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Emiratis join expats in honouring India’s ‘greatest engineer’

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Emirati and Indian experts and engineers in the UAE came together at a virtual event to pay tribute to the ‘greatest Indian engineer’, Sir M. Vishweshvaraya, popularly known as Sir M.V. His birthday, September 15, 1860, is celebrated every year as Engineers’ Day in India.

The webinar was organised by Science India Forum-UAE, and among the speakers was Dr Eesa Mohammed Bastaki, president of the University of Dubai.

“Sir Vishweshvaraya lived for nearly 102 years. He passed away four months before I went to Bombay when I was seven years old in August 1962. He had contributed a lot to India and the engineering world. He had a very good sense of using engineering for the benefit of the whole society in India,” Dr Bastaki said, hailing Sir M.V. as the ‘father of engineering’ in India. Vishweshvaraya was a recipient of the highest honour in the country, the Bharat Ratna.

Jagdesh Kumar, vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, recollected how Vishweshvaraya had designed a flood protection system and several other engineering marvels.

“I hope today’s engineers are aware of the achievements of Vishweshvaraya. He was perhaps one of the few engineers who got a degree, equivalent to a bachelor’s in engineering, in 1883. He was a workaholic and contributed to designing several water supply, drainage and irrigation systems across the country. He emphasised on industrialisation of the country. He was never afraid of failures,” Kumar said.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, underlined that Vishweshvaraya was a key figure in the development of rural India and the Indian engineering industry as a whole.

“A great son of the soil, he was the chief architect behind the construction of the great Krishna Raja Sagar dam – a work instrumental in converting barren lands into fertile grounds for farming. Words fall short to describe his passion for the country,” Dr Puri said.

Indian engineers in the UAE

Dr Puri said today’s Indian engineers are among those who have made key contributions to the development of the UAE.

“For the upcoming Dubai Expo, Indian contribution and participation will be significant, thanks to the several Indian engineers who have been contributing to this project,” he said.

Dr Bastaki also acknowledged that Indian engineers have played “a very important role” in building the country. “Since I was young, until now, I have seen a lot of engineers participate in the development of our country. We, in the UAE, thank the Indian engineers in the development of our country.”

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