Civil Engineering ! The backbone of countries development !

Civil Engineering !  The backbone of countries development !

Civil Engineering ! The backbone of countries development !

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Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, has said, “The future of a country depends much on Engineers than on Administrators”.

Winston Churchill, the ex-President of US, has said, “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”.

Franklin D Roosevelt, the ex-President of US, has said, “There can be little doubt that in many ways the story of bridge building is the story of civilisation. By it we can readily measure an important part of a people’s progress”.

Sir John Harvey Jones has said, “Go for civil engineering, because civil engineering is the branch of engineering which teaches you the most about managing people. Managing people is a skill which is very, very useful and applies almost regardless of what you do”

Jean Peronnet has said, “A great bridge is a great monument which should serve to make known the splendour and genius of a nation; one should not occupy oneself with efforts to perfect it architecturally, for taste is always susceptible to change, but to conserve always in its form and decoration the character of solidity which is proper”.

These quotes are quite true. By Engineer, they definitely meant Civil Engineers. Civil Engineers or construction engineers are backbone of a countries development. Can you think of a rich country without developed infrastructures like roads, bridges, railways, high rise buildings, dams, towers, etc ?


In ancient times, the word ‘Engineer’ only meant ‘Civil Engineers’. Engineering meant only construction of infrastructures like roads, bridges, railways, high rise buildings, dams, towers, etc. Afterwards, when the area broadened, other branches also were associated with the word ‘Engineering’ like Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, and very recently Computer engineering, Nuclear engineering, etc.

In ancient times, there was no name as ‘Civil Engineering’. The term ‘Civil’ generally has the meaning as ‘non-military’. In earlier times, there was only one term as ‘Engineering’ meaning construction of roads, bridges, railways, buildings, dams, canals, airports, etc, which was the duty of Military or Army personnel, not of common men. Because, construction of these big big public structures or utilities required hard arduous duties suitable only to strong healthy physique, which only Army personal could provide. But, later on, when construction area widened, and Govt also took many construction activities on their own shoulder, it became need to open the field of construction area to common people. It was then not sufficient to depend only upon Military or Army for so much construction works. So, then the name ‘Civil Engineering’ came, meaning construction activities by common people, not the Army or Military or Fouji or Sena ( फौजी, सेना, in Indian Hindi language). The full usage of the name Civil engineering started specially in 18th century.

So, in a sense, Civil engineering pertains to Army people or Military personnel or soldiers or people of this category. There are many similarities between Civil engineering and Army activities.

Civil engineering is also called as Construction, Public work, Project, etc.

Civil engineering also deals with a big part of human civilisation : Public health. This branch of Civil engineering is called Public Health Engineering (PHE) or Environmental engineering.

When the first primitive men started to make a shelter or roof over his head, may be it with bamboo, wood, ice (as in Greenland by Eskimos), cane, stone, or anything else, Civil engineering started. Also, when men in primitive times, crossed the small stream by putting tree trunk, Civil engineering began.

God, the creator, can also be thought of as the greatest Civil Engeneer. He has created this entire Universe, the greatest and the most mysterious Civil engineering construction, floating in the space.

A Doctor saves human lives by treatment. Very often, Doctors and Engineers are referred simultaneously as the two most prestigious profession in the society. But, peculiarly speaking,  a Doctor can’t work as an Engineer, but, a Civil engineer works as a Doctor also. How ? When a Civil Engineer constructs all necessities for disposal of waste, sanitation, etc, then is he not saving the lakhs of public lives ? When a Civil engineer constructs all necessities to make possible clean drinking water to reach every buildings and public places, then is he not saving lakhs of people from water-born diseases ? So, Civil engineers are saving the mankind on a mass scale from sure death.

So, it can obviously be declared that Civil Engineers have saved more lives than all the Doctors in history—by development of  clean water and sanitation systems.”

Upto 50% of the total revenue collected by the Government is spent on construction industry i. e. Civil engineering.

The  ‘Wonders’ of the world (like ‘Tajmahal’ in India, ‘Eiffel Tower’ in France, etc) are actually what ? Civil Engineering, isn’t it ?

Civil Engineering is the fundamental need of human being, because among the 3 fundamental needs (food, clothing, shelter), ‘shelter’  is nothing but Civil Engineering.

Civil engineers build the world’s infrastructure. In doing so, they quietly shape the history of nations around the world. Most people can not imagine life without the many contributions of civil engineers to the public’s health, safety and standard of living. Only by exploring civil engineering’s influence in shaping the world we know today, we can creatively envision the progress of our tomorrows.

Civil engineering structures has become iconic figures of a country, identity of a country. Who will not think of the ‘London Bridge’ when he/she thinks about UK, who will not think of  the ‘Great Wall of China’ when he/she thinks about China, who will not think about the ‘Tajmahal’ and ‘Red Fort’ when he/she thinks about India, who will not think of the ‘Eiffel Tower’ when he/she thinks about France, who will not think of the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ when he/she thinks about Italy, etc ?

So, we can proudly say that, “No Civil Engineering, no civilisation”.

As the Soldiers or Fouji or Sena ( फौजी, सेना, in Indian Hindi language) are the real human resource asset of a country, so are the Civil engineers.

But, common people and also the Government do not pay much importance to soldiers, Civil engineers and Civil engineering. They remain busy with other common life issues.


RJ Bhattacharjee

(H/O Mandira Bhattacharjee)

( The writer himself is a Civil engineer in India, with more than 20 years experience at this time of writing this article/post. )

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