National Technology Day is observed every year on May 11 across India. The day is celebrated to mark India’s technological advancements. On 11 May, 1998 India successfully tested Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. The operation is led by aerospace engineer and late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and was called Operation Shakti or Pokhran-II. Two Days later, India successfully test fired two nuclear weapons as part of Operation Shakti. National Technology Day 2018: History, Significance, Theme and Why it is Celebrated.
India conducted its first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, in the deserts of Pokhran making it a peaceful nuclear explosion. It was codenamed ‘Smiling Buddha'. After the Pokhran-II, India became the sixth nuclear country after the United States, Russia, China, The United Kingdom and France. It was the first nuclear country who had not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Apart from conducting the nuclear test on May 11, 1998, the Hansa-3, India’s first indigenous aircraft was flown in Bengaluru. Hansa-3 was a light two-seater general aviation plane used in flying institutes for pilot training. The aircraft was also used for surveillance, sports, and environment-related projects. International Women's Day 2019: NASA Plans to Launch First All-Women Spacewalk, Two Female Astronauts Will Make History Soon.
On this day, India also made a progress in Missile technology. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) completed the final test-fire of the Trishul missile. It was later inducted into service by the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. The Trishul Missile was A short-range, quick-reaction, surface-to-air (SAM) missile and was a part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
Based on these technological advancements, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared May 11 as the National Technology Day. The Technology Development Board (TDB) was set up and since 1999, the day is marked by honouring technological innovations that have contributed to the growth of the nation. The board confers National Awards to individuals and institutions for their contribution in the field of science. National Science Day 2019: Theme and Significance of Day Dedicated to CV Raman’s Discovery of Raman Effect.
Programmes are also organised to support various technological activities. India is among the top-ranking countries for basic research. There has been significant progress in the field of science and instruments of knowledge. Every year the theme is selected by the TDB. In 2018, the theme of the National Technology Day was Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”. Meanwhile, in 2017, the theme was Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth.