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In engineering courses soon: Wright brothers didn’t invent plane, batteries existed in Vedic age

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AICTE to introduce optional course in engineering colleges which credits ancient Indians for a number of inventions.

New Delhi: A number of controversial claims on scientific discoveries, endorsed by the RSS and members of the Narendra Modi government, are set to be taught in engineering classrooms across the country.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has decided to introduce into the country’s engineering curriculum, a book that makes a number of these claims — from discrediting the Wright brothers, claiming that batteries and electricity existed in the Vedic age, to asserting that ancient Indian scientists knew about gravitational forces much before Isaac Newton.

The book, Bharatiya Vidya Saar, will be offered as part of an optional credit course in engineering institutions affiliated to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It is the brainchild of the faculty at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, an education trust.

The optional credit course, ‘Indian Knowledge Systems’, will be part of a revised syllabus from the next academic session. It focuses on Indian philosophical, linguistic and artistic traditions, along with yoga and Indian perspective of modern scientific worldview.

“The idea is to make students aware of ancient scientific knowledge, which is why this curriculum has been developed,” said a professor who has worked on the curriculum and who did not want to be named.

“For ages now, we have been learning how the British invented things because they ruled us for hundreds of years and wanted us to learn what they felt like. It is now high time to change those things and we hope to do that with this course.”

Also read: To make Indian engineers more employable, govt plans to train teachers

A book of the Vedas

The book, a copy of which is with ThePrint, not only details “India’s contribution to scientific discoveries” but also weighs in on the “importance of the four Vedas” — Rig, Sam, Atharva and Yajur — and on the “importance of Indian culture”.

It credits ancient Indians with being the pioneers of electricity production, inventing batteries, aeronautics, maritime engineering and the discovery of the phenomenon of gravity.

To put forth the “facts”, the book has divided its topics into a “Myth” vs “Reality” section.

For instance, under the section “Aeronautics”, the content under “Myth” reads, “It is believed that aeronautics was developed by Wright Brothers in 1903″.

The “Truth” seeks to dispel this. “In Vedic age, Maharshi Bhardwaj wrote an epic called Yantra Sarvasva and aeronautics is a part of the epic. This was 5,000 years before Wright brothers’ invention of the plane,” it reads.

“Yantra Sarvasva is not available now but out of whatever we know about it, we can believe that planes were a reality in Vedic age. This should be mentioned in the technical studies curriculum in India,” it adds.

The book also aims to “bust the myth” on the discovery of electricity and invention of batteries. “Credit for the invention of batteries is given to British scientist Frederik Daniel (sic) and that of electricity to Benjamin Franklin, but Maharishi Agastya in Agastya Sanhita talks about it much before these scientists.”

On gravity, the book claims, “It’s a Myth that Theory of Gravity was discovered by Isaac Newton in 1666 AD; the truth is that thousands of years before Newton, a number of epics were written on the gravitational force and we can find the evidence in the Rig Veda.”

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AICTE has defended its decision to introduce the Indian Knowledge Systems course.

“This change should not be seen in isolation. Indian Knowledge Systems is being introduced as a part of the revised curriculum for engineering students,” said AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe.

“The other changes include teaching students about artificial intelligence, internet of things, machine learning, robotics and others. The idea is to introduce more of practical and less of theory in the revised syllabus.”

A ministry official added, “Over 80 per cent of the 3,000 colleges that come under AICTE have agreed to adopt the model syllabus.”

A number of claims

The Modi government has been accused of promoting pseudoscience propagated by Hindu groups, with a number of its members, including the prime minister himself, making some dubious scientific claims.

Junior HRD minister Satyapal Singh, for instance, is a major backer of the claim that the Wright brothers were beaten to the invention of the aeroplane. Only, Singh claims, that “the first flying machine was invented by Indian scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade”. He has also gone on record to say that Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is wrong.

Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani is among those who believe that seventh-century Indian astronomer Brahmagupta II formulated the laws of gravitation, at least 1,000 years before Isaac Newton. He had earlier claimed that the cow was the only animal to inhale and exhale oxygen.

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  1. Boot lickers like u might even go to the extent that Rahul Gandhi (Raul Vinci / Raul Gandy) invented the plane n other discoveries.
    Insulting vedic heritage is something that earns your bread n butter.

