The National Technology Day 2021 is celebrated on May 11 every year to honour the achievements and efforts of Indian scientists and engineers in the field of science and technology. The 30th National Technology Day is a remembrance of the sub continent’s technological enhancements to enter into the elite group of countries with nuclear weapons as a sixth country.
In 1998, on this day, India successfully test-fired a nuclear missile named Shakti-I at the Indian Army’s Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. Late President and aerospace scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam headed the operation. Subsequently, numerous other nuclear tests were conducted under the same initiative. The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India as a nuclear state. Following this, the first National Technology Day was observed in 1999.
The mission was put into effect by the Indian Army in association with scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER). These tests boosted India’s confidence in building thermonuclear weapons and fission bombs, marking its significant contribution.
Pokhran II or Operation Shakti consisted of five detonations, out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs.
Structured and designed by National Aerospace Laboratory, the first indigenous aircraft Hansa was also tested on the same day. It took flight in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The light two-seater aircraft was set up to assist pilot training, surveillance and other reconnaissance tasks. The DRDO undertook the activity of the surface-to-air Trishul missile. It is a short-range missile with a rapid reaction promptly.
The board declares a theme every year, and The National Technology Day 2021 theme is named “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”. Last year, the theme was ‘Rebooting the Economy through Science, Technology and Research Translations’ titled ‘RESTART’ where Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “We need to mitigate the widespread economic impact and prepare for a stronger recovery using self-reliance as the new mantra.” Thus, we look towards new opportunities to galvanise growth in the technological and industrial sectors.
The day is basically for anyone connected with ideating, innovating and paving the way to disseminate knowledge, information and taking the products or benefits to people at the grassroots level.
According to UNESCO, “Building bridges between all scientific disciplines, public policies and society is key…” Unless there is education for all, the benefits of science will be restricted to a select few.
A mega event is organised in New Delhi for the National Technology Day commemoration, and the President graces the programme as the chief guest. He presents awards to scientists and honours them for their achievements in their endeavours. But due to the surge in coronavirus cases across the country, it is not stated by the authorities whether any event will be held this year.
As per the Technology Development Board of India (a statutory body under the Ministry of Science and Technology), the National Award for Successful Commercialisation of Indigenous Technology is conferred to an industrial concern for successfully developing and commercialising an indigenous technology on this day.
The Ministry of Science and Technology coordinates every event across the country on National Technology Day.
It has become essential to create interest and awareness about science and technology among the students. Undoubtedly, National Technology Day is a great way to urge the country’s youth to come forward and has become the way to commemorate the scientists, researchers for India’s growing technology.