Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of indica rice has been established in only a limited number of cultivars because the regeneration of plants from transformed embryogenic calli is highly cultivar-specific. Establishment of a highly efficient plant regeneration system from shoot apex explants applicable to many cultivars of indica rice will accelerate the application of transformation technology in breeding programs and functional genomics study. We established an efficient shoot multiplication and plant regeneration system from shoot apices of indica rice using thidiazuron (TDZ) as a plant growth regulator. Shoot apices cultured on MS basal medium devoid of plant growth regulators formed solitary shoots in 90% of cultures. Addition of TDZ or benzylaminopurine to regeneration medium significantly influenced formation of multiple shoots directly from shoot apex explants without an intervening callus stage. Best shoot proliferation response (10.3 shoots per explant) was recorded when shoot apices were cultured on media supplemented with 4 mg/l TDZ. No synergistic effect on shoot proliferation was observed when indole-3-acetic acid and indole-3-butyric acid were supplemented to media containing 4 mg/l TDZ. The regeneration system was efficient in evoking multiple shoot proliferation in eight different cultivars of indica rice. Shoots were rooted in MS basal medium and plantlets were acclimatized with 100% survival rate. The shoot apex explants of all the eight cultivars of indica rice were found competent to Agrobacterium-mediated transformation while explants from IR-64 showed highest transient GUS expression. This variety-independent transformation amenable regeneration system from shoot apices may widely be applicable for genetic transformation of indica varieties.