After the sad demise of Swami Dayanand Saraswati (October 30, 1883), it became vital to continue his legacy by spreading education, rooting out illiteracy of the mind and soul and eradicating the socio-religious evils prevailing in the contemporary society. The establishment of Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Trust and Management, popularly known as DAV movement saw the opening of the first DAV School at Lahore on June 1, 1886 with Lala Hans Raj as its headmaster. This school was later transformed into a college on April 28, 1888 with Lala Hans Raj as its first Principal. The DAV movement was the result of the dialectical interplay between the forces of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, revivalism and reform, faith and reason under the leadership of Rai Bahadur Lala Lal Chand (1852-1912), Mahatma Hans Raj (1864-1938), Pt. Guru Dutta Vidyarthi (1864-1890), Lala Lajpat rai (1865-1928), Bhai Parmanand (1874-1947), Lala Durga Das, Principal Sain Das (1840-1890), Bakshi Ram Rattan, Dr. Mukund Lal Puri, Meher Chand, etc. The DAV movement presently, has 780 institutions in India and abroad.
The P.G.D.A.V. College commenced in a modest way on August 17, 1957. Founder of the leading business house of Delhi of that time, Pannalal Girdharlal (presently having corporates such as Victor Cables Corporation Ltd, Pannalal Girdharlal Ltd, etc.) alongwith DAV Management & Trust, established the Pannalal Girdharlal DAV College within a small premises on Chitragupta Road, New Delhi with a few teachers and a small group of students.
The evening classes of P.G.D.A.V. College started on July 18, 1958 with the primary objective of imparting education in higher studies to working students. Till 1972, the college functioned in a portion of previously existing school. It was then temporarily shifted to Mandir Marg and remained there for a little over three years. Post that it was shifted to its own building in Nehru Nagar, where it presently stands.
The college is a constituent college of the University of Delhi. Being on the Ring Road, it has an easy reach and connectivity. Its premises comprises of a spacious building, well-kept and sprawling lawns, play grounds, computerized library, offices, staff room, lecture rooms and computer laboratory and is thus, well equipped for all academic, sports, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities throughout the year.