Modern academic training for theatre in India has a history of just over fifty years (since independence). The National School of Drama (NSD) was set up in 1957, but the prime objective of the institution at that time was to generate professionals to develop children's theatre and rural theatre. Although India possessed a wide range of traditional performance cultures throughout the country, from rituals to folk performances and classical performances, the NSD was modelled on the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) since the new institution was led by a graduate of RADA, Professor Ebrahim Alkazi, who put the institution on a functional track. Thus the toolkit used during the initial days was primarily based on Western models conducive to realism rather than growing organically out of the actual practices of the different forms of Indian performance. This early orientation remains today, emphasizing the creation of referential meanings on the stage through conventional methods and devices, taken as the unshakable organizing principle of theatre practice.