Er. Ajudhia Nath Khosla, born on 11th December 1892, was an eminent Indian engineer and politician.
Dr. A N Khosla worked as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Roorkee from 1954 to 1959. As a Special Secretary to the Government of India during 1953-54, he led the Indian Delegation to the United Nations for the Indus Water dispute with Pakistan. These negotiations led to the World Bank proposals, which formed the basis of the Water Treaty between India and Pakistan.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1977. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from April 1958 to October 1959 and a member of the Planning Commission in 1959. In 1962, he was appointed the Governor of Orissa. This appointment was a historic event for the engineers of this country. He was the 11th Governor of Odisha from 1962 to 1968.
Born in theJalandhar district of Punjab, he took up his early education in Punjab and obtained the BA with honours from D.A.V. College, Lahore, in 1912. He then joined the Thomason College of Civil Engineering (now IIT Roorkee) in 1913 and graduated in 1916 as a civil engineer.
After graduation in 1916, he started his career with the Irrigation Branch of the Punjab Public Works Department. In 1919, when theIndian Service of Engineers (ISE) was established, he was assigned his first assignment for surveys and investigations of theBhakra Dam Project. He spent 18 months on deputation to Mesopotamia as a commissioned officer. During this period, he developed the Khosla Disc for precision levelling across rivers and wide valleys. In 1931, Er. Khosla was deputed to the US and Europe to study soil reclamation, waterlogging, and the latest techniques in dam design. In 1936, he wrote his magnum opus, The design of weirs on permeable foundation. This publication revolutionized the design of such structures in India and abroad.
As an engineer, Er. A N Khosla served in the following prestigious positions :
• He was appointed as the first Chairman of the newly constituted Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission (Now known as Central Water Commission) in 1945.
• He established the Central Water and Power Station at Khadakvasla (earlier known as Poona Research Station)
• He was instrumental in the construction of Bhakra Dam and later served as Chairman of the board of Consultants of Bhakra Control Board until its commissioning in 1963.
• He undertook planning, design, and construction of Hirakud Dam, a major Water Resources Project in India.
• He was the president of the Indian National Science Academy during 1961-62.
• He was instrumental in bringing about several agreements on negotiations for Indus Water Dispute with Pakistan.
• As an educationist, he was the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of the Thomason College of Civil Engineering (later renamed as the University of Roorkee and now the IIT Roorkee).
• He was the founder of two specialized engineering departments, i.e., The Water Resources Development Training Centre and the School of Research and Training in Earthquake Engineering, which have made the UoR internationally well-known.
Recognizing his contributions, the UoR Conferred the honorary D.Sc. Degree to him in 1959. He was also awarded D.Sc degrees (Honoris Causa) by Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, and various universities such as the University of Punjab, Sambalpur University OUAT, Bhuvneshwar, Jadavpur University, and IIT Delhi. Government of India recognized his contributions and awarded the most prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 1974. He completed his life in 1984.
First Lecture by Prof. K.G. Ranga Raju
Second Lecture by Er. M. Gopalakrishnan
Third Lecture by Prof. Asit K. Biswas
Fourth Lecture by Prof. Venkappayya R Desai