After independence, India did not have enough to feed its burgeoning population and it was forced to subsist on “ship to mouth” existence. At these junctures, two personalities-Sir M Visvesvaraya and MS Swaminathan through scientific and technological innovation have improved India’s capability in water management and agricultural science.
Contribution of M Visvesvaraya:
- He was instrumental in designing and patenting a system of automatic weir floodgates in 1903.
- Sir M V was the architect of the Great Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mysuru.
- He designed a flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad by Mussi River.
- He is the one who designed a plan for road construction between Tirumala & Tirupati
- Sir M V played a key role in developing a system to protect the Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.
Contribution of Dr M. S. Swaminathan:
- Plant genetics: His dedicated work on plant genetics and agricultural research produced a high-tech invention in wheat crops with staggering results that paved the way for a green revolution in India in the mid-sixties.
- He created a wheat plant by cross-breeding seeds from Mexico with a local species that yielded plentiful grains compared to traditional varieties.
- Food fortification: Dr Swaminathan was responsible for developing varieties of crops that were incorporated with certain nutrients that supplemented health benefits for the consuming population. This reduced malnutrition significantly.
- Hybrid variety of seeds: He was a great force behind developing varieties of Wheat and Rice, which were capable of sustaining variable temperatures, diseases and also gave high yield for the farmers.
- Food security: India was highly dependent on foreign imports of food grains to be supplied for the population. The green revolution, headed by Dr Swaminathan, was successful in making India a food grain sufficient economy.
If engineering educators in the country commit themselves to guiding students to translate Sir MV’s and M.S Swaminathan formulae — “Work performed with higher knowledge or skill, capacity or ambition usually brings a correspondingly higher reward” — into action.