The ARID ZONE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION OF INDIA (AZRAI) was established in 1962 with an aim to bring the researchers working on arid zone problems under one umbrella. Since its inception, the Association is functioning from Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, India. The Association publishes research journal, Annals of Arid Zone. The first issue of the journal was published in 1963. The first Executive of AZRAI had late Dr. C. P. Bhimaya as its Chairman and Drs. D. K. Misra, R. N. Kaul as the Vice Chairman and Secretary.
The Association periodically organizes conferences to provide a forum to scientists from all over the world, to exchange and share their experiences on problems related to arid zones. AZRAI organized first major symposium on world famous Thar desert on the theme "Problems of Indian Arid Zone" from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, 1964. Over 125 Scientists attended the Symposium and 86 papers were presented in 10 sessions. Father H. Santapau and Mr. C. S. Christian delivered evening lectures. In February (14-18) 1978 an International Symposium was organized at Jodhpur which was inaugurated by renowned Agricultural Scientist and the then Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. The symposium was attended by number of national and international scientists including Dr. M. K. Tolba, Executive Director, UNEP, Dr. M. Vannucci (UNESCO), Prof. M. Kassas (Egypt), Prof. J. A. Mabbutt (Australia), Prof. Randall Baker (UK), Dr. Warren (UK), Dr. P. R. Pisharoty and Dr. K. S. Sankhala. In February (6-10) 1989 the Association organized an international symposium on "Managing Sandy Soils". 167 delegates from all over the globe attended the symposium.
Besides these the Association has been active in organizing many national symposia which include "Recent advances in the Management of Arid Ecosystem" (March, 3-5 1997), "Impact of Human Activities on Thar Desert Environment" (Feb. 15-17 2001) and "Livelihood Security and diversified Farming Systems in Arid Regions" (Feb. 14-16 2006). AZRAI also organizes brain storming sessions and penal discussions at periodic intervals. AZRAI hopes to attain new heights and strive to serve the humanity with the active support of researchers and dedicated members.