On 11th May, 1998 India achieved a major technological breakthrough by successfully carrying out nuclear tests at Pokhran. Also first, indigenous aircraft "Hansa-3" was test flown at Bangalore on this day and India also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day.
Considering above technological achievements on a particular date i.e. 11th May, the day of 11th May was chosen to be commemorated as National Technology Day.
This year the National Technology Day is marked as "Technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth". On this occasion the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has felicitated National Technology award to the scientist for their contributions to science & technology at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Technology Development Board has instituted the National Award (Rs. 10 lakh and a trophy) which is given to industrial concerns that have displayed excellence in commercializing the indigenous technology.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that scientific and technological developments are a key to any nation’s success. India is one of the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Indian science has progressed to become one of the most powerful instruments of knowledge. Yet in the wake of new demands of economic growth, it is necessary to embark on translating science and technology into developmental needs in all sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, health, communication and education.
The President said that disparity between haves and have-nots, urban and rural areas, and exclusion or marginalization of certain groups can give rise to social unrest. It is crucial that more technological innovations are geared towards eliminating these disparities and differences. In our endeavor for global excellence, not even a single citizen should be left behind.
He emphasized that; ‘technology for sustainable and inclusive growth’ is the need of the hour. And it is where all - innovators, technocrats, entrepreneurs and policymakers - have an important role to play. They have to ensure that science and technology does not remain confined to a select few sectors only. Progress and growth of the country will be sustainable only if development for all is the overarching goal. For that, we have to ensure that all strata of the society enjoy the benefits of technological innovation and scientific advancements equally.
The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centers for S&T entrepreneurship. “Technology Day commemorates India’s success in using science and technology to address the challenges facing the country. On 11 May 1998 the Pokhran test was conducted. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared India a full-fledged nuclear state after operation ‘Shakti’ and it made India the 6th country to join the Nuclear Club,” he added.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted that India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centres for S&T entrepreneurship. Start-ups and entrepreneurship are the key to a nation’s economic growth and employment. The Ministry of Science & Technology through its various programmes have funded and supported thousands of start-ups, incubators and developed new technologies that have reached the market. In keeping with the theme of the day on Technology for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, the DST has catalyzed the development relevant rural micro-industry models.
Make in India: High-tech manufacturing in S&T is extraordinarily demanding. One collaborative effort is the successful operationalizing of India’s largest steerable optical telescope in Devastahl, Uttarakhand.
In Health Technology, the CSIR has developed Saheli the world’s first non-steroidal contraceptive pill which is affordable at 1/10 the cost of conventional pills. The indigenous clot-dissolving drug, Streptokinase saves millions of lives through an affordable alternative to cost drugs in the market. A 1-day Dengue diagnostic test developed by the Department of Biotechnology is fast and effective and has reached millions.
In Vaccines, in partnership with the health ministry DBT has recommended several new vaccines for the Universal Immunization Programme. Notable is the affordable indigenous Rotavirus vaccine now a part of the universal immunization programme. Vaccine development for Malaria, Dengue are undergoing trials.
Agriculture and Farm Technology is another mission where major success has been achieved. The programme Biotech-KISAN (Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) has been launched in collaboration with ICAR. In each Agro-climatic zone, farmers will benefit of quality technical solutions to problem of Seed, Water, Soil and Market. Indian Farmers now get 21 million agro-advisories that have resulted in over Rs.50,000 crores contribution to the GDP as per the NCAER report 2015.
Arsenic resistance rice has been developed by the CSIR and is now being cultivated in West Bengal, thereby addressing a major problem.
Under the National Monsoon Mission, Climate and Weather forecasting have been improved. Dynamical forecast is a major advance, which allows massive data to be analyzed speedily and more reliable predictions made. Errors in cyclone forecast have been greatly reduced and deaths from cyclone have been greatly reduced.
Wealth from Waste and Waste to Energy has been successfully done. A commercial plant to produce 3000 litres of ethanol from 10 tonnes of agricultural waste has been set up. It is now being scaled- up by major Oil Manufacturing Companies. Applying the latest technology for treating flowing sewage, a pilot project has been installed at Barapullah drain in Delhi under the international collaboration with The Netherlands.