The All India Council of Technical Education, an autonomous body under the Human Resource Development ministry, has approved a new elective course for engineers in which they would study and research Rishi Agastya and Rishi Kanad’s scientific works 'before rejecting any claim as unscientific'.
The All India Council of Technical Education, an autonomous body under the Human Resource Development ministry, has approved a new elective course for engineers in which they would study and research Rishi Agastya and Rishi Kanad’s scientific works ‘before rejecting any claim as unscientific’. AICTE has approved the Bharat Vidya Saar published by Bharat Vidya Bhavan to be taught as an elective course from the next academic session.
The course will be taught as part of its model curriculum which will be adopted in more than 3,000 technical colleges across the country to make the students aware of the history of Indian science and philosophy.
The move hasn’t gone well with the science community and a Mumbai-based scientist Aniket Sule has started an online petition addressed to the chairman of AICTE Anil Sahasrabuddhe. The petition calls the claims in the book as ‘pseudo-scientific’ and demands a quick withdrawal. Sule is a faculty member of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.
Terming claims made in the book as ‘outlandish’, the petition lists out what it sees as unsubstantiated claims. “The Vaimanika Shastra was written by Rishi Bharadwaj about 5000 years ago. It is authoritative text on not just construction on airplanes but also on navigation, aviation fuels and pilot preparation. The speed of light has been accurately mentioned in Rigveda. The theory of gravitation has been first mentioned in Rigveda. The Rishi Kanad in Vaisheshik Sutra discusses types of motion as well as Newton’s laws of motion,” the petition says, quoting claims made in the book that it disagrees with.
The petition also informs of scholarly works which are recognised internationally and not just in India. The petition says that the scientific fraternity is seeing the AICTE approved book as effectively damaging future academic careers of students.
In response, Shashibala from Bharat Vidya Bhavan – one of the editors of the book – has also filed a petition over protecting the ‘Right to Know Indian Knowledge Systems’.
The petition said that those questioning the new course are ‘Haters of Indian heritage and culture’. It urged the people to sign the counter petition to “protect India’s ancient knowledge” and answer the “haters of Indian culture”.