1860 – Engineer’s Day. Eminent Engineer and Scholar Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, was born. Sir Visvesvaraya graduated from the prestigious College of Engineering, Pune with a degree in Civil Engineering.
After completing his studies he joined the Public Works Department, Mumbai before receiving an invitation from the Indian Irrigation Commission.
He employed an intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area and also developed and patented the automatic weir water floodgates at the Khadakvasla Reservoir, Pune. The system was highly successful and was also installed at the Tigra Dam, Gwalior and at the Krishnaraja Sagar in Karnataka. Sir Visvesvaraya developed a system to protect Hyderabad from floods by River Moosi and another system to protect the port of Vizag or Vishakhapatnam from erosion.
He was instrumental in founding of the Mysore Soap Factory, the Mysore Iron and Steel Works, the State Bank of Mysore, the Parasitoide Laboratory etc when with the Government of Mysore State. He is regarded as the ‘Father of modern Mysore State’ and was appointed as the ‘Diwan of Mysore’. He played a key role in the establishing the Government Engineering College at Bangalore. In 1911 he was made a ‘Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire’ while in 1915, he was knighted by King George V as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire.
In 1955, Sir Visvesraya was honoured with the Bharat Ratna.
1876 – One of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century, novelist and short story writer Sarat Chandra Chatterjee was born. Sarat Chandra was known to be a shy and reserved person whose works were mostly based on the lives of the oppressed and superstitious usually with a rural backdrop. In 1903 he went to Burma and worked as a clerk in a Government Office but soon left the job. Before leaving Burma he entered a short story competition, which he won.
HIs works include ‘Bordidi’, ‘Parineeta’, ‘Arakhsanya’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Dena Paona’, ‘Shubhoda’ etc. Most of his works have been adapted into feature films of which ‘Devdas’ can be found in eight different versions while ‘Parineeta’ has been made twice. He was known to be sensitive to the cause of women.
1905 – Renowned poet of the ‘Chhayavaad ‘ generation, novelist, essayist and playwright Ramkumar Verma was born. His creations were mostly historical based on love, humanity, service, forgiveness and sacrifice. His noted literary works include ‘Eklavya’, ‘Reshmi Tai’, ‘Pritviraj Ki Aankhen’, ‘Kaumudi Mahotsav’, ‘Deepdaan’ etc.
He was also famous for his one-act plays. In 1963, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
1910 – The Meteorite of type L6 fell in Baroti, Himachal Pradesh.
1915 – Hero of the Indo-Pak War of 1947, Lance Naik Karam Singh PVC was born. He was commissioned in the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment and fought in the Second World War for India. In 1944, he was bestowed with the Military Medal. In the war of 1947, India and Pakistan fought over the control of Tithwal Sector.
India captured Tithwal in May 1948 and thwarted numerous attempts of the enemy to regain Richmar Gali and hence Tithwal. It was Id on 13th October in 1948 when the enemy attacked with heavy shelling of guns and mortar in a bid to recapture Richmar Gali and penetrate into Srinagar valley by bypassing Tithwal. The assault demolished most bunkers in the platoon locality and destroyed communication trenches. In one of the eight attacks launched that day the enemy obtained a foothold in the platoon locality. But, a wounded yet brave Lance Naik Karam Singh counter-attacked and bayoneted two of the enemies which repulsed the enemy. For this act of gallantry, he was awarded the Param Veer Chakra in 1948 making him the second recipient of India’s highest military award.
1959 – The First TV Station in Delhi went on air as television was introduced in India as a UNESCO project. ‘Doordarshan’ was beamed for the first time on an experimental basis. In the beginning, programming happened only on Tuesdays and Fridays for 60 minutes with 20 minutes reserved for entertainment and 40 minutes for education.
It was to be viewed at Tele Clubs and Schools.
1986 – National Squash Champion Joshna Chinappa was born. In 2003 she lifted the British Squash Championship in the under 19 category and became the first Indian girl to achieve this feat. In 2004, she became the youngest woman national champion. She was the national champion in the junior and senior categories simultaneously. In the same year she won the Malaysian Junior Championship and won a Bronze at the Asian Championship. She won the Gold at the SAF Games in Pakistan. In 2005, she was the Asian Junior Champion and also won the British Junior Open.