Why Indians celebrate 15 September as engineer’s Day? Probably Because every year, India produces over a million engineers, and they are some of our biggest assets. From working in the IT sector that India is so very famous for, to building the cities in which we function, engineers have a very important place in society. They build and create almost all the infrastructure, whether it is tangible or virtual, that we use on a daily basis. Till date, engineering remains the first career choice of millions and millions of students in India. And it’s important to celebrate a profession that is so important in society and so popular among students.
Another and most important reason why Indians celebrate 15 September as Engineer’s day is that. This date is a tribute to the great engineer and Bharat Ratna recipient Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. In fact, he was the first ever engineer of India and also a wonderful statesman.MG Visvesvaraya was born on this date in 1861 to a conservative Telugu Brahmin family in the small town of Mudennahalli in Karnataka. He pursued, surprisingly, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Madras. He then went on to complete his masters in civil engineering from the College of Science in Pune. His career had humble beginnings as an assisting engineer for the Public Works Department of Bombay. However, his career graph accelerated quickly due to his intellect and innovation capacities, coupled with his hard working nature.
From 1912 to 1918, he assumed role as the Diwan of Mysore. In this capacity he worked as the chief engineer on several projects. From the beautiful Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mysore to the flood proof systems of Hyderabad – the man worked prolifically. For his contribution to the knowledge and infrastructure of the country, he received several prestigious accolades. This ranged from the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna in 1955 to knighthood (Knight Commander of the British Indian Empire) from King George V. This was a huge deal in those days, because the Empire did not confer awards on Indians easily.
He is also credited with the founding of one of the pioneer engineering colleges in India. This establishment was the Government Engineering College at Bangalore in 1917. This was a huge feat, because it was hard to get government funding at the time. This also because the establishment of this institute propelled the collective education of India in a certain direction. This college was later renamed as University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering in his memory. His work was instrumental in the economic, urban and infrastructural planning of the country. We owe a large part of our development to him.
It this seems fitting that an Engineering Day be created in his memory, and that on this day we take efforts to advance the learning and knowledge of engineering. Already, colleges have planned festivities to honour accomplishments in the broad and vast field of engineering, and to take measures to expand this field. There also competitions in several prestigious institutions, that award true and merit-worthy talent across the country without any discrimination. The IIT’s in particular, host a lot of celebrations, since the past few years.
There is no doubt whatsoever that engineering, despite the notions and stereotypes people may have about it, is a booming and extremely essential field. And there is also no doubt that felicitating great engineers is a must. Engineering day, named so in honour of the great MG Visvesvaraya, is a way of doing just that. It is a celebration of knowledge, of learning and of enlightenment which aims to produce in students and academics the spirit of learning.