National Technology Day is celebrated on 11th May to commemorate the success of the nuclear test in India in 1998. The government of India and the Ministry of Science and Technology organise events on this day to remember the architects of Pokhran II and encourage future generations to further technological advancements in India. Private organisations such as schools and colleges mark this day with numerous exhibitions, debates, and other social gatherings. This day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role science and technology play in shaping the technological future of the nation and the significance of investing in research and development for a better and sustainable future.
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National Technology Day is observed on 11th May of each calendar year since 1999 to commemorate the technological and scientific achievements of Indian engineers, scientists, and researchers. Here is a brief history of this day of national importance:
- This day is celebrated to mark the successful nuclear test at Pokhran, Rajasthan.
- Pokhran-II was conducted in 1998 under the leadership of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
- In 1999, the former PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared that 11th May of each year will be observed as National Technology Day in India.
- Since 1999, the Technology Department Board (TDB) is responsible for recognising nation-building technological innovations and honouring scientific minds who have contributed to the growth of the country.
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National Technology Day holds great significance for a developing country like India. Individuals dedicated to science and technology play a vital role in the transformation of the nation and this day is observed to honour and acknowledge these people. As this event is all about recognising and awarding magnificent minds of the country, here are some of the most significant landmarks in the Indian scientific and technological journey:
- India joined the Nuclear Club after Pokhran Test on 11th May 1998. The chief co-ordinators of this event were Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr R. Chidambaram. This operation was codenamed ‘Operation Shakti’.
- Operation Shakti was conducted at the Pokhran Test Range of the Indian Army. This operation was a successor to ‘Operation Smiling Buddha’, which was conducted in May 1974.
- After the successful testing of ‘Shakti 1’ nuclear missile on 11th May, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) successfully test-fired ‘Trishul Missile’, a surface-to-air short-range missile, and the victorious test flight of ‘Hansa 3’, the first indigenous aircraft of India.
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On National Technology Day, TDB confers National Awards under three categories, viz; Commercialisation of Indigenous Technology, Technology Start-Up, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).
National Award for Successful Commercialisation of Indigenous Technology
It is awarded to a technology provider or developer or enterprise who has identified an industrial concern and successfully created and commercialised indigenous technology to solve the issue. If the technology curator and the enterprises are two different entities then the award is bestowed upon the individual and the organisation. Each entity is awarded INR 25 lakh and a trophy.
National Award for Technology Start-Up
This honour is awarded to a technology start-up working toward the development of an indigenous technology that has commercialisation potential.
National Award for MSME
In this category, an award of INR 15 lakh is awarded to MSMEs that have been successful in the commercialisation of indigenous technology-based products.
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Ways to Celebrate
India observes National Technology Day by recognising and acknowledging the scientific achievements of curious minds in the nation. Here are some of the initiatives by different public and private organisations:
- The central government of India organises seminars and events to discuss the future of science and technology in the country.
- Schools and academic institutions of higher learning conduct speech and elocution contests to talk about scientific discoveries and debate on different aspects of science.
- Citizens play their part by sharing relevant and authentic information about this day on their social media platforms.
After the successful testing of Shakti 1 and Trishul Missile on 11th May 1998, Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced that this day will henceforth be observed as Technology Day in India.
This day is observed to celebrate and honour engineers, researchers, and scientists who have contributed to the advancement of India by innovating and commercialising new technologies.
On this day, India successfully completed ‘Operation Shakti’ under the leadership of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the architect of Pokhran II, and Dr R. Chidambaram, Director of the Department of Atomic Energy in 1998.
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