Engineer’s Day is celebrated in India on 15th September, in honour of Bharat Ratna Sri Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (Visveswaraiah), an outstanding Engineer. He was born on 15th September 1860 and after his demise on 14th April 1962, his date of birth is being observed as Engineer’s Day. Today is the 45th Engineer’s Day. Every year many events take place on this day at Engineering Colleges and National level organisations like ‘The Institute of Engineers’ to commemorate the extraordinary service rendered by Sri Visvesvaraya and to felicitate present day Engineers who are contributing in a great way and to discuss current engineering achievements and challenges facing the country. The observation of Engineer’s Day serves as a great inspiration to Engineers.
Sri Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah was the most popular, prominent and great Engineer of his times. He was born to a Telugu speaking Brahmin family of Srinivasa Sastry and Venkatalakshmamma, at Muddenahalli village, 65 kms. from Bangalore. After graduating from Madras University with a B.A. Degree, he studied Civil Engineering at the famous College of Engineering Pune. After graduating as an Engineer he joined the Public Works Department of Bombay. He later joined the Indian Irrigation Commission and implemented an extraordinary irrigation system in the Deccan area. He designed and patented a system of automatic Weir Water Floodgates and installed it in 1903 at Khadakvasala Reservoir near Pune. With the success of such a design, similar Floodgate system was installed at Tigara Dam in Gwalior and KRS Dam near Mysore. He actually supervised the construction of Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam across River Cauvery from concept to inauguration. This was the biggest reservoir in Asia at that time. For this and other contributions of his as Chief Engineer and later Diwan of Mysore Government and for establishing - The Mysore Soap Factory, The Parasitoide Laboratory, The Mysore Iron and Steel Works, Government Engineering College – Bangalore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, Bangalore Agricultural University, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers of Commerce and many other Industrial ventures, he was called ‘Father of Modern Mysore State’. He is remembered in Andhra Pradesh for the design and construction of the Ghat Road over Seven Hills between Tirupati and Lord Venkateshwaraswamy’s Temple atop the hills at Tirumala and The Flood Protection System for Hyderabad against the fury of River Musi and for the protection of Visakhapatnam Port from Sea erosion.
Sir Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah has received many Awards and Honours. For his innumerable contributions, the British Government appointed him as Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) and later knighted him as Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE). After India achieved independence, he was awarded our nation’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna. He was awarded honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken 50 years and a fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was awarded several honorary and doctoral degrees like D.Sc., LL.D., D. Litt., from eight Universities in India. And in honour of his memory, several educational institutions, museums and a University are named after him.