Mokshagundam Vishveshwariah, KCIE,, (popularly known as Sir MV; 15 September 1860 – 14 April 1962 was a notable Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore during 1912 to 1918. He was a recipient of the Indian Republic’s highest honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955. He was knighted as a Commander of the British Indian Empire by King George V for his myriad contributions to the public good. Every year, 15 September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his memory. He is held in high regard as a pre-eminent engineer of India.
He was the chief designer of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad, as well as the chief engineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore. He is also revered a lot in the state of Karnataka. Sir MV was born in 1861 in a Telugu Brahmin family to Mokshagundam Srinivasa Shastry and Venkatalakshmamma in Muddenahalli village, 40 miles from Bangalore, India. Their family migrated from Mokshagundam village in Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh. His father was a Sanskrit scholar and an authority on Hindu Dharmashastras (theology), besides being an Ayurvedic practitioner.
Visvesvaraya lost his father at the age of 15. He enrolled for primary school in Chikballapur and attended high school in Bangalore. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Central College,Bangalore affiliated to Madras University in 1881 and later studied civil engineering at the prestigious College of Engineering, Pune, popularly known as CoEP. Upon graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD) of Mumbai and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission.
He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area. He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in 1903 at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise the flood supply level of storage in the reservoir to the highest level likely to be attained by a flood without causing any damage to the dam. Based on the success of these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior and the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) Dam in Mandya/ Mysore,Karnataka.
In 1906-07, the Government of India sent him to Eden, Africa to study water supply and drainage system and the project prepared by him was implemented in Eden[disambiguation needed] successfully. Visvesvaraya achieved celebrity status when he designed a flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad. He was instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion. Visvesvaraya supervised the construction of the KRS Dam across the Cauvery River from concept to inauguration. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.
He was rightly called the “Father of modern Mysore state” (now Karnataka): During his period of service with the Government of Mysore state, he was responsible for the founding of, (under the Patronage of Mysore Government), the Mysore Soap Factory, the Parasitoide Laboratory, the Mysore Iron & Steel Works (now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited) in Bhadravathi, the Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank of Mysore, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers of Commerce and numerous other industrial ventures.
He encouraged private investment in 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.