The 11th of May is regarded as National Technology Day but what does this day signify? For most of us, it probably wouldn’t matter and, you might think that it’s just another day in our country but, the legacy behind this day is like none other.
At a time when the country sought freedom from the Britishers, few souls strived to make our country great, and a few scientists and mathematicians studied and took great leaps in the field of science when others might have thought it unnecessary. This essentially acted as the spark that we as a country needed to move ahead and show the world that we weren’t a country that was to be taken lightly.
The testing of Pokhran II on the 11th of May in 1998 showed the world that India was as capable as the superpowers, not only in making weapons of mass destruction but in our determination to move forward and that when pushed into a corner, we wouldn’t take it lying down. The sanctions imposed by various nations were indeed a drawback and further nuclear testing was banned but it gave us the confidence and the will to push beyond our limits. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if not for one Dr Homi Bhabha, the man who saw the potential we had, the man who gave birth to the Indian Nuclear Program.
The Indian Space Program, started by Dr Vikram Sarabhai and other prominent figures, paved the way right into the future, our present. Many technological inventions made under these programs have also helped the nation grow and further the curiosity in young minds like ours. The first rocket launched from Thumba in 1963, lit up the sky with hope and showed the people of this country that we too could be among the stars.
While we were dreaming of going among the stars, there was one man who worked to improve the foundations of our country with his engineering skills. Sir M Visvesvaraya, regarded as the first engineer of India, contributed to our country’s well-being in very subtle but impactful ways. He worked on various dams and flood protection systems throughout his life. One of his most notable contributions is the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam which still stands strong to this day.
The age we’re living in is right at the edge of a breakthrough. The future we look forward to is very uncertain and we as a species could make or break this future with our technological advancements. By looking at the figures that led us to our present, we can only hope to create a future that will prosper and thrive. The advancements we make as a country are just as important as the ones we make as a species and as a future engineer (hopefully) and Indian, I can only hope to take our country forward. Even if it is a small step, I’ll be glad that I’ve done so.