Mumbai (ISJ) ? ?If Germans have studied our ancient knowledge and innovated it, why shouldn?t we?? asked Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javedkar, as he inaugurated a session on ?Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit? at the ongoing 102nd Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, for the first time in over a century of the Congress.
?Good will survive, not relevant will perish,? said Javedkar, without getting drawn into the recent controversy that the NDA government is bringing back the Indian thoughts as in our scriptures onto the scientific table. The Minister lamented, India lacks innovation, because we don?t allow to question the fundamentals.
Dr. Rajan M. Welukar, Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, where the current session is being held, said, ?Don?t straightaway reject it. It is for the scientific community to approve or disapprove the thoughts.? He said the subject has been included in the Congress to provide a platform to express. ?It may be wrong,? he said. ?Even several thoughts of Thomas Edison were wrong.?
At the same time Dr. Welukar asked the revivalists of ancient Indian science not to be stubborn on ancient Indian sciences.
?Be proud of the past. Don?t develop the wrong notion, the past is unquestionable,? said Dr. Welukar.
Meanwhile Dr. Ram Prasad Gandhiraman, an Indian-born scientist at NASA?s Ames Research Centre in California has launched an online petition demanding cancellation of the session on ?Ancient Indian Aviation Technology,? at the ongoing Indian Science Congress as it questions the ?integrity of scientific processes?.
?We as scientific community should be seriously concerned about the infiltration of pseudo-science in science curricula with backing of influential political parties,? said the online petition by Dr. Gandhiraman.
An exhibition at the venue of the Congress session says the first man to build and fly an aircraft of modern era was Shivkar Bapuji Talpade in 1895, eight years before Wright Brothers flew the world?s first successful airplane.
Prof. Parimal Mishra of Dr. Reddy?s Institute of Life Sciences told Indian Science Journal, he does not find the logic for reviving the ancient Indian scientific knowledge at this point in time as convincing.
?I don?t believe in their arguments. As a symbol, I believe in logics and science. Whatever things that are advanced, we should not go back,? said Dr. Mishra. ?Why now, all of a sudden, it has come? Have they got some nodal point now??
- N.B. Nair