Engineers’ Day 2021: As India celebrates M Visvesvaraya’s 160th birthday, all you need to know about the engineer


Guwahati: Every year on September 15, India along with Sri Lanka and Tanzania celebrate National Engineer’s day to recognise and honour the achievements of the great engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. The day is observed to commemorate the great work of engineers and to encourage them for improvement and innovation.

This year marks the 160th birth anniversary of M Visvesvaraya who was born on September 15, 1861, in the Muddenahalli village of Karnataka. He completed his school education in his hometown and later went to study Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Madras. However, he changed his career path after graduating and pursued civil engineering at the College of Science in Pune. 

Popularly known as Sir MV, Visvesvaraya undertook many complex projects and delivered remarkable infrastructural results during his career. He patented and installed an irrigation system with water floodgates at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune to raise the food supply level and storage to the highest levels know as ‘block system’ in 1903. 

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.

An expert in irrigation techniques and flood disaster management, Sir MV was not just a great civil engineer but also served as the 19th Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1919. While serving as the Diwan of Mysore, in 1915 he was awarded ‘Knight’ as a commander of the British Indian Empire by King George V.

Apart from his engineering accolades, he played an instrumental role in imparting awareness about engineering discipline and also played an important role in the foundation of Government Engineering College at Bangalore in 1917. The college was later renamed after him as University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE).

For his contribution to the building of India, the government awarded him with India’s highest honor ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1955. 

In 2018, Google launched a Doodle on his birthday to celebrate his genius works whose endeavors led to the Tata Steel engineers invent an armored vehicle that was used in WWII and could withstand bullets. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya passed away in 1962 but his achievements and contributions are celebrated till date.