Luminaries

Sir Ganga Ram

Sir Ganga Ram,IIT Roorkee
Sir Ganga Ram (1873) after a brief Service in Punjab P.W.D devoted himself to practical farming. He obtained on lease from Government 50,000 acres of barren, unirrigated land in Montgomery district,and within three years converted that vast desert into smiling fields,irrigated by water lifted by a hydroelectric plant and running through a thousand miles of irrigation channels, all constructed at his own cost. This was the biggest private enterprise of the kind, unknown and unthought of in the country before.

Sir Ganga Ram earned millions most of which he gave to charity. In the words of Sir Malcolm Hailey, the then Governor of Punjab, "he won like a hero and and gave like a Saint". He was a great engineer and a great philanthropist.

 

Raja Jwala Prasad,IIT Roorkee

Raja Jwala Prasad

Raja Jwala Prasad (1900) another highly illustrious alumnus became Chief Engineer, UP Irrigation Department in 1929 and was honoured by the title of Raja by the Government.He prepared the Ganga Canal Grid Scheme in 1924. After retirement in 1932 he established a sugar mill and an agricultural firm in Bijnor, U.P. He was Chairman of the Thomason College Reorganisation Committee (1938-39).


Sir Lakshmi Pati Misra

Sir Lakshmi Pati Misra (1911) possessed many virtues apart from sound engineering skills. A keen sportsman and a brilliant conversationalist he served the Indian Railways with great distinction for 34 years and rose to the highest rank of Chief Commissioner. His association with his alma mater was intimate and full of affection.

 

Shri K.N. Agarwala

Shri K.N. Agarwala,IIT Roorkee
Shri K.N.Agarwala I.S.E, an alumnus of the Thomason College of Engineering (1911-14) worked with the motto 'sacrifice before self' and "Professional excellence, high integrity & patriotism" . After graduating in 1914 he joined Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in building BHU from its inception as the sole engineer in charge for design, construction, and management. He was also involved in development of Ghats of Benares during 1914-1920. Having sacrificed I.S.E. service during 1914-1920, he worked with Sir Ganga Ram in Punjab. Later in UP Irrigation service, he earned numerous meritorious awards, namely, a Sanad in approbation from Governor of Agra & Oudh in 1928 for building the Sarda Canal and a Gold Medal from the Viceroy of India. At the prime of his career and as a rising star in service, his patriotic instincts rose above personal considerations and he joined Gandhiji's independence movement in 1937 and immersed himself in the constructive and peaceful aspects of the freedom movement including spinning of the Charkha. During the emergency in Bombay (WWII) in 1940, in true Gandhian spirit, he volunteered his services to the Governor and served as a Warden for Air Raid precautions.

He died of  a heart attack in 1947 just a few months before the very independence and development of the nation for which he worked throughout his life.
 

Dr.A.N.Khosla

Dr.A.N.Khosla,IIT Roorkee
Dr. A.N. Khosla (1916) was a dynamic visionary and engineer of towering stature. He developed the Khosla Disc for precision levelling across rivers and wide valleys and authored the famous Treatise on `Design of Weirs on Permeable Foundations'. Father of the Bhakra Nangal Project and the driving force behind several other river valley projects in the country, he served as Chairman, Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission, and later as Vice Chancellor of the University from 1954 to 1959.

Dr. Khosla changed the look of the University and gave it a reputation to live up to and a role to play in resurgent India. He was the first engineer to hold the exalted office of Governor of Orissa (1962-68). He donated most of his consultancy income to institute the Khosla Research Awards.
 

Dr. Ghananand Pande

Dr. Ghananand Pande (1925). Joined Indian Railways; achieved distinction as General Manager, Mokameh Bridge over Ganga; retired as Chairman, Railway Board, 1956. Chairman, Hindustan Steels, 1957-60, when public sector steel industry was established. As Chairman, Baby Car project, 1960-61, recommended manufacture of small cars. Vice Chancellor, Roorkee University, 1961-66.

Dr. Jai Krishna

Dr. Jai Krishna, IIT Roorkee
Dr. Jai Krishna (1935) pioneered the study and application of structural dynamics and established the School of Research and Training in Earthquake Engineering (later called the Department of Earthquake Engineering) at Roorkee University. Consultant to a number of projects involving design of seismically safe large structures all over India. Recipient of several awards including International Award of Japan Society of Disaster Prevention, 1988, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award of CSIR, National Design Award of the Institution of Engineers (India), Padma Bhushan.


