The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) had its origin as Central Malaria Bureau, established at Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) in 1909 and following expansion was renamed in 1927 as the Malaria Survey of India. The organization was shifted to Delhi in 1938 and called as the Malaria Institute of India (MII). In view of the drastic reduction achieved in the incidence of malaria under National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP), Government of India decided to reorganize and expand the activities of the institute to cover other communicable diseases. Thus, on July 30, 1963 the erstwhile MII was renamed as NICD to shoulder these additional responsibilities.
The institute was established to function as a national centre of excellence for control of communicable diseases. The function of the institute also included various areas of training and research using multi-disciplinary integrated approach. The institute was, in addition, expected to provide expertise to the States and Union Territories (UTs) on rapid health assessment and laboratory based diagnostic services. Surveillance of communicable diseases and outbreak investigation also formed an indispensable part of its activities.
The NICD campus at Delhi covers an approximate areas of 15.35 acres which includes the former official residence of Commander in Chief of the Indian Army and now houses the administrative block, library, divisions of epidemiology and parasitic diseases. The Institute is one of its unique kind in the city of Delhi having so much of green area with about 80% as open area. The Institute has got three large sprawling lawns with well maintained plants as well as a number of smaller garden islands. The headquarters of the directorate of National Anti Malaria Programme (NAMP), now named as National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is also located in the NCDC campus. The facilities available in the campus include research laboratories, a large lecture hall, well equipped conference and seminar rooms, animal house, fish hatcheries and two hostels with a total capacity to accommodate about 125 trainees and a well maintained canteen. The campus has the facilities of play grounds for volleyball, badminton etc. as well as for indoor facilities like carom, gymnasium etc.
The Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. The Director, an officer of the Public Health sub-cadre of Central Health Service, is the administrative and technical head of the Institute.
The Institute has its headquarters in Delhi and has 8 out-station branches located at Alwar (Rajasthan), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kozikode (Kerela), Coonoor (Tamil Nadu), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Patna (Bihar), Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
There are several technical Divisions at the headquarters of the institute i.e. Centre for Epidemiology and Parasitic Diseases (Dept. of Epidemiology, Dept. Parasitic Disease) Division of Microbiology, Division of Zoonosis, Centre for HIV/AIDS and related diseases, Centre for Medical Entomology and Vector Management, Division of Malariology and Coordination, Division of Biochemistry and Biotechnology.
In each division there are several sections and laboratories dealing with different communicable diseases. The divisions have well equipped laboratories with modern equipments capable of undertaking tests using latest technology. The activities of each division are supervised by an officer in-charge, supported by medical and non-medical scientists, research officers and other technical and paramedical staff. Every Division is equipped with its own independent Seminar Room. The institute has a 24 x 7 Disease Monitoring Cell operating round the clock to respond to enquiries related to disease outbreak along-with video-conferencing facility to interact with the network of disease surveillance centres in the states and districts. The branches are also well equipped and staffed to carry out field studies, training activites and research.