Dr. T.M.A Pai Polytechnic was established in 1985 to cater to the youth around Manipal-Udupi who faced difficulties to continue their education after 10th standard due to various reasons. The Polytechnic was started to provide career opportunities to these young people.

The Polytechnic is named after the great son of Udupi District Dr. T. M .A. Pai (1898-1979), Physician, Banker, Educationist and the “Maker of Modern Manipal”. The Polytechnic is managed and run by Dr. T.M.A. Pai Foundation, Manipal.

The unique experiment of starting an educational institution on a co-operative basis was the brainchild of Dr. T.M.A. Pai. As technical and vocational education was close to the heart of Dr. T.M.A. Pai, the Polytechnic has been named after him to perpetuate his memory.

This Polytechnic is recognised and approved by All India Council forTechnical Education, New Delhi (AICTE) and affiliated to Board of Technical Education Bangalore. To accommodate its ambitious growth initiatives in its silver jubilee year the Polytechnic has moved operations to a new three storey building consisting of 3 blocks measuring 1,08,600 sq.ft. in addition to a workshop area measuring 92000 sq.ft. It houses hi tech computer labs with Individual computer to each student, staff rooms and classrooms for first second and third year students for each department independently. Besides this, there is Tonse Open Air Auditorium apart from an indoor one that comfortably accommodates 500 persons. There are seminar halls for each department with the latest LCD projector, OHP, Multimedia and PA systems. This Polytechnic now has been graded the best in the state as well as the country for its infrastructure and allied facilities which are conducive to the demands of the latest in technology.