 

Sri. Ved Mitra Manglik

Sri Ved Mitra Manglik

Prominent among those who passed out in the 1940's was Mr Ved Mitra Manglik (1940), who rose to become Chief Engineer, Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department. During his career he developed a focus on the planning and construction of large dams and major water resources projects in U.P. In the mid 1960's he prepared the integrated master plan for hydroelectric development of the Ganga River and its tributaries and certain Yamuna River projects. He was greatly admired for his unassailable integrity and courage. He was a man of many talents. As an inspiring and compassionate leader, he completed and commissioned the Ramganga Dam, a major irrigation project that had turned sick, in a record time of two years. He was also renowned for his deep interest in and knowledge of nature and plants, and for his passion and expertise in gardening. Once, during a conference for Senior Officers he was asked by the Minister, Irrigation Department, for the secret of his extraordinary effectiveness, and he replied, "I hold an iron rod in my hand but my heart is soft as a rose petal."

 

Dr. Anand Swarup Arya

Dr. Anand Swarup Arya, IIT Roorkee
Dr. Anand Swarup Arya (1953) is specialist in Structural Engineering, Earthquake, Soil and Foundation Engineering, with a long and distinguished record of research, design and consultancy work. Recipient of the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) award (1986) and the National Design Award of the Institution of Engineers (India) (1987). Participant in many UNESCO and other international activities, and member of many international delegations as expert in Earthquake Engineering. Director, International Association for Earthquake Engineering, 1977-80, 1980-84. Fellow, Indian National Science Academy and Indian National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. S.K. Khanna

Dr. S.K. Khanna, IIT Roorkee
Dr. S.K. Khanna (1958) has made significant contributions in the area of Highway and Transportation Engineering for a period of over 40 years. He was the first fulltime Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 1993, Prior to this, he served as Vice Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC), and was its Secretary from 1984 through 1990. He was responsible for maintenance of standards and development of higher and technical education in India. He played a vital role for the development of new Education Policy for higher technical education.


Others

During the so-called prestigious decade of 1920's the Institution produced many eminent engineers which included Kunwar Sain (1922), who contributed to the planning of projects concerning Rajasthan Canal and Mekong Valley Development in Thailand; A.C. Mitra (1923), who contributed to the development of irrigation and power systems of Yamuna and Ganga and later became the Engineer-in-Chief of the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department; K.N. Kathpalia (1924), who was the Member-Secretary, Fortescue Committee on Thomason College, associated with the drafting of the Roorkee University Act 1948, later became Pro Vice Chancellor of the Roorkee University (1957-61), acted as Vice Chancellor (1959-61); P.L. Verma (1924), who planned and constructed Chandigarh; L.P. Bhargava (1925), who designed and erected improved gates for weirs; Karnail Singh (1927), who constructed the Assam Rail Link in 1947, built Chittranjan locomotive works and became Chairman, Railway Board; Yadav Mohan (1928), who was responsible for the planning and design of Rihand dam and for the construction of the most difficult part of the Rajasthan Canal; H.P. Sinha (1928), who prepared the project for the Trans-Asian Highway from Bangkok to Istanbul; and D.C. Baijal (1929), who rose to be Chairman, Railway Board and Chairman Bharat Heavy Electricals. This decade also provided two future Vice-Chancellors of the University - G. Pande (1925) and M.R. Chopra (1929).

Dr. G. Pande lent luster to three high offices he held in succession - Chairman, Railway Board; Chairman, Hindustan Steel; and Vice-Chancellor, University of Roorkee (1961-66). During his regime the prestige of Indian Railways reached its peak; it was also during his tenure that the three public sector steel plants at Bhilal, Rourkela and Durgapur were set up and commissioned. Dr. M.R. Chopra, after successfully completing the gigantic Bhakra Dam Project as its General Manager, became Chairman, Central Water and Power Commission, and later Vice-Chancellor of the University (1966-71). Dr. G. Pande and Dr. M.R. Chopra, with their administrative acumen, made the University one of the foremost centres of engineering education - healthy within and reputed outside.

