National School of Drama

The National School of Drama (NSD) is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture as well as a training institute for theatre located at New Delhi.

Veteran actor Paresh Rawal is the Chairman of the NSD since 2020. He recently made an announcement in March 2021 regarding the opening of new branches of the school all over the country.

This article will give further details about the National School of Drama within the context of the IAS Examination

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History of the National School of Drama

The proposal for a Central Institution theatre can be traced back to a seminar in 1954, a draft scheme of the same institution was prepared in 1955. It was drawn up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in Delhi, whose president was Jawaharlal Nehru (November 14, 1889 – May 27, 1964).

With assistance from UNESCO the Bhraratiya Natya Sangh established the Asian Theatre Institute on 20 January 1958. It was taken over by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in July 1958.

In the same year the Government of India merged the insitituns to form the National School of Drama, with its establishment set in stone in April 1959. Initially it was called the National School of Drama and Asian Theatre with its first batch passing out in 1961. The school was initially located at Nizamuddin West.

The entire syllabus of the NSD was overhauled during the tenure of Ebrahi Alkazi,  he also designed two theatres for NSD, including a 200-seat studio theatre, and the open-air Meghdoot theatre, under a banyan tree.

Under the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture, the National School of Drama and Asian Theatre became an autonomous organisation changing its name to ‘National School of Drama’’ in 1975. In May of that year the NSD shafted to a new location at Bahawalpur House where it stands to this day

Find the list of Constitutional and Statutory Bodies by visiting the linked article.

As of 10 September 2020 Paresh Rawal, has been appointed as the Chairman of the National School of Drama. Suresh Sharma is the director of the NSD taking up since Sep


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Facts about the National School of Drama

  • The professional performing wing of the NSD is the Repertory Company, set up in 1964.
  • The Repertory Company has staged over 120 plays based on the works of about 70 playwrights and featuring around 50 directors in several countries.
  • The NSD established the ‘Theatre-in-Education Company’ (T.I.E), called ‘Sanskaar Rang Toli’, today it has become India’s premier educational resource centre, and coaches children aged 8 to 16 years.

To know more about the Traditional Theatre forms of India, visit the linked article

Notable Alumni of the National School of Drama

Ever since its inception, the alumni of the National School of Drama have played a key role in Indian cinema and also made lasting contributions to the film industry. Some of the notable alumni of the NSD are as follows:

National School of Drama Alumni

Ashutosh Rana Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Anupam Kher Om Puri
Baharul Islam Pankaj Tripathi
Himani Bhatt Shivpuri Neena Gupta
Irrfan Khan Ratna Pathak Shah
Jaya Seal Ghosh Santanu Bose
Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub Khan Tannishtha Chatterjee
Mukesh Tiwari Virendra Saxena
Naseeruddin Shah Yashpal Sharma

Latest Developments regarding the National School of Drama

It was announced on March 7 2021 that the National School of Drama would be opening branches all over the country. The announcement was made by Chairman Paresh Rawal Currently it has regional centres at Varanasi, Bengaluru, Agartala and Gangtok.

Emphasising on the importance of opening NSD branches in vibrant theater culture states such as Gujarat, West Bengal and Maharasthra, Paresh Rawal also pointed out that the National School of Drama is an institution of national importance and in the coming future it will be able to award degrees.

Learn more on how you can tackle Art and Culture for the UPSC Exam, by visiting the linked article.

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For more information about the UPSC Syllabus, visit the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below

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