The study of rock mechanics has assumed considerable importance because of its wide
application in civil engineering, more predominantly in water resources and mining
engineering. With the execution of multipurpose water resources projects located
in complicated geological settings, the significance of rock mechanics in the design
and construction was realised in late 1950s. Despite tremendous alround advancement
in technology, a full understanding of natural forces and phenomena particularly
in the construction of water resources projects eludes the design engineer and therefore
there is always a need for upgradation of ones knowledge. Liberalisation of economy
has facilitated planning and execution of many exciting and complicated projects.
These projects require application of modern principles of rock mechanics, which
warrants deliberations and collaboration to facilitate flow of appropriate technology
to enable successful implementation of such projects under a time-bound programme
in a cost-effective manner, conforming to environmental requirements.
Since its inception, in 1991, the Indian National Group of ISRM i.e. ISRM (India)
has been involved in dissemination of information regarding rock mechanics, mining
and tunnel engineering by organising symposia, seminars, workshops, and training
courses, both at national as well as international level, in liaison with international
The International Society for Rock Mechanics was founded in Salzburg in 1962 as
a result of the enlargement of the “Salzburger Kreis”, its foundation being mainly
owed to Professor Muller who acted as President of the Society till September 1966.
The Society is a non-profit organization supported by the fees of the members and
grants that do not impair its free action.
The field of Rock Mechanics is taken to include all studies relative to the physical
and mechanical behaviour of rocks and rock masses and the applications of this knowledge
for the better understanding of geological processes in the fields of Engineering.
The first Manual on Rock Mechanics, which was prepared under the guidance of an
Expert Committee, was released by Central Board of Irrigation & Power (CBIP) in
early 1979. The manual was very well received.
The manual was revised in 1988, under the guidance of the then Director and Joint
Director of CSMRS, Shri C. Sudhindra and Dr. V.M. Sharma, respectively, to reflect
the then state-of-art knowledge of Indian Engineers in the field of Rock Mechanics.
The revised manual contained 17 Chapters, covering basic concepts of Rock Mechanics,
Field and Laboratory Tests on Rock Mass and Rock Specimen, Geophysical Investigations,
Interpretation of Test Data and their Application to various problems of Foundation
of Dams, Tunnelling, etc.
The Governing Council of the Indian National Group of ISRM, in its meeting held
on 27 February 2009, under the Chairmanship of Dr. K.G. Sharma, President of Indian
National Group of ISRM, felt that there was a need to update the manual, as more
than 20 years had passed since its publication. It has been decided to release the
revised manual during the ISRM International Symposium 2010 and 6th Asian Rock Mechanics
Symposium to be held in New Delhi during 23-27 October 2010.