Since 1999, the country has celebrated National Technology Day on May 11 to recognise achievements in the scientific and technical fields.
It is astounding to know the history of the date for the celebration of science and technology. On May 11, 1998, India undertook three nuclear tests at the Pokhran Test Range of the Indian Army in Rajasthan under the supervision of late A P J Abdul Kalam, India’s eleventh president.
The tests were carried out as part of the operation Shakti. This was the second test, succeeding Pokhran-I, also called Operation Smiling Buddha, in May 1974. On May 13, two more successful nuclear tests were carried out. These successful trials made India the sixth nation having nuclear power.
Indian Army in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER) carried out this mission.
Apart from this, India’s premier indigenous aircraft, the Hansa-3, designed by the National Aerospace Laboratory, took to the air on May 11, 1998, in Bengaluru. It was a lightweight two-seater aircraft configured for surveillance, pilot training, aerial photography and other tasks.
On the same day, Trishul, an Indian-made short-range missile, was successfully tested. The surface-to-air missile was made under Defence Research and Development Organization’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. After the successful testing was accepted into the Indian Army and Air Force.
With all of these technological developments unfolding on the same day, then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee denoted May 11 as National Technology Day.
Talking about the current scenario, the Ministry of Science and Technology hosts a variety of seminars and workshops on this day. The ministry’s Technology Development Board recognises technical advances that have aided in national growth.
The Board is a legislative body of the Government of India that operates within the Department of Science and Technology. It offers financial support to Indian industrial stakeholders and other organisations for the commercial viability of indigenous technology or the incorporation of foreign technologies for broader national purposes.
The Technology Development Board organises an event each year at which the President of India, as the chief guest, bestows awards on scientists and researchers for their contributions.
The Department of Science and Technology, Bio-Technology Department, along with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and several other scientific organisations support this event. Many institutions host script, voice, or essay competitions.
The Technology Development Board announces a theme for each year’s National Technology Day celebration. “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future” is the theme for this year’s event. Both decorations and arrangements for the event are performed in line with the theme. It is crucial to foster in students, enthusiasm and understanding of science and technology. Many schools and Universities even organise events to contribute to this cause. Without a doubt, National Technology Day is a perfect way to motivate the nation’s youth to participate, as well as to acknowledge scientists and researchers for their contributions to India’s technological advancements.