National School of Drama [NSD]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 20, 2022, 9:56

The National School of Drama (NSD) is a New Delhi-based training school devoted to the study and research of theatre and delivering training in acting, choreography, and related subjects. It was founded in 1959. Since 2020, eminent and renowned actor Paresh Rawal has served as Chairman of the NSD.

It is a self-governing body that runs under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of the Indian government. The Sangeet Natak Akademi took the initiative to found the National School of Drama in 1959, and it became an autonomous educational institution in 1975.

What is the National School of Drama [NSD]?

The National School of Drama is one of the world's most prestigious theatre training institutes, and it is India's only one of its kind. It is an autonomous organisation under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. This educational school is fully financially supported by India's Ministry of Culture. The school's curriculum is intense and rigorous.

The training process is carried forward by a thorough, encyclopedic, and meticulously structured syllabus. The highly diverse syllabus covers every facet of theatre. The comprehensive approach of the syllabus helps the learners connect theoretical aspects by executing repeated practice.

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National School of Drama [NSD] History

In 1955, Sangeet Natak Akademi presented a draught plan in Delhi proposing a central institution for theatre. Later, Sangeet Natak Akademi took over the Asian Theatre Institute in 1958, which was originally set up by UNESCO and Bharatiya Natya Sangh. The government of India went forward by integrating the two eminent institutions to establish the National School of Drama in 1959. The first batch successfully completed their training at this acting school in 1961. The initial location of the institution was situated at Nizamuddin West. 

The theatre training institute gained autonomy in 1975 and shifted its academic system to the Bahawalpur House. Some eminent acting personalities who serve as notable alumni of the institution include Jaya Seal Ghosh, Pankaj Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Santanu Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Om Puri, etc.

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Important Facts Regarding National School of Drama [NSD]

  • CEOWORLD Magazine of the United States placed NSD 14th among the greatest acting schools in the world in 2019.
  • It is one of the most influential institutions working to preserve and promote the 13 intangible cultural heritage (ICH) components from India that have been recognized on UNESCO's Representative List of Humanity's Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • <li">The Repertory Company, founded in 1964, has been serving seamlessly over the years as NSD's professional performance division.
  • Over 120 plays have been presented by the Repertory Company on several continents. The plays are built on the works of approximately 70 playwrights. This opportunity has given approximately 50 directors the opportunity to showcase their artistry and excellence across the globe. 

The National School of Drama is looking forward to expanding its artistic ventures and establishing more acting schools across the nation. Paresh Rawal, the current chairman of NSD, has already made a proclamation on it.

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FAQs on the National School of Drama [NSD]

Q.1. Where did the National School of Drama [NSD] extend its first provincial branch? 

The first provincial branch of the National School of Drama was established in Bangalore, in 1994.

Q.2. Is the National School of Drama designated as a ‘deemed university" by the government?

The Indian government designated the NSD as a deemed university on March 16, 2005. However, the NSD Association requested that the deemed university accreditation be abolished in 2010, claiming that it could jeopardise specialised training and flexible adaptability in the creative industry. As a result, the government officially ended its deemed registration in October 2011.

Q.3. Which candidates are considered eligible for admission to the National School of Drama [NSD]?

The candidates have to be at least 18 years of age and not more than 30 to apply for admission to the National School of Drama [NSD].

Q.4. What are the admission fees for the National School of Drama?

The admission fees for the National School of Drama are Rs. 50/-.

Q.5. How many seats are there in the National School of Drama course?

There are 26 seats in the National School of Drama course.