Published on: September 16, 2021



What is in news : Engineers Day 2021 was observed on September 15, to mark the birthday of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.

About :                                              

  • Born in 1861 Sir MV, as Sir Visvesvaraya is also known, made contributions to several technical projects in his career in Hyderabad, Mysore, Maharashtra and Orissa.
  • He completed his engineering from the Poona College of Science.
  • Soon after this, he accepted an offer to work as an Assistant Engineer in the Public Works Department of the Government of Bombay.
  • He was 22 at that time and one of his first projects was to construct a pipe syphon across one of Panjra river’s (in Maharashtra) channels.
  • In November 1909, he joined the Mysore service as Chief Engineer, ultimately assuming the position of the 19th Dewan of Mysore.
  • He took voluntary retirement in 1918 because he did not agree with the proposal to set aside state jobs for “non-brahmin” community.
  • After his retirement, he presided as chairman or became a member of various committees.
  • While outside India, he fully intended to observe how the industrialised countries of America and Europe worked.
  • In 1955, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.


  • Institute – He established the Sir Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute in Bangalore in 1943.
  • It was later renamed to Sir Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic.
  • It was meant to impart special training to technicians keeping in mind the impending industrial development of India.
  • Books – His works, “Reconstructing India” and “Planned Economy of India” were published in 1920 and 1934, respectively.
  • Education – His “Memoirs of Working Life” was published in 1951.
  • In that, he noted that while in Japan there were some 1.5 million girls in school, there were only over 400,000 of them in Indian schools.
  • This was despite the vastly greater population in India than in Japan.
  • During his three-month visit to Japan in 1898, Visvesvaraya realised that education largely determines the health of an economy.
  • Visvesvaraya was instrumental in the setting up of the University of Mysore in July 1916, as he was the Dewan of Mysore at the time.
  • He believed that the aim of an educational institution should be in line with the “state of the country’s civilisation and of its material prosperity.”
  • He also asserted that the conditions inside a university should not be very different from the ones a student has to encounter in real life.
  • Technical – Some of his significant works include the introduction of the block system of irrigation in the Deccan canals in 1899.
  • This solved the problem of the “muddy and discoloured” water in the city of Sukkur located on the banks of the Indus river.
  • He also invented automatic gates meant to regulate the flow of water in reservoirs, which is patented.
  • The Krishnaraja Sagar Dam in Karnataka was the first to install these gates in the 1920s.
  • He was called upon to deal with an “engineering problem” in the wake of the destructive floods that struck Hyderabad in September 1908.
  • He spent some time in examining engineering developments in water-supply, dams, drainage, irrigation.
  • In Italy, he studied for two months the soil erosion problem and their irrigation and drainage works.