In 1966 the Tribhuvan University Syndicate conceived a plan to establish Institute of Nepalology (Nepal Adhyan Sansthan) with a view to facilitating studies on Nepali History, Culture, Art, Religion, Tantra, Language, Literature etc. and reflect the real picture of Nepal both at national and international levels. In 1968, it was named Institute of Nepal Studies (INS), and it began to function from 1969 with the formation of subcommittees of History, Culture, Nepali, Literature and Sanskrit.
On July 16, 1972, Institute of Nepal Studies was renamed Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies (INAS) with the addition of Anthropology and Sociology to its research area according to the provision of Tribhuvan University (TU) Act 1971. A British Professor was appointed to train fresh, young M.A students of Anthropology and Sociology. The Post Graduate Program in Linguistics (with the collaboration of Summer Institute of Linguistics) and M.A Degree Program by dissertation in Anthropology/Sociology were also introduced. On September 8, 1977, INAS was converted into Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS) withdrawing its degree- awarding program.
The Centre functions under the Executive Director who is both academic and administrative Head