NIFS - Then and Now

Going Strong Since 1981

The Institute of Fundamental Studies(IFS) was established in September, 1981 by Parliament Act No. 55. One of the objectives was to move the country forward from the developing stage to one of greatly advanced productivities. The Institute shifted its location from Colombo to Kandy on the 4th of December, 1985. It was the first step towards building a scientific community, first in the area around Kandy and then throughout Sri Lanka with links to the foremost centres of research in all parts of the world.

Some of the milestones of our Institute include:

  • The School Science Programme (SSP) continued even today, was inaugurated on 28th of February, 1987 by the Hon. Mr.E L Ekanayake.
  • The Institute received its first major grant in 1987. The Government of Japan provided a grant of 5.7 million US dollars to equip IFS laboratories. This was the first time a major grant of this nature was provided to an Institute in Sri Lanka. The laboratories were inaugurated by H E the President J R Jayawardene in 1988.
  • The first residential Science Camp was held from the 11th to 15th of August, 1988.
  • In 1988, the Institute was gifted with a Zen Garden from C-Itoh Co. This Zen Garden is perhaps the only one of its kind ever to be built outside of Japan.
  • Mr. Sam Popham,  a retired Brititsh Naval Officer in the second World War and a Ceylon Tea Planter, carefully nurtured a collection of indigenous dry zone trees and shrubs at Kandalam, Dambulla for 25 years. On the 24th of March 1989, Mr. Popham gifted the land and his unique collection of trees to the IFS to benefit the future generations of our nation.
  • In 1992, H E the President R Premadasa visited IFS for the first Board Meeting as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Institute to be held in Kandy.
  • A much needed greenhouse was constructed in 1993. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) , Canada and the BADC provided funds for its construction.
  • The name of the Institute was changed to National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) Sri Lanka by Parliament Act No. 25 of 2014.