It's been 21 years since we witnessed the emergence of India as a nuclear power. To commemorate these successful nuclear tests conducted at Pokhran in Rajasthan on May 11 in 1998, to mark this day which proved our technical prowess, to honour technological innovations and to consider the two more technological advancements in the field of technology in India (the flying of first indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” at Bangalore and successful test firing of the “Trishul” missile), the Indian government christened May 11 as 'National Technology Day'.
During the operation “Shakti”(also called as Pokhran-2 or Operation Shakti-98 or Power 98), means 'power' in Sanskrit, three of five nuclear devices Shakti-1, Shakti-2 and Shakti-3 were detonated successfully on May 11. The remaining two Shakti-4 and Shakti-5 were detonated later on May 13. After all these five explosion tests, the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared that India joined the nuclear elite (US, Russia, UK, France and China) as the sixth member on March 13.
The aerospace engineer, the then Scientific Adviser to the PM and Head of the DRDO and and the late President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Dr. R. Chidambaram, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Atomic Energy were the project chief coordinators then. This was the nuclear test conducted after the first test “Smiling Buddha” in May 1974 (Pokhran-1). India stood as the first non-member of the international treaty NPT (Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) – signed by US, Russia, UK, France and China to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to achieve nuclear disarmament.
The Technology Development Board (TDB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology, coordinates the National Technology Day every year in which the key departments of science - Department of Science and Technology, Department of Bio-Technology (DBT), Ministry of Earth Sciences and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - take part in the celebrations. As part of celebrations, the TDB recognises the significant efforts of persons and organisations in the field of science and industry by awarding them a trophy and cash of Rs.10 Lakh.
As part of National Technology Day, India indulges in the following activities.
Eminent scientists give their speeches in universities.
New inventions are released.
Students from schools and colleges visit labs and watch technical films in the renowned scientific organisations.
Institutions organise competitions, quizzes, presentations and interactive sessions on different aspects of science.
This day is an important opportunity for youngsters. Take part in activities and events related to science and development. Listen to speeches of your lecturers today. Read books of famous Indian scientists. They may lead you finding a new technology or an innovation.
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