Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya popularly known as Sir MV was an Indian Chief civil engineer, scholar, statesman and the 19th Diwan of Mysore, who served from 1912 to 1919. He has received India’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955 and was knighted as a Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire by King George V for his contributions to the public good. He is held in high regard as a pre-eminent Engineer of India and for his notable contributions in the field of Education and major Engineering societies; 15 September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his memory.
In 1913, he played a pivotal role in starting an Engineering college in Bangalore, which was the first engineering college in Karnataka and the sixth in the Nation. He was a pioneer who helped to bring new opportunities for students to learn the course of B.E. and it was a revolutionary idea that triggered massive state growth in nurturing engineers who later spread across varies sectors bringing laurels from all over.
Some of his notable achievements are:
- Visvesvaraya took a job with the PWD of Bombay and later was invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in Deccan.
- He designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in 1903 at Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune and the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam in Mandya/Mysore, Karnataka.
- In 1906–07, Government of India sent him to Aden to study water supply and drainage systems. The project prepared by him was implemented in Aden successfully.
- He was instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.
- Visvesvaraya gave his valuable technical advice for the location of Mokama Bridge over Ganga in Bihar. At the time, he was over 90 years old.
- He was called “Father of Modern Mysore State” . During his service with the government of Mysore State, he was responsible for founding of Mysore Soap Factory, Parasitoid Laboratory, Mysore Iron & Steel Works in Bhadravathi, Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Bangalore, Bangalore Agricultural University, State Bank of Mysore.
- He also was responsible for the founding of the 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 tenure as Diwan of Mysore. He was instrumental in charting out the plan for road construction between Tirumala and Tirupati
- He was known for sincerity, time management, and dedication to a cause. Bangalore Press and Bank of Mysore were established during his tenure.
- Visvesvaraya designed and planned the entire area of Jayanagar in south Bangalore and was one of first planned neighborhoods in Bangalore, the largest in Asia. It is believed that locality, designed by Visvesvaraya, is one of the best-planned layouts in Asia.