Born  : – 15 September 1860, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Karnataka

 Work / Post  : –  Excellent Engineer and Diplomat

 Bharataratna Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (M. Visvesvaraya) was an eminent engineer and politician.  He played an important role in the making of modern India.  In view of his contribution in the making of India, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest honor of the country in the year 1955.  In India, his birthday is celebrated as Engineer Day.  He was awarded the ‘Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire’ (KCIE) by the British Government for his service to the public.  He was the Chief Designer of the flood protection system of Hyderabad city and as the Chief Engineer, played a key role in the construction of Krishna Sagar Dam in Mysore.

Early Life  : –

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was born on 15 September 1860 in Chikkaballapur in Kolar district into a Brahmin family.  His father’s name was Sri nivasa Shastri and mother’s name was Venkachamma.  His ancestors settled here from Mokshagundam in Andhra Pradesh.  His father Srinivasa Shastri was a Sanskrit scholar and Ayurvedic physician.  His father died when the boy Vishveshvaraya was only 12 years old.  He got his early education in a primary school located at his birthplace.  He then enrolled in the Central College of Bangalore.  Due to lack of funds, they had to tuition here.  In the midst of all this, he got the first position in the BA examination in the year 1881 and after that with the help of the Government of Mysore, he joined the Science College, Poona for the study of engineering.  He showed his qualification by finishing first in the LCE and FCE examination of 1883 and in view of this, the Maharashtra government appointed him to the post of Assistant Engineer in Nashik.

Carrier  : –

After engineering studies, he got a job in PWD department of Mumbai.  He implemented a complex irrigation system in the Deccan.  In the absence of resources and high technology, he made many projects successful.  Prominent among them were Krishnarajasagar Dam, Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works, Mysore Sandal Oil and Soap Factory, University of Mysore and Bank of Mysore.  These achievements were made possible only by the hard effort of MV.

 While working for the Sukkur (Sindh) municipality at the age of just 32, he supplied water to the Sukkur town from the Indus river, which all the engineers had devised.

 The British government formed a committee to find ways to improve the irrigation system.  He was made a member of this committee.  For this, he invented a new block system.  Under this, they made steel doors which helped prevent the flow of water from the dam.  His system was highly praised and even today this system is being used all over the world.

 He also planned to tie the waters of the two rivers called Musa and Issa.  He was then appointed as the Chief Engineer of the State of Mysore in the year 1909.

 He was also concerned about basic problems like illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, disease etc. in Mysore state.  To deal with these problems, he suggested the formation of an Economic Conference.  He then built the Krishna Rajsagar Dam in Mysore.  Since cement was not made in the country at this time, the engineers prepared mortar which was stronger than cement.

The Diwan of Mysore  : –

Seeing his contribution to the Mysore state, the Maharaja of Mysore appointed him as the Diwan or Chief Minister of the state in 1912.  As the Diwan of Mysore, he worked tirelessly for the educational and industrial development of the state.  Due to his efforts, many new industries started in the state.  Prominent among them were Chandan Oil Factory, Soap Factory, Metal Factory, Chrome Tanning Factory.  Among the many factories he started, the most important is Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works.  Sir M. Visvesvaraya voluntarily retired as the Diwan of Mysore in 1918.

 Even after retirement, he was actively working.  Seeing his invaluable contribution to the nation, the Government of India honored him with ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1955.  When Sir M. Visvesvaraya turned 100, the Government of India issued a stamp in his honor.

Death  : –

Visvesvaraya passed away on 14 April 1962 at the age of 101.

Honours and awards  : –

1904: Honorary membership of the London Institute of Civil Engineers for 50 consecutive years

 1906: The title of ‘Saffron-i-Hind’ in recognition of his services

 1911: Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE)

 1915: Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE)

 1921: University of Calcutta awarded Doctor of Science

 1931: LLD by Bombay University

 1937: Honored D. Litt by Banaras Hindu University

 1943: Elected Honorary Life Member of Institution of Engineers (India)

 1944: University of Allahabad by D.Sc.

 1948: University of Mysore awarded Doctorate – LLD

 1953: D.Litt awarded by Andhra University

 1953: Honorary Fellowship of Institute of Town Planners (India)

 1955: Honored with ‘Bharat Ratna’

 1958: ‘Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorials Golden Medal’ by Royal Asiatic Society’s Council’s of Bengal’s

 1959: Fellowship by Indian Institute of Science

Timeline (Life Events)  : –

 1860: Born in the state of Mysore

 1881: Ranked first in the examination of B.A.

 1883: First position in LCE and FCE examination

 1884: Joined the PWD Department of Bombay State as Assistant Engineer;  Worked in Nashik, Khandesh and Poona

 1894: Served in Sukkur Corporation in Sindh

 1895: Water supply plan prepared for Sukkur town.

 1896: Appointed Executive Engineer in Surat city

 1897–99: Assistant Superintendent Engineer at Poona

 1898: Visited China and Japan

 1899: Executive Engineer of Irrigation at Poona

 1901: Member of Sanitary Engineer and Sanitary Board in Bombay State

 1901: Evidence placed before the Indian Irrigation Commission

 1906: The title of ‘Saffron-i-Hind’ in recognition of his services

 1907: Superintending Engineer

 1908: Traveled to Egypt, Canada, USA and Russia

 1909: Consultancy granted to Hyderabad State during floods

 1909: Retired from British service

 1909: Appointed as Chief Engineer and Secretary of the State of Mysore

 1911: Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE)

 1913: Appointed Diwan of Mysore State

 1915: Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE)

 1927–1955: On the board of directors of Tata Steel

 1955: Honored with ‘Bharat Ratna’

 1962: Visvesvaraya passed away on 14 April 1962 at the age of 101.

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