Did you know that, in the 5th century BC, Aryabhatta worked on the approximation of Pi and came to a conclusion that the decimal of Pi was immeasurable, meaning it is irrational? It was only in 1761 that the irrationality of pi was proved in Europe by the Swiss poly-math Johann Lambert.
Or how about the impeccable metallurgy of the Chera Dynasty in the 2nd century, which produced the finest steel of the ancient world, called the Wootz steel? The research into this ancient crafting of steel laid the foundations of modern-day metallurgy.
These are just snippets of what ancient India has to offer regarding science and technology. From advanced hydraulic engineering of the Indus civilisation to the naval technology of the Chola dynasty, India has been in the field of science and technology for a long time.
Read more about ancient Indian technologies here: 16 Significant Science and Tech Discoveries Ancient India Gave the World
And it only fits to analyse and learn from the greats to lay the foundation for future technologies. Dedicated to enlarge this sphere of ancient knowledge, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has started a new course on the History of Science and Technology in Ancient India.
The course aims to study the contributions of ancient Indian scientists and their relevance to modern times.
Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur, told the Economic Times, that the course “is directed towards research, documentation, preservation and dissemination of the rich confluence of our civilisational heritage in science, technology, culture, language, architecture, design and its intricate connections with the rest of the world.”
Studying about long-lost concepts and designs may offer new perspectives in the field of engineering, a field that focuses on problem-solving. And the critical component of such a discipline is the flourishing of different perspectives.
Anuradha Choudry, a coordinator of the course, told the publication, “We are also keen to help students understand the political, social, economic and philosophical/spiritual context in which these inventions took place and, most importantly, we are trying to help situate all this in the global scenario of that time.”
With an intent to bridge the gap of knowledge between the ancient and the modern, the course would give students an overview of the development of science in India, especially in the fields of mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry and medicine.
The syllabus aims to cover classical Indian astronomy, mathematics in Vedic and post-Vedic texts. Along with computational techniques in medicine, health sciences like Ayurveda, Yoga, and Psychology will also be covered.
The course is being offered for both the Spring (January to June) and Autumn (July to December) semesters as a regular three-credit elective course. So, if connecting the dots intrigues you, then this course is definitely for you.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
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