Science & Technology

On National Technology Day, Remembering Pokhran 2 'Operation Shakti' Nuclear Tests

News World India | 1
| May 11 , 2018 , 11:52 IST

India has been making strides in technology for decades, and conducted its first successful nuclear test in 1974 in Rajasthan's Pokhran, followed by a series of 5 nuclear tests again in Pokhran in 1998.

In honour of the successful nuclear tests, in 1999 the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee marked May 11 as National Technology Day. The first set of 3 nuclear bomb tests of Operation Shakti, known as Pokhran 2 had been successfully tested on May 11 in 1998, while the remaining 2 were successfully tested on May 13. Operation Shakti was led by an aerospace engineer as well as late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range.

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As a result of the successful nuclear tests at Pokhran, India was declared as a nuclear state, becoming the 6th country in the world to join the 'nuclear club' of nations, as well as the first nation not to be a part of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Apart from the testing of nuclear bombs, India’s first indigenous aircraft the Hansa 3 was also first tested on May 11, 1998 in Bangalore, becoming the first of its kind general aviation two-seater plane used for flight training as well as personal flying.

India also successfully tested the short-range missile Trishul on May 11, 1998, which was developed as a part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).  

Since 1999, the Technology Development Board (TDB) celebrates May 11 as National Technology Day, honouring technological innovations that have positively impacted India and contributed to indigenous technology.

The theme for National Technology Day 2018 is “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.