The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies was set up at the joint initiative of the Government of India, Department of culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Government of West Bengal. Registered as a Society under the West Bengal Registration of Societies' Act of 1961, with Prof. Nurul Hasan, the then Governor of West Bengal, as the President of the Society on the 4th of January 1993. It is funded by the Department of culture, Government of India. Presently, His Excellency, Governor of West Bengal, is the President of the Society. An acre of land in Bidhannagar (Salt Lake City), Kolkata, was allotted to the Institute by the Government of West Bengal for building the Institutes campus.