The most illustrious of the decade of 1930's, Dr. Jai Krishna (1935) joined the teaching staff of the college in 1939 and was Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1971 to 1977. He earned worldwide recognition as an eminent engineer-scientist, as Founder and Director of the School of Research and Training in Earthquake Engineering and as recipient of several prestigious awards and honours.

Prominent among those who passed out in the 1940's was Mr Ved Mitra Manglik (1940), who rose to become Chief Engineer, Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department. During his career he developed a focus on the planning and construction of large dams and major water resources projects in U.P. In the mid 1960's he prepared the integrated master plan for hydroelectric development of the Ganga River and its tributaries and certain Yamuna River projects. He was greatly admired for his unassailable integrity and courage. He was a man of many talents. As an inspiring and compassionate leader, he completed and commissioned the Ramganga Dam, a major irrigation project that had turned sick, in a record time of two years. He was also renowned for his deep interest in and knowledge of nature and plants, and for his passion and expertise in gardening. Once, during a conference for Senior Officers he was asked by the Minister, Irrigation Department, for the secret of his extraordinary effectiveness, and he replied, "I hold an iron rod in my hand but my heart is soft as a rose petal."; Dr. O.P. Jain (1944), a structural design engineer par excellence who, after a long and distinguished service at the University, served as Director,I.I.T., Delhi (1978-83); Mr. Dinesh Mohan (1943) who became Director, C.B.R.I Roorkee, at a relatively young age and rendered highly meritorious service to the lnstitute; Dr. Bharat Singh (1945), a renowned expert on Irrigation and Dams who was Vice-Chancellor of the University (1982-86); Mr. Desh Raj Singha (1946) started his career as Assistant Engineer in the U.P. Irrigation Department and rose upto the position of Engineer-in-Chief; Dr. Jagdish Narain (1948), a distinguished soil scientist who was Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1977 to 1982.

Prominent among those who passed out in decade of 1950s are Mr. R.K. Jain (1951) held position of increasing responsibility and rose to the position of Chairman, Railway Board; Dr. Digvijay Singh (1956), started his career as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at University of Roorkee and rose to the prestigious position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Roorkee. He was the Director of Central Road Research Institute, Vice Chairman, All Indian Council of Technical Education; Mr. Krishan Kumar Jain (1957), who started his professional career in USA as a Bridge Engineer in Akron, Ohio. In 1974, Mr. Jain moved to Naples, Florida and started his own Structural Consulting firm of Kris Jain & Assoc.; Mr. J.N. Lamba (1957) held positions of increasing responsibility and rose to the position of General Manager in the Indian Railways; Mr. Ashok Bhatnagar (1957) served as an Assistant Engineer with U.P.P.W.D. and rose to the position of Chairman, Railway Board and Principal Secretary to Govt. of India. He is the only Thomasonian to have attained this distinction (Principal Secretary) through the I.A.S. and Allied services Examination, and only the second Thomasonian amongst the post 1947 batches in the last 60 years; Mr. Narendra Kumar Mittal (1957) started his career as an Apprentice engineer in UPPWD and rose upto the position of Managing Director, U.P. Construction Corporation; Dr. Satish Chandra (1957) was Director of the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee; Mr. Harihar Saran Agarwal (1957) started his career with the Irrigation Department in 1957 and rose upto the level of Additional Member, Railway Board. He was also involved with the computerization of reservations and freight operations information on the railways; Mr. Ravindra Kumar (1957) started his career as Assistant Engineer and rose upto the level of Managing Director, UP State Bridge Corporation; Mr. Narendra Sahai Bisaria (1957) started his career as Lecturer in Civil Engineering at University of Roorkee and rose upto the level of Director in the Central Water Commission, the apex Civil Engineeing organization of the country; Mr. Om Prakash Kulshreshtha (1957) started his career as Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at University of Roorkee, he joined UNESCO as Senior Adviser in Electrical Engineering for the Development of the Ceylon College of Technology in Sri Lanka; Mr. Shailendra Kumar Hajela (1957) started his career as Lecturer at University of Roorkee and after a brief stint, he was sponsored by the Govt. of India for research leading to Ph.D. at the Technical University in LLmenau. He was awarded by the University of Roorkee in 1957, the Gold Medal for the Best Engineering Project design in Electrical Engineering and the Thomason prize for being the most distinguished student; Mr. Devi Krishna Gupta (1957) was the Member of Telecom Commission, Department of Telecom; Mr. Jagat Prakash Garg (1957) started his career from the Indian Telecommunication Service (ITS) in 1960 and rose upto the level of Senior Deputy Director General, Telecom Communication of India in the rank of Additional Secretary to Government of India; Dr. Shyam Bahadur (1957) started his career as Lecturer at University of Roorkee and rose upto University Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, low State University, USA. He was a Member of Sigma Xi, Pi Tau Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi. Rackham Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Mr. Har Narain (1957) retired as Director in Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal; Dr. Rajinder Kumar Suri (1957) began his professional career as Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Department at University of Roorkee was the Chief Works Executive, Fedders Lloyd. In 1973, he was selected to take over as Director of CMERI, Durgapur, a CSIR organization. Instead he joined Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), New Delhi to establish BHEL’s research program on New and Renewable Energy Sources; Mr. B.C. Srivastava (1957) started his career from the UP Irrigation Department. Later he joined the University of Roorkee as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Department. He worked as General Manager, Delhi State Industries Development Corporation (DSIDC), Executive Director of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC). During 1984 he joined World Bank and later moved over to United Nations. He served different in countries at a stretch for over ten years. Initially he was Chief Technical Advisor but finally retired as Director, International Labour Organization in a diplomatic rank but remained an honorary Consultant to the UN and the WB, thereafter.

