Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future
It is supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.John Brunner, Author and Science Fiction Writer
Wikipedia traces the origin of the word Technology to Greek words techne and logi (art, skill, the cunning of hand). Science is a systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Engineering is applying the results and techniques from science and technology is a consequence of science and engineering. National Technology Day is celebrated to commemorate the quest for scientific inquiry, technological creativity and translating them into meeting the needs of the people and connecting science, society, and industry.
On May 11 1998, India successfully conducted operation “Shakti” at Pokhran and joining the elite club of countries with nuclear capabilities. “Smiling Buddha” in May 1974 laid the foundation for these. Becoming the world’s sixth nuclear state was not the only feat India achieved on that day. The first indigenous two-seater aircraft, Hansa-3, developed by the NAL (a CSIR lab) was flown in Bangalore. DRDO completed the final test-fire of the “Trishul” missile, a short-range, quick-reaction, surface-to-air missile, leading to its induction into the services. What a month of May has been!
To remember all these scientific achievements and encourage all the scientists, engineers, and technicians of the country, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then PM, announced May 11 as the National Technology Day and ever since celebrated every year in the country. The day is also commemorated by honouring the technological innovations that have positively impacted society.
Indian civilisation has a rich scientific and technological tradition and amongst one of the world’s oldest civilisations, which were scientifically laden. Indus Valley Civilisation is known for efficient town planning such as interlinked drainage system, dwelling houses built with bricks and wastewater system, giving a unique feel to the science and technology of those times. Scientific achievements in the fields like medicine, astronomy, metallurgy, physics, chemistry have been going on since ancient times. The great minds of India like Yajnavalkya, Aryabhata, Varahamihira and more from the recent past, Ramanujam, have contributed the fields like mathematics, astronomy, and physics.
We are currently going through a time when the whole world is forced to kneel to the threat of the COVID pandemic. The speed with which it is spreading, almost leaving no country on the globe untouched, has shaken even the most powerful countries. Researchers, health professionals and many have taken the battle to the boundary of containing and conquering.
To fight this epidemic in India, our scientists, young innovators, scientific institutions, the central and state governments are working 24/7 by enduring physical discomfort, putting their personal lives in the background and their safety at stake. Successful development of vaccines, repositioned drugs, personal protective equipment, economical and rugged Ventilators, the whole R&D personnel are working relentlessly to protect the country’s people. The recent announcement of a drug developed by DRDO to treat the COVID patients is heartening and relieving development.
National Technology Day is for scientists and engineers and all innovators, especially the grass-root innovators. The significance of the day does not lie only in its past but also in its future. All spheres of science and technology such as IT, agriculture, medical research, life, and earth sciences, among others, should be given their due importance for the nation’s holistic development. The celebration is much more than a historical event as the technology itself is the gateway to the future. It highlights the importance of science in daily life and encourages, encourages, and inspires children to opt for science to study and pursue it as a career.
Celebrations like “National Technology Day” would reassure the people that we could do in the past and give hope that we can and will do it now.
Let us celebrate and look through the prism of these successes with the hope to conquer the COVID pandemic.
Empowering Society by Harnessing the Technology
*(posting the Toonlog on technology day posted in the year 2020 with minor changes)