India celebrates technology day by remembering its key achievement, Pokhran test

May 11, the national technology day holds a historic significance in the journey of India’s road to development. Twelve years ago the country conducted its first nuclear test in Rajasthan’s quiet town of Pokhran. The test, code-named as ‘Operation Shakti’ undertaken under the leadership of the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in 1998 altered India’s image on the global landscape, as now it was a nuclear power.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, used the occasion not only reminiscing the historic day and the great leader but also honouring those who are bringing about positive changes in  the lives of many through the use of technology. In his tweet, he wrote, India is observing the National Technology Day on Monday.

And Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. “On National Technology Day, our nation salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. We remember the exceptional achievement of our scientists on this day in 1998. It was a landmark moment in India’s history,” In a following tweet, he added, “The tests in Pokhran in 1998 also showed the difference a strong political leadership can make.”  

The test which embarked India on a new path of strategic development also brought lots of troubles for the country, as it was seen no less than a threat by the exiting nuclear powers as well as an attempt to break in to the exclusive nuclear club.

It led to rain of sanctions, both military and economy along with political isolation, more so for it was conducted in a clandestine manner. The test happened months after then foreign secretary K Raghunath told his US counterpart that India did not hold any intention of becoming a nuclear nation, while that was exactly what it was aiming for.  

What followed was international criticism bundled with 14 exhausting rounds of discussion in seven countries and 10 cities, between Strobe Talbot, then US secretary of state, and then foreign minister Jaswant Singh. It took years for India to convince the world of its intent and rebuilding its ties with its opponents, including US. Today India has come a long way, with around 130 to 140 nuclear warheads and a stock of about 0.58 tones of plutonium for weapons.
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