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An important landmark in the fight against TB in India was the launching of Mass BCG Campaign soon after independence. This turned out to be one of the biggest public health campaigns, penetrating into the vast interior rural areas with a health education component. An important offshoot of this campaign, was the pooling together of experiences resulting from international co-operation comprising, International Tuberculosis Campaign, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Later on a meeting of the minds between the Late Dr PV Benjamin, the doyen in the field of TB control and the then Adviser on TB to the Government of India and Dr HT Mahler of WHO and their concerted efforts made a lasting impact on TB control programme.

The results of tuberculin tests carried out as a part of the Mass BCG Campaign led to the launching of “National Sample Survey on TB in India” - a pioneering work and also one of the largest survey of its kind undertaken by the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi. The findings of these two surveys were rather startling and overturned the then prevailing myth that TB was mainly an urban problem. Since nearly 80% of the population in India lived in about 5,60,000 villages, all of a sudden the TB problem loomed large as a colossus. After recovering from the striking effect of the above findings, TB workers in India under the guidance of the Dr PV Benjamin and Dr Mahler, initiated planning to fight the TB situation with determination and farsightedness.


Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru inagurates – 16th September 1960

LR:Sri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore;
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India;
Dr PV Benjamin, the then Advisor in TB, Govt of India & Dr NL Bordia,the then Director NTI.

Diagnosing and treating millions of people suffering from TB, throughout the country was the greatest challenge. The concept of treating TB patients then focussed on providing sanatorium line of treatment for long periods in hospitals. Their rehabilitation became clearly out of context and had to be replaced by one with a higher potential to diagnose and treat patients on domiciliary basis. Fortunately, with the advent of powerful anti-TB drugs, the possibility of treating TB patients at home became more practicable. Against this backdrop, to formulate an effective control strategy, National Tuberculosis Institute was established under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfar, New Delhi, and formally inaugurated on 16th September 1960 by late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

  Pandit Nehru – Inaugural Address

List of Directors

nl_bordia Dr NL Bordia
raj_narain Dr Raj Narain
nagpaul Dr DR Nagpaul
nt_menon Dr NK Menon
a_banerji Dr A Banerji
p_chandrasekar Dr P Chandrasekar
gvj_baily Dr GVJ Baily
k_chaudhuri Dr K Chaudhuri
bt_uke Dr BT Uke
prabha_jagota Dr (Mrs) Prabha Jagota
prahlad_kumar Dr. Prahlad Kumar


Who Senior Officers

Sl. No. Who Sr. Officers Year
1 Dr HT Mahler 1959-1961
2 Mr S Andersen 1961-1963
3 Dr. Maurice Piot 1962-1965
4 Dr J O’Rourke 1963-1965
5 Dr D Savic 1965-1968
6 Dr L Simeonov 1968-1970
7 Dr T Olakowsky 1970-1972