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Gems of Structural Engg - Sir M V - (Post-24)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Gems of Structural Engg - Sir M V - (Post-24) Reply with quote

Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya

(15.09.1860 - 14.04.1962)

Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was an eminent engineer and statesman and played a key role in building of modern India, was born on September 15, 1860 in Muddenahalli village in the Kolar district of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore (present day Karnataka). His father Srinivasa Sastry was a Sanskrit scholar and Ayurvedic practitioner. His mother Venkachamma was a religious lady. He lost his father when he was only 15 years old.

During school days, because of scarcity of funds Sir MV had to leave education. But his uncle took a responsibility of his education. Thus, Visvesvaraya completed his early education in Chikkaballapur with lots of pains and then went to Bangalore for higher education. He cleared his B.A. Examination in 1881. He got some assistance from the Government of Mysore and joined the Science College in Poona (now known as COEP) to study Engineering. In 1883 he ranked first in the L.C.E. and the F.C.E. Examinations (equivalent to B.E. Examination of today).

When Sir M. Visvesvaraya cleared his engineering, Government of Bombay offered him a job and appointed him Assistant Engineer at Nasik. As an engineer, he achieved some marvelous feats. He planned a way of supplying water from the river Sindhu to a town called Sukkur. He devised a new irrigation system called the 'Block System'. He devised steel doors to stop the wasteful flow of water in dams. He was the architect of the Krishnaraja Sagara dam in Mysore. The list is endless.

While working as Engineer at Pune the British officers offered lot of resistance to this growing Engineer. Yet Sir MV took a challenge. From planning-design-till effective execution he completed that project, in record time. Hence recd appreciation from the British officers at the end.
Sir M. Visvesvaraya lead a very simple life. He was a strict vegetarian and a teetotaler. He was known for his honesty and integrity. In 1912, Maharaja of Mysore appointed Visvesvaraya as his Dewan. Before accepting the position of Dewan of Mysore, he invited all his relatives for dinner. He told them very clearly that he would accept the prestigious office on the condition that none of them would approach him for favours. As Dewan of Mysore, he worked tirelessly for educational and industrial development of the state. When he was the Dewan many new industries came up. The Sandal Oil Factory, the Soap Factory, the Metals Factory, the Chrome Tanning Factory , were some of them. Of the many factories he started the most important is the Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya voluntarily retired as Dewan of Mysore in 1918. He worked actively even after his retirement. Sir M. Visvesvaraya was honored with Bharat Ratna in 1955 for his invaluable contribution to the nation. When he reached the age of 100, the Government of India brought out a stamp in his honor. Sir Visvesvaraya passed away on April 14, 1962 at the age of 101.

Some of the honours and laurels conferred on Sir M. Visvesvaraya

  • 1904: Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken period of 50 years
  • 1906: "Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services
  • 1911: C.I.E. (Companion of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Darbar
  • 1915: K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)
  • 1921: D.Sc. - Calcutta University
  • 1931: LLD - Bombay University
  • 1937: D.Litt - Benaras Hindu University
  • 1943: Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers (India)
  • 1944: D.Sc. - Allahabad University
  • 1948: Doctorate - LLD., Mysore University
  • 1953: D.Litt - Andhra University
  • 1953: Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India
  • 1955: Conferred ' BHARATHA RATNA'
  • 1958: 'Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal' by the Royal Asiatic Society Council of Bengal
  • 1959: Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Sir MV wrote a few books (7nos) and many papers, but unfortunately non of them are easily available in Indian Institutes / Book stalls. It would be difficult to mention his bigraphy in a few pages !!

Sir MV was not just a Structural Engineer but beyond that - a complete Engineer - 'a one man Army'. His always used to say -
"Produce or perish" and "Industrialize or perish".

After office hours he used to use his own instruments - pen, ink, candles etc for his personal work. He never used the Government materials for self use. One last day of his retirement he went back to home in his own car !! He visited many other nations viz. UK, USA, Japan to bring the wise changes to Indian Industries. Because of his continuous efforts only - India could have first Car and Airplane factory.

Sir MV was a Great Civil Engineer (rather Engineer) and Great Son of Indian Land.

a salute to the his golden memories and acts

Last edited by abhy_vivek on Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the job positions he held were

  1. Assistant Engineer, Bombay Government Service [in 1884]
  2. Chief Engineer, Hyderabad State [he served only for 7 months starting April 15, 1909]
  3. Chief Engineer in Mysore State [Nov 15, 1909]. He was also Secretary to the Railways.
  4. President of Education and Industrial Development committees in Mysore State
  5. Dewan of Mysore. [for six years starting 1912]
  6. Chairman, Bhadravati Iron Works
  7. Member of the Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  8. Member of the Governing Council of Tata Iron and Steel Company [TISCO]
  9. Member of Back Bay enquiry committee, London
  10. Member of a committee constituted in 1917 to make recommendations regarding the future of Indian States.

Sir M.V. retired in 1908 and Sri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore, was eager to secure the services of Visvesvaraya to serve Mysore.  He joined as Chief Engineer in Mysore because he wanted challenging opportunities. Sir M.V. had earned a reputation for his honesty, integrity, ability and intelligence. He had introduced compulsory education in the State which later was embodied as a fundamental right in the Constitution of independent India.
To name few of the many things he was responsible for:

  1. Architect of the Krishnarajasagara dam - or KRS or Brindavan gardens.  One of the biggest dams in India which irrigates a hundred and twenty thousand acres of land.
  2. Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works - as its Chairman he rescued it from becoming extinct.
  3. Mysore Sandal Oil Factory and the Mysore soap factory
  4. Mysore University - Sir M.V.'s question was "If Australia and Canada could have universities of their own for less than a million population, cannot Mysore with a population of not less that 60 lakhs have a University of its own?"
  5. State Bank of Mysore (it was first named The Bank of Mysore)
  6. Public libraries in Mysore and Bangalore
  7. Encouraging girls to attend school.
  8. Mysore Chamber of Commerce
  9. Kannada Sahitya Parishad or the Kannada Literary Academy
  10. Sri Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute, Bangalore - funded by the ENTIRE money [Rs 2 lacs] he earned from rescuing Bhadravati Iron Works

Sir M.V. was never interested in fame or publicity. But they came to him on their own. Every university in India sought him out to confer honoris causa. The univs of Allahabad, Andhra, Bombay, Calcutta, Jadhavpur, Mysore, Patna and Varanasi.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Engineering College by Sir M V Reply with quote

As the Diwan of the erstwhile Mysore state, Sir M V setup an engineering institute in Bangalore in 1914. The fourth oldest engineering college in India. It was attached to Mysore University and 1964 onwards to Bangalore University. Earlier named as University College of Engineering and then Named University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering. The college had only one branch of engineering - Civil Engineering in 1914, and by1917 another branch of Mechanical Engineering was added. Subsequently, Electrical Engineering was also introduced in the next decade. Architecture, Electronics & Communications, Computer Science and Information Science are recent additions in the year 70's & 80's.

The engineers' passed from this college were directly appointed into the state Public Works Department in the earlier part of the century, then the student passing with first rank was appointed as Assistant Engineers and others in others in other grades (citation needed).
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