The institute was established in 1963 as Malaviya Regional Engineering College (MREC), as a joint venture of the government of India and Government of Rajasthan.[1] It was named after Madan Mohan Malaviya. V.G. Garde was its first principal.[citation needed] The institute originally functioned from a temporary campus at Pilani and admitted 30 students each in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.[citation needed] The college moved to the present campus to Jaipur in 1965.[citation needed]

It used to offer five-year Bachelor of Engineering programmes in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering. The duration of the B.E. Degree Course was changed to four years from 1983.[citation needed]

The institute was upgraded to a National Institute of Technology and was declared a Deemed University on 26 June 2002 and since then the institute started offering Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree instead of Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree.[citation needed]

On 15 August 2007, MNIT and all other NITs were declared Institutes of National Importance by the government of India under the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007.[6] The institute is now under The Ministry of Human Resource and Development, New Delhi. It has been selected to participate in the Technical Education Quality Improvement Program of the government of India and the World Bank.[7]

MNIT celebrated its Golden Jubilee foundation year in 2013.