The Bangalore Centre of the Indian Statistical
Institute was conceived by Prof.P.C.Mahalanobis during 1960s, even when the city was emerging as a
centre of science. It is a tribute to his foresight that the
Institute is now well-established in one of the most vibrant
scientific communities in Asia.
With the Statistical
Quality Control unit functioning in Bangalore from 1956, and
Documentation Research and training Centre from 1962, Professor
Mahalanobis thought of starting a centre of ISI around the
mid-sixties. The presence of several national institutes of
higher learning, the salubrious climate and the growing metropolitan
culture must have prompted him to consider this possibility.
In 1966, Govt. of Karnataka granted ISI 30 acres of forest land full
of eucalyptus trees, next to the upcoming Bangalore University on
Mysore Road, at a token price.
However, Professor Mahalanobis did not live
long enough to see the realisation of his dream. Due to the
difficult times that ISI went through after professor's death in
1972, the project of establishing Bangalore was temporarily shelved.
It was left to Professor Kallianpur, the Director of ISI
during 1976-78, to revive the idea, make concrete proposals to the
Government of India and get grants for the development of the land
already in possession of the Institute and the construction of an
Academic Block with space for a library and offices.
In the meantime, a building was rented on
Church Street, in the heart of the city, and started the activities
of the Bangalore Centre in September 1978. The Statistics and
Mathematics Unit (SMU) was established. The Statistical Quality
Control (SQC) Unit and Documentation Research and Training Centre
(DRTC), which were functioning from other rented buildings at that
time came to constitute the new Centre. The Economic Analysis Unit
(EAU) was established.
With the completion of the construction of the
Administrative Block, the various units moved to the new campus in
May 1985. However, it was only in September 1996, the Bangalore
Centre was formally declared as a Centre of ISI. With the
increasing faculty strength, computer and library facilities the
Bangalore Centre has by now became an institution well-known for its
academic activities in Mathematics and Statistics, Statistical
Quality Control and Operations Research, Library and Information
Science, and Quantitative Economics.