Guru Nanak Dev University was established at Amritsar on November 24, 1969 to mark the 500th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It is both a residential and an affiliating university. In conceiving the future course of the University, the objectives enshrined in the Guru Nanak Dev University Act 1969, emphasised that the new University would make provision for imparting education and promoting research in the humanities, learned professions, sciences, especially of applied nature and technology
The University is successfully catering to twenty thousand students in various faculties at University Campuses and Constituent Colleges. Guru Nanak Dev University is the first University of the region which introduced on-line admissions to its courses, on-line counselling for State Level Admissions and Credit Based Evaluation System. All the results have been computerized and OMR (Optical Magnetic Recognition) system is being used to bring in more efficiency and transparency. It is again first for any University in the region to have computerized it examination and registration system. The students now have an all time access to their results through SMS service.
The University has risen to 16th rank in the top 50 universities of the country, as per recent survey conducted by 'India Today' and has achieved 11th Position, out of the 500 universities, in Publications in science. The University has won the highest sports Award in the country, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, for a record of 21 times. The university has won National Championship in Inter-University Youth Festivals in the year 2012. The University has been National Champion for 8 times. The University has also won the North Zone Inter-University Cultural Championship for the 12 times this year.
Studies and research on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak, in addition to working towards the promotion of Punjabi language and spreading education among educationally backward classes and communities were the other commitments. In consonance with these expectations, the University in its eventful history of 43 years has taken long strides in spreading the message of the Guru and promoting education in such fields as Science, Arts, Management, Information Technology, Industrial Technology, Environment, Planning and Architecture. To fulfill its commitment, the tuitions fee charged from the students of the departments of Guru Nanak Studies and the School of Punjabi Studies has been waived. This year, this University is declared University with Potential for Excellence by University Grants Commission, New Delhi to establish Centres of Advance Studies in Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Sciences and Comparative Literature. The University is accredited with a CGPA of 3.5 out of 4 with 'A' Grade, highest for any University by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council and Academic Staff College of the University placed at 12th rank by NAAC, Bengaluru.
The motto of the University as engraved on its emblem Guru's wisdom illumines all speaks of the vision and idealism for which the University stands. Spread over a stretch of 500 acres towards the west of the City, Guru Nanak Dev University presents a picture of modern architecture. Traditional red brick geometrical blocks represent its regard for time-honoured values and commitment to scientific advancement. Making its humble beginning in an annexe of the adjoining Khalsa College, the University today boasts of 35 academic departments at the University Campus and 148 affiliated colleges and 71 Associate Institutes, most are situated in the rural areas, but a large area is still beyond the reach of the rural poor. It has been the effort of the University to be proactive in its reach to the rural masses. Starting of Rural Colleges in Chung, Mithra, Verka, Narot Jaimal Singh and Patti under the Punjab Govt./UGC scheme at a cost of Rs. 1.5 Crore for each college; and two Regional Campuses - one at Sathiala (with cost of Rs. 9 Crore for the Centre and 5 Crore for Hostel) and Fattu Dhinga (Sultanpur Lodhi), Distt. Kapurthala. Introduction of New professional courses in Shaheed Ram Singh Pathania Memorial University College, Niari, the constituent college of the University. All this shows the concern of the University for the upliftment of rural backward areas
The University has succeeded in creating a niche for itself in the country over comparatively shorter period of time. It was in acknowledgment of our strengths that we have had the honour to host the 28th North Zone Inter-University Zonal Youth Festival 'Guldasta' under the aegis of Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India. University also hosted 4-day International Conference sponsored by Indian Academy of Neurosciences: Unraveling Mysteries of Brain in Health and Disease.
The University has endeavored to reach out to the rural poor, with the launch of an organization named the Progressive Education Society to help and train children from poor families of the rural Punjab, and to equip them to crack IIT-JEE and other national tests. The students undergo their studies for plus one and plus two classes at the Khalsa College Public School. They are getting this training without paying a single penny. The society financed by the Govt. and other sources takes care of all the needs of these students.
We are continuously adding to the infrastructure to promote various sports activities on the campus. A new synthetic turf was laid for hockey and a new Velodrome conforming to international standards is recently inaugurated by Sardar Sikandar Singh Maluka, Minister of Higher Education and Languages of Punjab. We are aware of our rich cultural heritage which is getting in to oblivion at a fast pace. A heritage village is being constructed for a show case of our rich cultural heritage in on an 11 acre piece of land.
In the field of Science and Technology our University is one of the leading institutions in North India. Our faculty members have bagged prestigious projects from the apex bodies like the DOT, CSIR, BARC and other organizations worth crores of rupees. Recently BARC has established a Nodal Calibration Centre at the campus. This is one of the four centres established all over the country. The University has purchased instruments worth 70 crore under different schemes. Track record of employment of our students by big business Houses and Multi National Companies has been very satisfactory. Our students of engineering and commerce field are employed by companies in India and abroad. They are all contributing to the credit worthiness of the University by their hard work and diligence. In the last year alone, almost all our Engineering students were recruited by various companies through campus placements.