Prominent among those who passed out in decade of 1960s are Mr. V.K. Agnihotri (1960) who was Member Engineering, in the Railway Board; Dr Vijay Kumar (1961) Member(Technology) Telecom. Commission and ex-officio Secretary to Govt. of India who was instrumental in liberalisation of Telecom Services , Manufacture of Telecom Equipment and rapid growth of Telecom in the country; Mr. Subodh Bhargava (1962) started his career with Balmer Lawrie & Co., Calcutta and rose to the level of Group Chairman and Chief Executive in the Eicher Group of Companies. He is the past President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Association of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and the Vice President of the Tractor Manufacturers Association; Mr. Pradip Baijal (1963) served MP State in various capacities. He was Special/Additional/Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power. He was holding the position of Secretary, Ministry of Disinvestment, Govt. of India. He served as the Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; Mr. Arvind Sharma (1963) was the Member, Electrical, Railway Board; Mr. Ashok Soota (1963) was the President of Wipro Infotech, served on the Prime Minister’s Task Force for IY Industry and on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. Mr. Soota was name Electronics Man of the year in 1992 by the Electronic Component Industries Association, IT Man of the year in 1994 by Data quest and IT Man of the Year in 1997 by the Computerworld Magazine; Mr. R.K. Singh (1966) joined Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) and rose upto the level of Chairman, Railway Board; Mr. B.K. Chaturvedi (1969) was the President & Executive Director, Hindustan Motors Limited.

Prominent among those whose passed out in decade of 1970 are Mrs. Vinita Gupta (1973) Chairperson, Quick Eagle Networks Inc. USA.

No narration relating to this University can be complete without mentioning the name of Lt General Sir Harold Williams, K.B.E., C.B., who was associated with it for over 50 years. Professor of Civil Engineering (1936-38) and member of the Senate (1949-55), he took deep interest in the progress of the Institution. Lt. General Williams was Engineer-in-Chief, Indian Army from 1948-55 and Director, C.B.R.I., Roorkee from 1955-62. He adopted India as his home and loved Roorkee in particular. "Roorkee was his Shantiniketan, his Sevagram and finally his Samadhi. He lies buried at the old Anglo Indian cemetery, across the Ganges Canal. The Bengal Sappers, his old regiment, mounts a guard of honour at his grave every year on the 17th of October, which is the anniversary of his death, which occured at Mussoorie, in 1971.

After the establishment of the University the number of students graduating increased progressively due to enhanced intake in existing branches and addition of new branches. Thus a veritable stream of highly talented young people has since come out of this august institution. They have occupied, and continue to occupy , key positions in Industry, Government and Education, both in India and abroad, thereby bringing fresh laurels to the alma mater.