Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, one of the prestigious, oldest and minority institution of Northern India, was established under the aegis of Nankana Sahib Education Trust (NSET) in 1956. NSET was founded in memory of the most sacred temple of Nankana Sahib, birth place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar, a premier organization of universal brotherhood, which is the main force behind the mission of "Removal of Economic Backwardness through Technology" and NSET with the same mission, established a Polytechnic in 1953 and Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) in 1956. The Trust deed was registered on 24th February 1953 with a commitment by Nankana Sahib Education Trust to uplift the vast weaker section of Indian polity comprising Rural India by admitting 70% students every year from Rural Areas. This commitment was made to the nation on 8th April, 1956 and foundation stone of the College was laid by Late Dr. Rajendra Prasad Ji, the First President of India.

The College was affiliated with Punjab University, Chandigarh since its inception. On establishment of Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, since 1997 the college is affiliated with it, which is now known as I.K.Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKGPTU). The College courses are approved by All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi. This is the first Engineering College of Punjab, which was conferred Autonomous Status by University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi in 2012 under section 2(f) and 12(B) of UGC Act 1956. Most of the undergraduate courses are accredited by National Board of Accreditation about 3 times since 2004. The college is accredited with ‘A” Grade by NAAC, UGC. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has accredited this college twice for placement purpose. The college is also ISO 9001-2015 Certified.

MHRD, Govt. of India sanctioned Rs. 10 Crores for Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP-II) to this College and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) also sanctioned Rs. 1 Crores under FIST Programme for carrying out the research activities. MHRD has granted Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP-III) also.

GNDEC remains overall sports champion of IKG Punjab Technical University. IKGPTU declared GNDEC Best Engineering college in year 2011 and 2012 & 2014 for excellent placements amongst all its affiliated colleges. There is one N.C.C. Company in the institution attached with 3 Pb., Bn N.C.C. (Boy Cadets = 79, Girl Cadet = 27, total of 106 Cadets. Three and a half units of N.S.S. having a total of 350 volunteers have been allotted by IKGPTU to provide opportunities to the students for Social Services in various fields like blood donation, plantation, cleanliness etc. However a total of more than 1000 volunteers are enrolled in NSS in the College each academic year. FM Radio Station has been established after sanction by Govt. of India for educating the general public.

The College has been ranked consistently within first 50 engineering colleges of the country which includes IITs and NITs by different independent national agencies like India Today, Outlook, CSR, Star TV etc. since 2006. The College is in the Rank Band of 200-250 in NIRF Ranking 2021.

GNDEC runs seven Engineering Branches (Civil Engg., Mech. Engg, Elect.Engg., Electronics & Comm. Engg. Computer Sc. & Engg,, Information Technology, Mech. Engg. (Production), BCA, BBA, Architecture at UG level and 11 PG level courses including MBA, MCA. It also runs PG Diplomas. The college has Ph.D in all Engineering Branches and it is a QIP Centre under AICTE for Ph.D in streams viz. Civil Engg., Mech. Engg. Electrical Engineering. Nearly 30,000 Graduates and 7500 Post Graduates have passed out from this college and are at present successfully employed on high profile jobs in India & abroad making their alma mater proud of them.