Diabetes mellitus is reaching potentially epidemic proportions in India. The level of morbidity and mortality due to diabetes and its potential complications are enormous, and pose significant healthcare burdens on both families and society. Worryingly, diabetes is now being shown to be associated with a spectrum of complications and to be occurring at a relatively younger age within the country. In India, the steady migration of people from rural to urban areas, the economic boom, and corresponding change in life-style are all affecting the level of diabetes. Yet despite the increase in diabetes there remains a paucity of studies investigating the precise status of the disease because of the geographical, socio-economic, and ethnic nature of such a large and diverse country. Given the disease is now highly visible across all sections of society within India, there is now the demand for urgent research and intervention - at regional and national levels - to try to mitigate the potentially catastrophic increase in diabetes that is predicted for the upcoming years.