Engineers' Day: A Tribute To Sir M Visvesvaraya

Why do we celebrate Engineers' day?

Engineers' day in our country is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of India's greatest engineer, Sir M Visvesvaraya. Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya who is popularly known as Sir M V was born on 15 th of September 1860. Sir M V was an engineer, a great scholar, statesman and served as the Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

Sir M V's Education

  • Sir M V enrolled for Kannada medium primary school in Chikballapur and attended high school in Bangalore.
  • He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Central College, Bangalore then affiliated to the University of Madras in 1881.
  • He studied civil engineering at the prestigious College of Engineering, Pune.

Sir M V's Career as an Engineer

  • Joined service as Assistant Engineer in Bombay, 1884; served in Nasik, Khandesh and Pune
  • Services lent to Municipality of Sukkur in Sind, 1894: designed and carried out the water works of that Municipality, 1895
  • Executive Engineer, Surat, 1896
  • Assistant Superintending Engineer, Pune, 1897-99; visited China and Japan, 1898
  • Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Pune, 1899
  • Sanitary Engineer, Bombay, and Member, Sanitary Board, 1901
  • Gave evidence before the Indian Irrigation Commission, 1901
  • Designed and constructed Automatic Gates patented by him at Lake Fife Storage Reservoir
  • Introduced a new system of irrigation known as the "Block System", 1903
  • Represented the Bombay Government at the Simla Irrigation Commission, 1904; on special duty, 1905;
  • Superintending Engineer, 1907; visited Egypt, Canada. United States of America and Russia, 1908;
  • Services lent as Special Consulting Engineer, Hyderabad, to supervise and carry out Engineering works in connection with the Musi floods, 1909
  • Retired from British service, 1909
  • Chief Engineer and Secretary to the Government of Mysore, 1909
  • Dewan of Mysore, P. W. and Railway Department, 1913
  • Board of director of TATA STEEL, 1927-1955


Awards and Honours

Sir M Visvesvaraya has received awards and honours in various fields. The following are the brief listing of the awards and the recognitions conferred to Sir M V.

  • Visvesvaraya was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1911
  • He served as the Diwan of Mysore from 1913 to 1928.
  • In 1915 he was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) by the British for his myriad contributions to the public good.
  • He was awarded with India's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.
  • He was feted with honorary membership of the international Institution of Civil Engineers (based in London).
  • He was honoured with a fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • He was awarded several honorary doctoral degrees like D.Sc., LL.D., D.Litt. from eight universities in India.
  • He was president of the 1923 Session of the Indian Science Congress.
  • Sir M.V. was awarded honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken 50 years.
  • Visvesvaraya Technological University which is based in Belgaum, the University to which most engineering colleges in Karnataka are affiliated to, has been named in his honour.
  • The Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, a museum in Bangalore is named in his honor.

Sir M V's Contributions to the Nation

Sir M V's contributions to the nation is immense, the following are few of his contributions which changed the phase of Indian engineering:

  • He created automatic sluice gates which was later reused for Tigra Dam (in Madhya Pradesh) and KRS Dam(in Karnataka) as well.
  • In Hyderabad, he improved the drainage system.
  • In Bombay, he introduced block system of irrigation and water weir flood gates.
  • In Bihar and Orissa, he was a part of the building railway bridges project and water supply schemes.
  • In Mysore, he supervised the construction of KRS dam, the then Asia's biggest dam.
  • Under his Dewanship Mysore saw major transformation in the realms of Agriculture, Irrigation, Industrialization, Education, Banking and Commerce.

Quotes for Engineers

  • "Remember, your work may be only to sweep a railway crossing, but it is your duty to keep it so clean that no other crossing in the world is as clean as yours" - Sir M Visvesvaraya
  • "To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money" - Sir M Visvesvaraya
  • At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession. - Queen Elizabeth II
  • Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering. - Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft

Sir M V had dedicated his life towards nation building and he epitomized all the qualities of an ideal engineer throughout his life. Hence, we celebrate his birthday as Engineer's day to honour him and to inspire all the engineers out there helping in rebuilding our nation. Happy Engineers' Day!

Also read: Engineer's day: Remembering Visvesvaraya on his birth anniversary

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