Nehru Museum of Science & Technology is located at the Hijli Detention camp building, now named as Hijli Saheed Bhavan. According to history, this building was constructed almost a century ago to house the district headquarters of proposed Hijli district but never used for that purpose. In early 1930-s, this building was converted to a detention camp for the Indian political prisoners. Thereafter in 1942 the US air force, as a part of the allied forces, took over the building for use as their headquarter and radio control unit for their air squadron. Soon after, the ideas for the establishment of a Higher Technical Institute germinated with the creation of the first of the Indian Institutes of Technology in 1951 at the same premises.
Considering the historical importance of the "Old Hijli Detention Camp", Prof K. L. Chopra, Director of I.I.T. Kharagpur from 1987 to 1997, took the initiative to house in it a museum to preserve the history of the building and for the popularisation of science and technology. A task force to look after the museum establishment was constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. G.L. Sinha in 1989. Members of this committee included dedicated teachers of the institute like Prof. S. T. H. Abidi and Prof. (Smt.) Mandakini Majumdar, who took major initiatives in establishing and development of the museum in its initial years. In tune with the Nehru centenary celebrations in 1990, the museum was named after Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. On 1st July 1990 the Board of Governors, I.I.T. Kharagpur gave approval of the Management Committee to run the museum. The doors of the Museum were formally opened to the public by Mr. Russi Modi (the then Chairman, BOG) on August 3, 1990. The Nehru Museum of Science & Technology is the only museum of its kind in the entire IIT System. Located in the historic Hijli Shaheed Bhavan building, it preserves the rich heritage of its association with the Indian freedom struggle movement and subsequently the journey of IIT Kharagpur from its inception in 1951. With the financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, a part of the museum has been renovated thoroughly in 2014 while the other part is under renovation and will be reopened soon.
The Nehru Museum of Science & Technology completed 25 years of its existence in 2016. In keeping with the spirit, a museum development fund received from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, was utilized to renovate some of the galleries of the Museum. Though this work is still ongoing, a section of the museum has been attractively renovated with the help of the National Council of Science Museums and is drawing a large crowd of visitors each day since its opening in September 2014. The main attractions of these galleries are as follows:
Apart from the science galleries of the museum, it also houses several other resources and artifacts which have their own significance, such as: