Three great disciples of tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, namely Sant Bhai Pheru Singh Ji, Sant Bhai Punjab Singh Ji and Sant Bhai Rocha Singh Ji who had been baptized at the pious hands of the 10th Guru, were ordained by him to make the hilly State of Jammu & Kashmir as their area of service to humanity in accordance with tenets of Sikhism. These three great souls travelled, one after another, through nook and corner of the hill state, reaching the farthest villages and preaching the message of Guru Nanak Dev Ji – Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the message of love, universal brotherhood, oneness of God and service of humanity. By great efforts of these three great Saints a very large number of people from Jammu & Kashmir got attracted towards teachings of Sikh Gurus and adopted Sikh way of life. So, the fourth missionary in succession, Sant Bhai Mela Singh Ji, felt the need of establishing a centre of activity wherefrom the preaching would be carried out throughout the year, day and night, and where people could assemble on special occasions to deliberate on matters of common interest. He established this centre, calling it a DERA (Abode) at village Nangali on a stream Drungly, 5 km off Poonch Town in the year 1803 AD. Right from its inception the place automatically acquired a reverence and came to be known as SHIROMANI SANT PURA DERA NANGALI SAHIB. This Dera has been visited by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1814. Maharaja Gulab Singh and almost all of his successors, held th
e Dera in high esteem. Many Indian and foreign dignitaries and thousands of devotees from all corners of the world and from all faiths have been visiting the Dera. Even during these days it stands as the most sacred place of Sikhs of Jammu & Kashmir who feel privileged to pay a visit to this holy place. Sant Manna Singh Ji succeeded Sant Bhai Mela Singh Ji on the seat of the Dera in 1854 AD and thereafter Sant Bhai Mangal Singh Ji, Sant Bhai Rattan Singh Ji, Sant Bhai Avtar Singh Ji, Sant Bhai Rattan Singh Ji Modi, Sant Bhai Mohar Singh Ji and Sant Bhai Mangal Singh Ji came to occupy one after another this pious and most respected seat. All these great people preached love and sacrifice for the sake of humanity and became models of simple living and high thinking through religious sermons. In 1947, the then missionary of the Dera, Mahant Bachittar Singh Ji (1945 – 1991) felt the need of establishing a sub centre of the Dera at Jammu. This was because more than 90% Hindu-Sikh population from Poonch, Muzzafrabad and Kashmir areas got uprooted and resettled at various places in Jammu Province. A suitable stretch of land was purchased at Digiana, at about 3 km on NH-1A from Jammu and Sant Mela Singh Technical Ashram (Ashram = Shelter for the needy), established there. Since then, the Digiana Ashram has remained a nerve centre for socio religious-cum-economic-educational activities of the Sikh minority in Jammu & Kashmir. From here Late Mahant Bachittar Singh Ji planned, organized and got constructed many boarding schools and colleges in Baramulla, Tral and Jammu besides helping the Hindus & Sikhs of the State in their esettlement efforts. Towards late 80’s when competition for seats in technical institutions became very intense, well deserving students from this community could not find more than 4–5 seats out of 150-300 seats filled by J&K Government every year
. Moreover, he felt that chances of honourable life in the twenty first century were likely to become available only to those who were technically qualified. He initiated the programme of establishing an Engineering College as a Minority Institution. Before he could implement his programme, he left for his heavenly abode in Nov. 1991. The mission was taken up by his successor, Sant Manjit Singh with great zest, zeal and utmost devotion. The community came forward to support him. The project, though initiated in 1993, got final approval of J&K Govt. in 1998 and that of AICTE in 1999. The college has obtained affiliation with University of Jammu in July 1999. Its first phase started with the admission of first batch in October 1999-2000.