required by the Defense Department were regularly test till 1929.
The Industrial Intelligence & Research Bureau (later redesigned as Industrial Research Bureau) housed in the NTH for conducting research on problems connected with indigenous raw material resources.
Organized a Road Test Track on behalf of the Department of Communication.
The research section of the NTH was transferred to the administrative control of the Directorate of Scientific & Industrial Research which was also housed in the NTH.
The Directorate of Scientific & Industrial Research presently known as Council of Scientific & Industrial Research [CSIR] was shifted to New Delhi.
A Reorganization Committee was set up by the Government of India to suggest modernization program of the NTH.
Eminent scientist and industrialists were nominated on the reconstituted Advisory Board of the NTH by the Government of India as per the recommendations of the Reorganization Committee.
Completion of the second phase of the NTH building construction and overall expansion of scientific personnel and modern equipment's as per the recommendation of the Reorganization Committee.
Golden Jubilee celebrated Bombay branch opened.
A study Team was appointed by the Government of India to examine thoroughly the organizational structure and method of working of scientific personnel. Important recommendations were made by the Study Team to raise the level of competence of the institution.
Diamond Jubilee celebrated.
Madras branch opened.
Ghaziabad branch opened.
Madras Test House shifted to its own building at Tharamani.
Seventeenth Anniversary celebrated.
Bombay Test House shifted to its own building at Marol.
Recognized as a major scientific organization by the Velluri Committee appointed by SACC.
Directorate General’s office started functioning in the premises of NTH, Calcutta as Headquarters.
Ghaziabad Test House shifted to its own building at Kamla Nehru Nagar.
High Voltage Laboratory of NTH, Ghaziabad inaugurated.
Jaipur branch opened. Computerized Management Information System at NTH, Calcutta inaugurated.
Guwahati branch opened.
The Metrology & Calibration Block and Heavy Material Testing Block of the Laboratory Complex Complex of NTH at Salt Lake, Calcutta taken over and made partially functional.
The Main Block of the Laboratory Complex of NTH at Salt Lake, Calcutta taken over.
All earmarked laboratories viz. Civil, RPT, Light Mechanical and Chemical (except Paint) shifted to NTH, Salt Lake.
New building of NTH, Salt Lake inaugurated.
New Building of NTH, Jaipur branch inaugurated.
Centenary building in NTH, Chennai inaugurated.
Centenary celebration commemorated under the august presence of Hon’ble President of India Sri Pranab Mukherjee. Centenary Celebration of NTH was commemorated on 20th January, 2013 in the august presence of Hon’ble President of India, Sri Pranab Mukherjee. The celebrated event took place in the historic Town Hall of Kolkata. Other dignitaries and personalities, present in the occasion, were Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Sri M. K. Narayanan, then Hon’ble union State Minister (with independent charge) of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Prof. K. V. Thomas, Hon’ble Minister in-charge of Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of West Bengal Sri Sadhan Pande, and Prof. Bikash Sinha, eminent Scientist, Homi Bhabha Professor, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and others. On this occasion book titled “History of National Test House Origin of Scientific and Industrial Research India” was released by Sri M. K. Narayanan, then Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal and the first copy was presented to Hon’ble President of India.
New Building of NTH, Guwahati inaugurated.