National Instructional Media Institute (NIMI) was set up in the name of Central Instructional Media Institute (CIMI) in Chennai in December 1986 by the Government of India as a Subordinate Office under Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGE&T) with the assistance from Government of Germany through GTZ (German Agency for Technical Co-operation) as the executing agency.
After the approval of the Cabinet for the Grant of Autonomous status to CIMI, the Institute was registered as a society on 1st April 1999 under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975. Since then, it is functioning as an Autonomous Institute under the Govt. of India, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Directorate General of Training (DGT), New Delhi.
As per the recommendation of the Governing Council in its 5th Meeting held on 29.06.2003 under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Union Labour Minister, the institute was renamed as National Instructional Media Institute (NIMI) to reflect its National Character.