Engineer’s Day: Sir Visvesvaraya’s contribution to nation building

Headline : Engineer’s Day: Sir Visvesvaraya’s contribution to nation building

Details :

Why in News:

  • September 15 is observed as Engineer’s Day in India to mark the birth anniversary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, a civil engineer and statesman.
  • He made contributions to several significant technical projects in his career in Hyderabad, Mysore, Maharashtra and Orissa.


About him:

  • Known world over for his contribution to harnessing water resources, Visvesvaraya was, among other things, responsible for the building and consolidation of dams across the country.
  • He to became India’s most prolific civil engineer, dam builder, economist, statesman, and can be counted among the last century’s foremost nation-builders.
  • He also helped set up the Karnataka Sahitya Parishat (later renamed Kannada Sahitya Parishat) in Bengaluru to bring together people who spoke different dialects of the language.
  • Due to his outstanding contribution to the society, Government of India conferred ‘Bharat Ratna’ on this legend in the year 1955.
  • He was also awarded the British knighthood.
  • His works, “Reconstructing India” and “Planned Economy of India” were published in 1920 and 1934, respectively.
  • He was supporter of industrialisation, and boldly declared “Industrialize, or perish!” even at a time when Gandhiji used to say, “Industrialize and perish!”


Visvesvaraya’s Contributions

To Water Works:

  • Visvesvaraya was passionate about water conservation. He designed many water supply, drainage and irrigation systems across the country.
  • He was the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara Damin Mysore. In 1912, when KRS Dam was built, it was then the largest dam in India. It supplied power to the Kolar Gold Fields, and led to the cultivation of sugarcane, giving rise to large sugar mills in the region
  • As chief designer of the flood protection system, he designed drainage and water supply system for Hyderabad to prevent losses from floods caused due to cyclonic rains.
  • He invented automatic gates meant to regulate the flow of water in reservoirs. Similar systems were installed in Tigra dam, near Gwalior, and Krishna Raja Sagar dam, near Mysuru.
  • Introduction of the block system of irrigation in the Deccan canals in 1899, a system of irrigation for the Bombay Presidency.
  • He was also involved in many other water projects in and outside India.

To Education:

  • Visvesvaraya understood that education largely determines the health of an economy.
  • He believed that the aim of an educational institution should be in line with the “state of the country’s civilization and of its material prosperity”.
  • During his period as Dewan of Mysore between 1912 and 1918, the number of educational institutions in the state more than doubled.
  • He introduced compulsory education, which is now a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution.
  • Visvesvaraya was instrumental in the setting up of the University of Mysore in 1916, Government Engineering College (Renamed University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering), and an Agriculture school that later became University of Agricultural Sciences.
  • The Maharani’s College in Mysuru became the first in the state to include degree courses for women.
  • He was also responsible for starting technical education colleges, engineering colleges and agriculture education.
Section : Miscellaneous