The Catalysis Society of India (CSI) was formally founded in March 1973 at Banaras with Prof. S.K. Bhattacharyya as the president and Prof. J.C. Kuriacose as the secretary. The main mandates of the CSI are to encourage catalysis research in India, to organize professional meetings between researchers, to enhance mutual interactions and to encourage cooperation between industry and academia. The growth of the membership of the CSI is a measure of the growth of catalysis research activity in the country. The present membership of the society is in excess of 750 compared to 75 in 1974. At the time of the founding of the CSI, the major centers of research in catalysis were just a handful, the IITs (Madras and Kharagpur), PDIL (Sindhri), IIP (Dehradun) and IPCL/RIL (Vadodara). Catalysis research activity has spread to many more organizations during the past 42 years. During the last three decades, the catalysis community in India has made significant strides both in applied and fundamental research. Many catalysts and processes have been developed and commercialized, notably by IIP, PDIL, IPCL/RIL, NCL, IICT and ACC in petroleum refining, petrochemicals manufacture, fertilizers production and fine chemicals synthesis. In basic research also, members of the CSI have made significant discoveries in catalysis resulting in publications in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science, Angew Chem and JACS. In catalysis education only the IITs and a few universities were active during the 1970s, whereas today Ph.D. students can be found in nearly all the aforesaid organizations and several universities.

The CSI organizes (in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi) annual workshops lasting three weeks for graduate (Ph.D.) students in catalysis. The CSI organizes national symposia and workshops on catalysis on alternate years jointly with host organizations. So far, the CSI and host organizations have jointly organized 22 national symposia and 16 workshops. These meetings are well attended with about 300–600 participants. Besides, meetings (short symposia) are also arranged by the local chapters of the society for various reasons either alone or in collaboration with other agencies/societies. All these meetings have contributed enormously to the development of catalysis research in India. Another important activity of the CSI is the publication of the Bulletin of the Catalysis Society of India (a peer reviewed open access journal) on a monthly basis. Original research articles and reviews submitted by CSI members and others are published along with news-briefs covering the activities of the individual members, organizations and zonal chapters. The bulletin acts as a window to the activities of the various research groups in India and is also a source of information on the recent happenings in catalysis research in India and abroad.

The CSI encourages catalysis research through its awards: the Prof. S. K. Bhattacharya Eminent Scientist Award for senior researchers, the Sistla Kameswari Sidhantis Young Scientist Award for those below the age of 40 years and the Prof. L. M. Yadanapalli Best Thesis Award for very young researchers. These awards are normally presented during the national symposia. The activities of the society are managed by an executive committee of nine members who are elected for a two-year term by the members. The committee members elect among themselves the office bearers of the society, i.e., the President, the General Secretary, the Treasurer and the Joint Secretary.