India Roads Congress (IRC)
The India Roads Congress (IRC) is the oldest and most important representative technical body of highway engineers in India. The growth of highway engineering as a profession owes much to the IRC which has completed seventy three years of its existence. It can be claimed that the development of roads in the country has been significantly influenced by the wise counsels given by the IRC and has progressed according to the policies enunciated by it.
The origin of the IRC can be traced back to the Indian Road Development committee (the Jayakar Committee) appointed by the Government of India in November, 1927. One of the recommendations of this committee was that road conferences should be held periodically to discuss among other things, questions relating to road construction and maintenance. The Central Government, after consulting the state Governments, convened an inaugural meeting of highway engineers at New Delhi in December, 1934. This meeting was attended by 73 Engineers from all parts of the then India. This marked the birth of the Indian Roads Congress. When the activities of the IRC expanded, it was registered as a society in 1937 under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Starting with a modest membership of 73 in 1934, the IRC has now about 13,500 members comprising of engineers of all ranks from Central and State Governments, Engineering Services of Army, Border Roads Organization, Road Research Institutes, Engineering Colleges, Local Bodies and private enterprises.
The IRC provides a National forum for sharing of knowledge and pooling of experience on the entire range of subjects dealing with the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, including technology, equipment, research, planning, finance, taxation, organization and all connected policy issues. In more specific terms, the objectives of the IRC are:
- to promote and encourage the science and practice of building, operation and maintenance of roads.
- to provide a channel for the expression of collective opinion of its members regarding roads.
- to promote the use of standard specifications and to propose specifications.
- to advise regarding education, experiment and research connected with roads.
- to hold periodical meetings to discuss technical questions regarding roads and thus disseminate technical knowledge of experiences amongst highway engineers
- to suggest legislation for the development, improvement and protections of roads.
- to suggest improved methods of administration, planning, design, construction, operation, use and maintenance of roads.
- to establish, furnish and maintain libraries and museums for furthering the science of road making.
- to publish, or arrange for the publication of proceedings, journals, periodicals, and other literature for the promotion of the objectives of the IRC
The IRC has relentlessly strived to achieve these objectives and fulfill its charter.