Engineers Day 2018: Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the Bharat Ratna awardee and engineering legend, was honoured by Google on his 157th birthday with a doodle featuring him on its homepage. September 15 is also celebrated as the National Engineer’s Day to appreciate the contributions of M Visvesvaraya.
Born on September 15, 1861, in a village called Muddenahalli in Karnataka, Visvesvaraya studied Bachelor of Arts from the University of Madras. Later, he pursued civil engineering at College of Science in Pune. He patented and installed an irrigation system with water floodgates at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune to raise the flood supply level of storage in the reservoir to the highest level. This was also installed at Gwalior’s Tigra Dam and Mysuru’s Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) dam, the latter of which created one of the largest reservoirs in Asia at the time.
While serving as the Diwan of Mysore, he was awarded ‘Knight’ in 1915 as a commander of the British Indian empire by King George V. He received the Bharat Ratna in 1955, became a member of the London Institution of Civil Engineers before he was awarded a fellowship by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore.
Visvesvaraya was not only known for his contributions in the field of engineering but was also called the “precursor of economic planning in India”, according to the Institution of Engineers India. It stated that he is best known for his discourse “Planned Economy for India and Reconstructing India” which is the first of its kind to describe the country’s planning efforts.
He breathed his last in 1962, leaving the world with his beneficial contributions. His memorial stands at Muddenahalli, which is managed by the Visvesvaraya National Memorial Trust as his name lives on through various universities including Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belagavi.