The Indian government has officially declared May 11 as National Technology Day to commemorate the first of the five nuclear tests that were carried out on this day.
It was officially signed by then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998. The day is celebrated by giving awards to various individuals and industries in the field of science and technology.
Background to the five nuclear tests:
The Pokhran-II tests were a series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by India at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in May 1998.
It was the second instance of Nuclear testing conducted by India, the first test was code-named Smiling Buddha and was conducted in May 1974.
Theme of this year's National Technology Day
The theme of this year's National Technology Day is "Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future".
Significance of this Day
The nuclear tests conducted on this day in 1998, are what gives National Technology Day its significance. These nuclear tests were directed by aerospace scientist and former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam.
The mission was carried out by the Indian Army in collaboration with scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER).
These tests made India capable of building thermonuclear weapons and fission bombs.
Celebration of this day during the Covid-era
In simpler times before the Covid-era, a large-scale event would be organized in New Delhi for the celebration of the National Technology Day where the President would be the chief guest.
The President would present scientists with awards for their contribution and achievements. However, now due to the coronavirus pandemic, other arrangements might have to be made to celebrate this day.