September 15 is celebrated as Engineers day, commemorating the birthday of Bharat Ratna Sir M Visvesvaraya – An Excellent Statesman and one of the most Eminent Engineers of India.
Sir M Visvesvaraya, popularly known as Sir M.V., was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1955. Sir M.V. served as the Diwan of Mysore during the period of 1912-1918. For his contribution to public good, he was bestowed as Knight Commander, by King George V, during the British Indian Empire.
Sir M.V. was recognized for engineering the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam located in Mysore. Also, he was one of the Chief designing engineers for bringing up a system for flood protection in Hyderabad.
Sir M Visvesvaraya–An art student turned engineer
Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born on 15th September 1861 in Muddenahalli village in Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka. His father, Mokshagundam Srinivasa Shastry was a renowned Sanskrit scholar and passed away when Visvesvaraya was only 12 years old.
Sir M.V. enrolled for his early education in Chikballapur, where he completed his primary education. Then for his high school education, Sir M.V. came to Bangalore. In 1881, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Arts from the Central College in Bangalore, affiliated then to the Madras University, he pursued civil engineer from the reputed College of Engineering, Pune.
A successful career line
After successful completion of the civil engineering degree Sir M.V., joined the PWD department, of Mumbai. Later he joined the Indian irrigation commission, where he designed and executed effective irrigation techniques in the Deccan area.
Sir M.V. held a patent for designing automatic barrier water floodgates. These floodgates were initially installed at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune in 1903. Later similar floodgates were designed and installed at Tigra Dam and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam.
Sir M.V. was sent by the British regime in India to study the various techniques in water supply and the drainage system to Aden, during the year 1906-07. He is also recognized for his contribution to make Hyderabad city flood free. His ideas helped the city of Vishakhapatnam port to be saved from sea erosion. Even at the age of 90, he undertook work on designing and advising in the building of dams across rivers.
Sir M Visvesvaraya’s tenure as Diwan of Mysore
Sir M.V. retired in 1908 and Sri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore, secured his services to serve Mysore. It was Sir M.V. who introduced compulsory education in the State of Mysore which was later embodied as a fundamental right in the Constitution of independent India.
During his service as the Diwan of Mysore, he founded eminent institutions such as Mysore Soap Factory, Bangalore Agricultural University, and Parasitoid Library, State Bank of Mysore and Mysore Iron and Steel Works. Sir M.V. also played a vital role in promoting the Kannada language. Sir M.V. had also designed the layout of Jayanagar in South Bangalore which then, was the largest locality in Asia.
During his tenure, in the State of Mysore (now Karnataka) many industries and public sector enterprises came up providing job opportunities to people. He was also involved in the founding of the first Engineering College – Government Engineering College, Bangalore in 1917 (currently University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering).
Sir M.V. believed that India must “Industrialize or Perish” and spent all his life working towards fulfilling it.