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The genesis of National Archives of India can be traced to the report of Sandeman, the Civil Auditor who had stressed the need of relieving the offices of congestion by the destruction of the papers of routine nature and transfer of all valuable records to a ‘Grand Central Archive’.
In 1889 Professor G.W. Forrest of Elphinstone College, Bombay entrusted the job of examining the records of the Foreign Department of the Government of India made a strong plea for transferring all records of the administration of East India Company to a Central Repository
This led to the establishment of Imperial Records Department (IRD) on 11 March 1891 in the Imperial Secretariat Building at Calcutta (Kolkata).
In 1911 the IRD was shifted to Delhi. After the Independence, the government of India rechristened IRD as the National Archives of India with Director of Archives as its head and in the year 1990 the office of the Director of Archives was re-designated as Director General of Archives.
At present National Archives of India is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.