Engineer’s Day occurs nationwide in India on September 15th. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity, innovation, and practical skill of engineers, to learn more about engineering, and to get young people interested in becoming engineers.
This article explains all about Engineer’s Day: how it originated, what its significance is, and what form the celebrations take.
Engineer’s Day originated as a celebration of the life and work of one of India’s greatest engineers: Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. Some people just refer to this man as ‘Sir MV’, for short. He lived from 1861 to 1962, and his birthday was on 15th September – hence the date of Engineer’s Day in India. Sir MV specialised in dams, for example he was the Chief Engineer behind the construction of both the system of flood protection designed for the city of Hyderabad and the Krishna Raja Sagara dam which is located in the district of Mandya. He held many high positions in the engineering world, including the Chief Engineer and Secretary to the governor of Mysore. In addition, Sir MV was awarded various titles and accolades, including a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). Sir MV also worked on other projects beside dams, such as working on the Indian railway.
He received his training at the University of Madras and then later at Pune’s engineering college. He later moved on to study, and later work, at the University of Bombay, which is where he received his first commission as a professional engineer: this commission involved working with the Indian Irrigation Commission. We might say that this was the first step towards him getting interested in dams and building the majestic dams that are currently so famous not just in India but worldwide. His legacy lives on in many of India’s most celebrated structures and feats of engineering and he reminds an inspirational figure for engineers and aspiring engineers in the present day.
India is not the only country to hold an Engineer’s Day, though the date of this day is (as we shall see below) unique to India for significant reasons. In Brazil, for example, Engineer’s Day is December 11th, reflecting the fact that on this date in 1933 a law was passed to regulate the engineering profession. In Bangladesh, this day is on May 7th and in Spain it is on March 19th. Plenty of other countries throughout the world celebrate Engineer’s Day, whether annually or at longer intervals.
The significance of Engineer’s Day in India.
Engineer’s Day is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is significant because it is a celebration of a great engineer and a great Indian historical figure. Secondly, it is more widely significant because it draws attention to, and celebrates, the achievements of the engineering community as a whole. This helps to motivate engineers across the nation, as well as inspiring girls and boys who have an aptitude for engineering to think about becoming engineers themselves. Engineers Day is a very important day because without engineering we wouldn’t have working transport infrastructure, we wouldn’t have dams, and we wouldn’t have buildings and bridges that are safe to travel across and live and work in.
Celebrations for Engineer’s Day.
Anyone can celebrate this day, whether you are a bioengineer or a civil engineer, a teacher or someone who is not an engineer at all, just appreciative of the way in which engineering has improved lives in India and beyond. Celebrations can take many forms, including articles in the media explaining the day and covering historical and present day topics relating to engineering, TV documentaries or other items for educating the general public about engineering, and events in schools and universities that teach young people about the importance of engineering and taking the opportunity to educate them in a range of topics relating to engineering. In addition, more informal celebrations may take place up and down the country. For example, groups of friends or colleagues who are studying engineering or who are working as engineers might like to use this day as an excuse to get together for a meal, or to hold a small party in the office. Engineer’s Day celebrations can be a wonderful blend of comradeship, positivity, motivation, and education.
Each year in India, there is usually a set theme for Engineer’s Day. For example, in 2017, the theme for the day was the Role of Engineers in Developing India. This meant that, using the theme as a touchstone, those celebrating the day thought about both the role of engineers in developing India in the past and tried to think of ways in which they could continue to develop India in the future as well.
Celebrations may be particularly big in Mysore, because this is where much of Sir MV’s work was concentrated. Indeed, he is even known by some people as the Founder of Modern Mysore because he did so much to found new enterprises, and design new structures, for Mysore. These include the Mysore soap factory, Bangalore Agricultural University, and the College of Engineering in Bangalore to name but a handful of the many educational and commercial institutions that he founded or co founded. If you want to get right to the heart of Engineer’s Day, then, you might want to visit or (if you are an educator) take your class to visit Mysore on September 15th where they can learn all about Sir MW and his legacy.
There is no denying the amount of knowledge and technical skill that goes in to designing and building a bridge, a building, or a hydraulic pump. We have so much to thank engineers for, from the roads that we drive on in our daily lives to the dams that help to provide us with a stable water supply. So, whether you are an engineer yourself or not, it really does make sense to take some time out on September 15th to educate yourself and others and to celebrate Engineer’s Day in India.