  2. I wonder, how come “the print” got their hands on such a piece of news, while I couldn’t spot even a single main-stream news company or at least AICTE, making such an announcement or reference. Just another old stupid click bait trickery from the print, to make fool out of readers and shell BS out of their acutely infectious minds. With all our rebels without a cause, interpreting this fictional piece of sensational news as per the level of intellectuality & boldness they have attained within the last 4 years, first & foremost need to hold on to their liberal judgments for few minutes and search out for a guy named “Shivkar Bāpuji Talpade”. That might not ease your pain in the rump or control your sick inside to respond to my comment without spoiling another moment, but shall certainly add to the untouched & unbiased sector of your intellectual mind.

  3. Wow! So many blind believers in the comments! Shameful… Just shameful.
    Batteries existed in the vedic age yet they understood agni as the only source of energy?
    And they had planes flying in the vedic age too. Yet they didn’t know there was world beyond the Himalayas!
    What next? Aryabhatta invented the zero on a Quantum Computer?
    A philosophical hypothesis is not a working model. It is not a scientific invention. An epic is a work of fiction. This is the same as saying H.G. Wells invented the Time Machine because he wrote about it!
    I am a NIT student and I get to see how the Hindutva mentality is being slowly injected into young minds to create a generation of brainwashed propagandists. Funny how they talk about it being Indian culture. Last I checked Indian does not = Hindu. So how about including Islamic medieval pseudoscience texts? Why not Rumi’s philosophies about space and time? Why not the mechanical knowledge of so many tribes across India?
    May be because it doesn’t fit the RSS’ agenda.
    Our educational institutes have been our politicians’ Jantar Mantar. Even though we have some of the best brains of the world, potential for cutting edge research and innovation, these institutes are left catering to the whims of people who could barely pass class 12. Resulting in a country that could have the economy of a superpower but works at call centers for some MNC’s cheap labour. It has been too long that our education system has been used as an indoctrination system.
    It is time we, the youth fixed things – Next year, 2019.

  4. You are conflating two things – a minister saying stupid things and the course being introduced. There is no doubt that Indians made a lot of mathematical and scientific discoveries which are not credited to them. What is needed is a balanced approach – there is no need to become a bhakt of ancient India but also there is no need to laugh at their achievements. There should be a systematic and appropriately skeptical study of the available texts and credit should be allocated where it is due – and it should be done without hyperbole.

  5. Thankfully we have understood our lost education and vedic reference, still many of them seems to be shocked on this move, Strange but this people must be too busy in following what britishers are sucessfull enforcing, it will take time but we will again have our vedic knowledge restored till other century.

  6. The story is totally incorrect….As far as RSS backing is concerned. RSS had no idea of this being done. The journalist has no proof to the effect it seems…she simply wants to politicize academic work.

  7. It’s a great initiative. But the journalist should produce documentary evidence for RSS endorsement. Just because it’s heritage and ancient Indian Philosophy including Buddhism it is not right wing. Negates a log of hardwork by some serious experts.

  8. The battery as described in the Agastya Sahmita can be prepared by any High School / College with easily avilable materials . Infact students from a local college from Pune demonstrated the working of this battery to visitors during a seminar conducted by The Deccan College. The manuscript was disovered by the late K Vaze in the year 1920 in Ujjain in a bundle of ancient manuscripts. I also would recommend inclusion of Chumbak Mani a solar cell like substance developed and studied by scientists of IIT ,Mumbai under a CSIR project.

  9. We no longer need to blindly accept the credit to western nationals for many discoveries & inventions since archeological surveys & innumerous evidences clearly indicate that civilized society with advanced technologies existed in India much before invasion of Portuguese….Or even Mughal invasion.
    Time to rewrite textbooks of school level too.

  10. Monkeying around with anything – ancient texts or modern science – has nothing to do with reality or knowledge. It’s a product of shallow minds, often with an agenda.

    The beauty of India is in her infinite capacity to assimilate, and the best works in art and craft, music, literature and dance have come out of liberals not propagandists.

  11. Absolutely for it. It is high time WE know what is OURS and take pride in being Indians. We have been made to foolishly follow what the British wanted us to learn without giving credit to our ancient knowledge, invention and discoveries.

    • What all these people are putting up as facts is what they ‘believe’ to be true. In order to prove it, they have to furnish tangible proof (not just statements of ‘experts’) which state what they say to be true. Just by saying these things doesn’t mean that they existed in truth. If they actually exist in truth, furnish the proof. Otherwise these things make us look like a bunch of fools on the global stage. Then you can forget about calling India as ‘Vishwaguru’.

    • Right. There were only stupid filthy Indians and Bretons in the old world. Silly India, again, the Land Of The Bizarre!

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