The National Geotechnical Facility (NGF) in India was officially inaugurated by high level officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology and Norwegian Minister for Research, Tora Aasland on the 2nd of February 2011. The idea of setting up a NGF in India came up when the Indian Science and Technology Minister, Shri Kapil Sibal, visited NGI in Oslo during November 2006.
The opening of a National Geotechnical Facility (NGF) in India is the result of an extensive cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), supported by the Research Council of Norway. The Norwegian Minister for Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, mentioned during the inauguration that "-Creating a National Geotechnical Facility is important for India and will contribute to its development, especially considering the present and planned major infrastructure projects throughout the country".
NGF has the potential of providing input to the conception, analysis and maintenance of large infrastructure projects, such as hydropower dams, oil and gas installations, and the expansion of rail and road communication links throughout India while protecting the population against the effects of natural hazards.
Initially NGF was functioning from IIS&M Campus, Hyderabad, finally NGF started functioning from “Poonch House”, 11-C Circular Road, Dehradun.
Dr. Swarna Subba Rao, Surveyor General of India; Maj Gen (Dr.) R. Sivakumar, CEO NSDI; Dr. Suzanne Lacasse, Managing Director, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI); Tora Aasland, Norwegian Minister for Research; Ann Ollestad, Ambassador, Norwegian Embassy in India; Dr. Rajinder Bhasin and Shri O.P. Tripathi were present during the inauguration event.
During the inauguration event Tora Aasland also presented NGI's "Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)" to DST, in appreciation of its excellent cooperation with many Norwegian organizations. She wished DST all the best for continued and fruitful technical cooperation with Norway and Norwegian institutions.