National Technology Day: Remembering the heroes of Pokhran II

National Technology Day: Remembering the heroes of Pokhran II

Today, India is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pokhran II. The country's second nuclear test was carried out on this day in 1998.  Conducted by DRDO along with Indian Army, the bomb tests were held at the Pokhran Test Range in Jaisalmer district of  Rajasthan.

Initiated as 'Operation Shakti', India tested five underground nuclear bomb explosions between May 11 and 13. After the success of the operation, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India's official entry into the nuclear weapon states.  

Pokhran II was led by former President and scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr R Chidambaram with a team of more than 100 scientists, technicians and soldiers. They successfully conducted five underground nuclear tests. 

 May 11 is formally recognised as National Technology Day in India to celebrate the first day of the nuclear tests. 

But India drew criticism for the secretive nature of these tests and shocked the world for defying sanctions imposed by the US. It drastically affected the relations between two countries, resulting in two months of complete silence by the US towards India.