National Engineers’ Day is observed every year on September 15 on the birth anniversary of the legendary engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. The day is observed every year to pay tribute to Visvesvaraya and also to commemorate the contributions of the engineers to the nation.
Born in 1861, Visvesvaraya studied Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Mysore before he shifted streams to study engineering at one of the oldest engineering colleges in Asia, the College of Science in Pune. Visvesvaraya started his career in the Public Works Department for the Government of Bombay. His work included many complex projects including a patented irrigation system with water floodgates at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune and the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mysore.
He was made the 19th Diwan of Mysore, serving from 1912 to 1918, and received many honours including independent India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. He also played an important role in the establishment of the Government Engineering College at Bangalore in 1917, which was later renamed in his honour.
In 1968, the government of India decided to honour Visvesvaraya for his numerous achievements in civil engineering by naming his birth anniversary on September 15 as the date to commemorate National Engineers’ Day.
The day sees various government and private stakeholders organising events to celebrate the work of engineers in the country. The various ministries of the government hold workshops, seminars, lectures and events for honouring engineers. While the theme for this year’s celebration hasn’t been decided yet, the theme for National Engineers’ Day 2021 was ‘Engineering for A Healthy Planet- Celebrating the UNESCO Engineering Report’.