“Shakti, the Pokhran Nuclear Test” Is The Theme of the NTD 2018


 The superpower is smiling with Buddha on the global map


(Singh Ankita) 


As the world is aware about the technological significance of the  Asian superpower, India. Obviously technology is the arena which shows the real development and caliber of a county. So is with India now. Going back to the history of Indian National Technology Day, the first nuclear test Pokhran with a codenamed as ‘Smiling Buddha’ was carried out in May 1974. The second test conducted was Pokhran II which was a series of five tests of nuclear bomb explosions, administered by India at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in May 1998. Pokhran II comprised of five detonations out of which the first one was a fusion bomb while the other four were fission bombs. These nuclear tests evolved various sanctions against India by many major states, including the United States and Japan.

Pokhran II or Operation Shakti was initiated on 11th of May, 1998 with the detonation of two fission bombs and one fusion bomb (meaning of the word “Shakti” is power in Sanskrit). Two additional fission bombs were detonated on 13th of May, 1998 and the Government of India run by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister shortly convened a press conference for the declaration of India as a full-fledged nuclear state. Various names were attributed for these tests with the original name kept as ‘’Operation Shakti-98”, while the five nuclear devices were classified Shakti I through Shakti V. Recently, the whole operation is called Pokhran II and the explosion of 1974 is called Pokhran I.

India has discovered some of the greatest scientific minds in world history. Technology is the national passion, be it constructing primitive nuclear capabilities or building its own combat light aircraft-Tejas, the scientists of India have expressed that our defense technology is not less than others. From space exploration to defense, India has moved ahead in technology. Let us take some recognized examples like the success of the space probe that reached the orbit of the moon in the year of 2008 – Chandrayaan 1, you can also look at Mangalyaan – an outstanding example of the cutting-edge, low-cost technology driven by our passionate scientists.

India indigenously discovered its foremost supercomputer PARAM 800 in 1991- which is a giant stride in the super-computing world. Millions of people in India are today tech savvy and our country is amongst the largest markets for tablets, smartphones, and computers. Indians and the Indian origin technicians make up a considerable percentage of the population in the Silicon Valley. The entire world still looks at the country for more technical solutions and breakthroughs.

National Technology Day is observed to memorialize the nuclear test which was held in Pokhran on 11th of May, 1998. This was a matter of pride for all the citizens of India. The day also praises the significance of Science in our day to day lives. It was on the 11th as well as the 13th of May in 1998 when India conducted five nuclear tests at Pokhran, Rajasthan. The initial five tests were conducted on 11th May when three nuclear bombs were exploded while recording an earthquake of 5.3 Richter scale in the nearby seismic stations. Remaining of the two tests were carried out on 13th May, since then National Technology Day is celebrated in India.


On 11th of May, 1998, India victoriously tests fired the nuclear missile – Shakti-I at the Pokhran Test Range of Indian Army in Rajasthan in an operation administered by the late president and aerospace engineer Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. After two days, the country victoriously tested two additional nuclear weapons. Following this, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India as a nuclear state, making it sixth country in the world that has joined the nations “nuclear club” and the first country that was not a party to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). NPT is a global treaty signed by the UK, Russia, China, France and the US which has the objectives to prevent the increase of nuclear weapons and attain nuclear disarmament.

Becoming the sixth nuclear state of the world was not the sole thing India attained on that day. Hansa-3, India’s foremost indigenous aircraft was flown in Bengaluru when the nuclear tests were being organized in Rajasthan. Hansa-3 was developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories. It was a two-seater, light general aviation plane which is utilized in the flying institutes for sports, pilot training, aerial photography, surveillance and projects related to the environment.

That is not all. On 11th May 1998, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) also accomplished the last test-fire of the Trishul missile, which was then introduced into service by the Indian Air Force and Indian Army. A surface-to-air, quick-reaction, short-range missile, Trishul was a unit of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of India which has resulted in the formation of Prithvi, Akash and Agni missile systems.

Based on these immense breakthrough accomplishments by the engineers, scientists, and technicians of the country, Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced 11th May as the National Technology Day.


Every year the Ministry of Science and Technology celebrates National Technology Day on 11th May. The day is considered as a symbol of pursuit for technological creativity, scientific inquiry and the conversion of that pursuit in the integration of society, industry, and science. Various events are organized in technical institutions as well as engineering colleges to acknowledge this great occasion. Presentations, interactive sessions, quizzes, lectures, and competitions are also held. President of India presents National Technology Award to individuals as well as companies for their immense contribution to science.

Technology and science ministers also come forward to celebrate the day by organizing various kinds of events for the development of science in the country. On this day, students in India generally pay a visit to different laboratories to acquire information about the recent progress made in the areas of pharmacy, science and research work. Students also visit various computer labs, nano-technology and technology development centers accompanied with their teachers to get knowledge about the recent development in these institutions.

India accounts for around 10% expenditure in the field of research and development in Asia and the number of its scientific publications are also growing at a fast rate. However, our country is still lagging in science and technology in comparison with the other developed countries of the world. Even though it comprises of a huge population, the number of scientists in the country is very less. As globalization is empowering the country, it is imperative to have the technology industry in India reshaped to match up with the upcoming future challenges.


Since 1999, every year the Technology Department Board (TDB) recognizes National Technology Day by saluting the technical innovations that have put a positive impact on the nation. TDB also selects different themes each year to celebrate the day.

National Technology Day, 2017 was marked with the theme “Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth”. The theme is kept to pay a tribute to scientists who have immensely contributed towards science and technology. It is also to honor those industrial concerns that have presented excellence in commercializing the primitive technology. The theme displays that technological and scientific developments are very important for the success of a nation.

India is amongst the top-ranking countries of the world in the area of basic research. Science in India has progressed to be amongst the strongest instruments of knowledge. However, in the wake of some new demands in economic 8 development, it is crucial to embark on converting technology and science into the development needs in each and every sector including agriculture, education, communication, infrastructure, and health. The theme is kept in line with the recent technological demands and advancements.

  • The theme of National Technology Day 2018 is “Science and Technology for a sustainable future.”
  • The theme of National Technology Day 2017 was “Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth”.
  • The theme of National Technology Day 2016 was ‘Technology enablers of Startup India’.
  • The theme of National Technology Day 2014 was ‘Inclusive Innovation for India’.
  • The theme of National Technology Day 2013 was “Innovation – making a difference”.

National Technology Day is the ideal occasion to boost the citizens to explore the stellar world of technology, to step forward and take our rightful place as the leaders of technological innovations and scientific development in the world. and yes, it also is observed as the best platform to spread awareness about the importance of science and technology for the growth and development of India.