The Institute was originally established in June 1960, as a joint venture between the Indian Government and the Government of Maharashtra as Visvesvaraya Regional Engineering College (VRCE). VRCE was later changed into 'Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology' and awarded University by the Department of Secondary & Higher Education on 26th June 2002. But however as on 15th August 2007 VNIT and other NITs are no longer esteemed to this status as all NITs have been declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Government of India under the NIT Act. VNIT has been awarded with independence in financial and administrative matters to help achieve rapid development. The institute is managed under the capable sight of an independent Board of Governors with representatives from the Central Government, State Government, AICTE, UGC, teaching faculty, industrialists and technologists.
The Institute has a total campus area of about 214 acres (866,000 m²) near the Ambazari Lake; with a distance of about 8 km. from the Nagpur Railway Station and 7 km. from Nagpur Airport. All the departments and laboratories, with extensive research and testing facilities, are housed on the academic block. Then there is also an Auditorium, a Computer Center, Sporting Facilities, a Hospital, a Post & Telegraph Center, a branch of the State Bank of India with ATM facility, a Canteen, a coffee-shop, and a co-op store. There is also a 40 years old library of the institute which houses about a hundred thousand books. A new digital library is also being constructed with the aim of gaining access to online journals and technology related websites.
There are in total 9 hostels, 7 for boys and 2 for girls. Each hostel is well equipped with facilities like entertainment like television, sports stuffs etc, housekeeping, sports, mess and excellent internet facilities. Each hostel also has telephone, water- coolers and water-heaters, and a excellent mess facility. There is also provision for residential accommodation for teaching and non teaching staff of the Institute. It is compulsory for the hostel inmates to join the mess in his / her hostel. The hostels are managed by a committee of students' representatives with the Chief Warden presiding after the management of the hostels along with a team of seven wardens and Hostel Manager.
- Applied Chemistry Department
- Applied Mathematics Department
- Applied Mechanics Department
- Applied Physics Department
- Architecture & Planning Department
- Civil Engineering Department
- Electrical Engineering Department
- Electronics Engineering Department
- Humanities Department
- Computer Science Engineering Department
- Mechanical Engineering Department
- Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department
- Mining Engineering Department
- Chemical Engineering Department
Extracurricular activities ranks high on the college which also includes participation in NCC, NSS, SPIC MACAY club, The Quiz Pro Co., Thalassemia Awareness Society, Photography and Adventure club, IEEE Students' Chapter and ACM Student Chapter. The college also has a very vigorous music club with amateur rock bands like Vighn, Saints of Metal, Rust, and Drakshya and also a classical group called Hamsdhwani part of it. "Aarohi", is the Cultural Festival of VNIT and "Axis" is the Technical Festival of VNIT. Then there is the "QuizFest", a Quizzing Festival.