Today is the 158th birth anniversary of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. Popularly known as Sir MV, was an Indian engineer, scholar, statesman, and the 19th Diwan of Mysore.
Every year 15 September is celebrated as Engineer's Day in India in his memory. Vishweshvaraya was the receiver of India's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in the year 1955.
He was entitled as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire (KCIE) for his immense contributions to the public good. He occupied a dignified position in the world of technology and considered as a pre-eminent Engineer of India.
Google’s doodle for Saturday, September 15, features Sir M. Visvesvaraya, and the wall represents the iconic Krishna Raja Sagar dam built across the Cauvery river in Mandya, Karnataka. According to Google’s blog post while some sources cite his birth year as 1861 but after a talk with his family, they have learnt that Sir MV was actually born a year earlier. The government of India celebrates his birthday as ‘Engineers Day’.
Sir MV was born in a modest family at Muddenahalli village in Mysore State. He lost his father when he was only 12 years old and after that Visvesvaraya faced a lot of adversity to continue his studies.
He gained an icon status when he designed a flood protection system for Hyderabad city. He was involved in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. This was the dam that created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.
He was called "Father of Modern Mysore State" (now known as Karnataka). It was him who was responsible for founding of Mysore Soap Factory, Parasitoid Laboratory, Mysore Iron & Steel Works located in Bhadravathi, Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Bangalore, Bangalore Agricultural University, State Bank of Mysore, Century Club, Mysore Chamber of Commerce (presently known as the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FKCCI)) the Apex Chamber of Commerce in Karnataka, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering Bangalore and numerous other industrial ventures.
He encouraged private investment in the industry during his term as Diwan of Mysore. He was instrumental in discovering plans for road construction between Tirumala and Tirupati. He is accredited with building difficult irrigation systems in the Deccan Plateau and the floodgates of Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune and Tigra Dam in Gwalior. He is also recognized for setting up the flood protection system in Hyderabad.
He was highly respected for his sincerity, time management, and dedications for his works. Bangalore Press and Bank of Mysore were established during his tenure as Diwan of Mysore. Another significant part of his nature was his endless love for Kannada. He set up the Kannada Parishat for the upliftment of Kannada.
In1951; he inscribed his autobiography Memoirs of my Working Life. Even during his 90’s busy working as the consultant for the Mokama Bridge project across the Ganga in Bihar. The bridge, known as Rajendra Setu, was inaugurated in 1952 and is actively working till date. However, a parallel bridge was recently constructed as an alternative to it.
This great personality has received recognition in various fields, but most importantly in the education and the engineering sectors. He passed away in Bengaluru on April 12, 1962.