History of IRIA

Indian Radiology

Though Prof. W.C. Roentgen discovered the mysterious X-ray on 8th November, 1895, it is difficult to be sure as to when and where the first X-ray machine was installed in India. The late Dr. K.P. Mody had mentioned, in his editorial in the Indian Journal of Radiology & Imaging, in 1956 that the first X-ray machine was imported by a chemist in 1902 into India; that was only 7 years after the discovery.

New Delhi became the capital of India in 1912. It appears that, in Delhi the first X-ray machine was installed at Lady Hardinge Hospital in 1918, and a chair in radiology was established in 1923 at the Lady Hardinge Medical College & Hospital. After World War I, the government established a dispensary with X-ray facilities somewhere near Jama Masjid. Rai Bahadur Hari Ram started private practice in radiology along with his general practice in 1932, but exclusive radiology practice was started by Dr. S.C Sen in 1933 who later became a founder member of the Indian Radiological Association (IRA). He had a 150 mA unit. Dr. Sen claimed two other “firsts” to his credit. He started deep X-ray therapy in New Delhi in 1935 with a 180 kv machine and also started group practice.

Radiology in North India further evolved at the time of partition in 1947, when a large number of medical practitioners including radiologists migrated to Delhi from Pakistan. Some of the prominent radiologists among them were Dr. Diwan Chand Agarwal, Dr. R K Handa, Dr. R.C. Goulatia, Dr. R.M. Sharma and Dr. Roshan Lal. Dr. D.C. Agarwal had been one of the leading radiologists in Lahore since 1927. This remarkable man laid down the foundation of a modern X-ray clinic in Delhi.

Similar advancements were taking place in the southern, western and eastern parts of India and Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta grew in stature. The Barnard Institute of Radiology was established in Chennai and many radiologists who could not go abroad for training, went to Madras for their post-graduate studies.

behind.  Postgraduate diplomas and degrees were started gradually in all the medical colleges in the country.

Earlier machines were single phase self rectified X-ray machines with air-cooled rectified valves with cones and cylinders. The tables were mechanically or manually operated with crude spot film devices, etc. One was lucky to get access to a 200 or 300 mA unit. In Delhi, upto 1952, Irwin Hospital and lady Hardinge Medical college had the only well-equipped radiology departments while Safdarjung Hospital languished only one 100 mA unit. At present, there are scores of well-equipped departments in Government and public institutions and there are over thousand of private clinics. Similarly, all the metropolitan cities have scores of well-equipped centers. It appears that there are about ten thousand 500 mA units in India today” 100-500 mA units are about 30,000 and less than 100 mA units may be about 20,000. The annual demand for conventional X-ray machines is in the vicinity of 1500 (though it appears that demand is going down). There are about 350 CT scanners all over the country with a demand of about 50 per annum. There are about 50 MRI scanners and the anticipated demand is 20 per year.  
Formation of Indian Radiological Association
Dr. Ajit Mohan Bose and Dr. Subodh Mitra founded the Indian Radiological Association in Calcutta in 1931 and the first meeting was held on 21 April 1931. It used to meet as a section of the Indian Medical Association. The IRA was registered in March 1937 with the registrar of Joint Stock Companies, Bengal with a mere 24 members. There was lull in the activities of the IRIA during World War II. Immediately after, Dr. P Rama Rao and Dr. K.M. Rai revived the association at Chennai. From 1946, the association took a firm hold and started as a coherent, cogent and cohesive association. Since then, there has been no looking back and the IRA has grown from strength. From 24 members in 1931, it now has around 18500 members. Keeping with the times, the name was changed to Indian Radiology & Imaging Association. In April 1932, the Eighth session of Indian Medical Association was held and the Indian Radiological Association met as the Radiological section of I.M.A. under the chairmanship of Dr. M.D. Joshi and during his speech, Dr. Joshi stressed the need for sound radiological education in India.  In 1934, once again the radiologists met at a sectional meeting of the Conference of IMA, held at Bombay with Dr. K. P. Mody in the Chair. In March 1937, the Indian Radiological Association was registered under Act XXI of 1860, with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, Bengal Registration No. 6644 (1936-37) with a total membership strength of 24. During the war years, the activities of the association declined and came almost to standstill, but in 1940, there were sincere attempts to revive the Association and to hold the First Indian Congress of Radiology at Calcutta.  Somehow, this attempt was not a success; yet, due to the vigorous and ceaseless efforts of Dr. P. Rama Rao, Dr. Santhan Krishnan Pillai and Dr. K.M. Rai of Madras, the activities were once again resumed, and it was indeed the rebirth (re-incarnation) of the Association. The first Annual Congress of Radiology was held in 1946 at Madras under the Presidentship of Dr. M.D. Joshi and Secretary Dr. P. Rama Rao. At that time there were 130 members of the association.  Gradually, there was extension of the Association to other states and a wide network of state branches and chapters was formed.  As the country gained independence in 1947, there was a spurt in the scientific activities in all fields and radiology was not to lag behind.  Postgraduate diplomas and degrees were started gradually in all the medical colleges in the country.
Indian Radiological & Imaging Association
The ‘Indian Radiological & Imaging Association’ is a registered society with the aim to promote the study and practice of diagnostic radiological and imaging modalities, to educate practicing radiologists of the latest developments in the field of radiology, imaging and radiation medicine, to promote medical research in the said field and to propagate, impart and adopt methods of community welfare. It is a national level body having over 20,500 radiologists from all over India as its members. IRIA was registered in the year 1937 under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860.
Aims and Objects:
The Aims and Objects are the Indian Radiological & Imaging Association’ are: 
  • “To promote the study, practice of diagnostic radiological and imaging modalities including X-ray, Ultrasound, C.T., M.R.I., PET CT/MRI and other imaging modalities, Radio-Biology, Radiation Medicine, Molecular Imaging and Interventional Radiology and other related sub specialties/super specialties.
  • The Association its official journal, and Indian College of Radiology & Imaging shall be and non profitable organization for promotion of Radio-Diagnosis, Ultrasound, C.T., M.R.I, PET CT/MRI and other imaging modalities, Radio-Biology, Radiation Medicine, Molecular Imaging and Interventional Radiology and other related sub specialties/super specialties.
  • To protect and preserve the interest and welfare of members.
  • To assist and advise Government and non-Government agencies in matters pertain to radiology and medical diagnostic imaging.
  • To propagate, impart and adopt methods for community welfare.”
The aims and objects of IRIA revolves around health care inasmuch as our activities are directed towards continuous improvement of diagnostic standards in the country by informing the doctors about the latest developments in the field of radiology, imaging and radiation medicine and to stimulate research activities in this area. 


The Change in the Name of Association

It was felt rightly that there has been tremendous change in the modalities of Imaging all over the world and our Association must effectively reflect by naming a name which will speak for itself.  Therefore, the ‘Indian Radiological Association’ became the ‘Indian Radiological & Imaging Association’. The Journal and the College were also renamed accordingly IJRI and ICRI.