In India, every year's May 11 is celebrated as the National Technology Day to mark the anniversary of the 1998 successful test-fire of Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Indian Army's Test range in Rajasthan's Pokhran. The operation was referred to as Operation Shakti or Pokhran II led by an Aerospace Engineer who later became the president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Pokhran II 1998 was the second nuclear test conducted by India, first being the 1974 'Operation Smiling Buddha' which was a failure.
With the success of the 1998 test, India became the World's sixth nuclear state. To commemorate the history of the day the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee coined the day as National Technology Day.
This year's theme for the National Technology Day is 'Commercialising Indigenous Technologies: Journey from Benchside to Business Programme’. The theme seems to have badly affected by the called lockdown due to the pandemic in the country.
The main objective of observance of this day is to promote the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among the Indians. People are awarded by the President of India to appreciate their immense contribution in the field of technology and science. The Ministry of Science and Technology also organizes various events across the country.
Expressing his gratitude towards the scientists and remembering the Pokhran nuclear tests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “On National Technology Day, our nation salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. We remember the exceptional achievement of our scientists on this day in 1998. It was a landmark moment in India’s history”.
Other Milestone events that took place on 11 May in Indian history-
1) Hansa-3 Aircraft
In 1998, India's first indigenous aircraft was flown in Bengaluru for the first time. NAL-Hansa is a two-seater light general aviation plane developed by National Aeronautics Limited. It is generally used in pilot training, sports, surveillance, aerial photography, and environmental projects.
2) Trishul Missile
In 1998, the last test-fire of Trishul missile was successfully conducted. It is a short-range surface-to-air missile developed by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
The Trishul missile project was commissioned under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)of India which resulted in the formation of Prithvi, Akash, and Agni missile systems.
(Image credit: Wikipedia, AerMech.in)