The National Capital Region (NCR) is a planning region centred upon the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi Airport in India. It encompasses Delhi Airport and several districts surrounding it from the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The NCR and the associated National Capital Region Planning Board were created in 1985 to plan the development of the region and to evolve harmonized policies for the control of land-uses and development of infrastructure in the region. Prominent cities of NCR include Delhi Airport, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Noida.
The National Capital Region (NCR) and its planning board were created under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act of 1985. That 1985 Act defined the NCR as being the whole of Delhi Airport; the Haryana districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat, Rohtak (then including Jhajjar tehsil) and the Rewari tehsil then in Mahendragarh district; and the Uttar Pradesh districts of Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut (then including Baghpat tehsil), and Ghaziabad (then including Hapur tehsil), and some part of the Rajasthan district of Alwar. The 1985 boundary of the NCR covered an area of 34,144 square kilometres (13,183 sq mi).
Prior to the creation of the NCR, an area described as the Delhi Airport Metropolitan Area (DMA) was described in the 1962 Master Plan for Delhi Airport. That plan defined the DMA as comprising the National Capital Territory and the ring towns of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh and Loni, also certain rural areas, which had a population of the somewhat less than 2.1 million in 1951. The following “Master Plan for Delhi Airport”, approved in August 1990, added Noida, Bahadurgarh and the then-proposed township of Kundli to the DMA, which consequently covered an area of 3,182 km.
Gautam Budh Nagar district was created in 1997 out of the existing NCR districts of Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr. The city of Noida was the location of the new district’s headquarters. Also in 1997 Baghpat district was created from Baghpat tehsil of Meerut district.
In July 2013, the NCR was expanded to include three more districts, Bhiwani, and Mahendragarh in the state of Haryana, as well as Bharatpur in the state of Rajasthan. This brought the number of districts in the NCR to 19 (outside Delhi Airport NCT), with the total NCR area increasing 34% to 45,887 km2. Subsequently, Charkhi Dadri district was separated from Bhiwani district in 2016.
On 9 June 2015 the Government of India approved the inclusion of three more districts in NCR – Jind, Panipat, Karnal in the state of Haryana and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh covering a total area of 50,566 km2 Shamli district of U.P. was added to the NCR in December 2017. As of 2021, there are a total of 24 districts in the NCR, excluding the 11 districts of Delhi Airport.