I saw the film ‘Parmanu- The story of Pokhran’ today on the occasion of Indian National Technology Day and couldn’t help but feel a wave of patriotism surging through my mind and body. Though the film only talks about the nuclear test of Shakti Missile done in Pokhran on 11th May 1998, we also conducted two more tests in the following days and thus India too became a nuclear power. Testing of India’s first indigenous aircraft, ‘Hansa-3’ and the launch of Trishul missile was also done on the same day.
Tryst with destiny
After India gained independence, our very first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru kept a scientific outlook and likewise planned for India’s development, be it through implementing programs like “Vigyan Mandir” or publishing a scientific periodical “Vigyan Pragati”. The constitution too confers a duty upon the Indian citizens that is to have a scientific temper. Thanks to our prophetic and bold leaders, India now ranks third for having the most attractive investment destination for technology transactions globally and is also set to become the next Silicon Valley.
On this occasion we must remember some early pioneers in this field who strived to make a better and developed India. Firstly, the “Missile Man of India”, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who was an Indian aerospace scientist and is regarded for his work in developing ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. Homi Bhabha was a nuclear physicist and is known as “Father of Indian Nuclear Programme” and was also the founding director of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Atomic Research Establishment, of which the latter is now known as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
Vikram Sarabhai, “Father of the Indian Space Program”– helped develop nuclear power in India. Prafulla Chandra Ray established the first modern Indian research school in chemistry and therefore is regarded as the “Father of Chemical Science in India”.
Technology has always been inspiring, bringing together people who simply want to innovate, elevate our conscience, and achieve beyond our imagination. From Pokhran test in 1998 to ambitious MARS ORBITOR MISSION (MOM) in 2013, successfully testing ASAT Missile (Mission Shakti as we call it, and only after USA, Russia, China to do so) in 2019 to launching Chandrayan-2 in july same year, we’ve come a long way.
What is ASAT?
An Anti Satellite(ASAT) missile is a mean to detect, target and destroy space objects. After United States, Russia and China, India became to 4th country in the world to test an ASAT.
As much foresighted pioneers we had, we also have equally dedicated and promising young folks who also are on a mission to see a developed India, be it astronauts like Kalpana Chawla in the past, the entire team of Mangalyaan, or be it the next gen. youths of India who are coming up with innovations to conserve the energy of fossil fuels and consequently help stop global warming, thus we know for sure that future of India is bright!
By- Aditi Teredesai