SOA IKS stall hog spotlight at G20 exhibition

Bhubaneswar: Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA), which has been rapidly developing into a robust centre for Indian Knowledge System (IKS) in the country, hogged the spotlight at the 6-day G20 Future of Work Exhibition which concluded at the CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology here on Friday.
SOA’s IKS Centre at the event was the cynosure of G20 delegates, VIPs and members of public with IKS based science books from Class 6 to 8, Jyotiryantras of great Odia astronomer Pathani Samanta, report of interns on varied topics like Brahmagupta’s Vargaprakruti and various puppetry demos for IKS outreach attracting visitors.
The IKS Centre at SOA has been focusing on astronomy, mathematics, holistic health and digitization with 23 interns working under the mentorship of Prof. Nachieketa K. Sharma, Principal Investigator of IKS Project.
Prof. Ganti S. Murthy, National Coordinator, IKS Division under Ministry of Education, was highly appreciative of SOA’s IKS activities.
Those who visited the SOA IKS stall included Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education, who evinced interest on outcome of the 6-month internship project resulting in production of science books integrating IKS into the same.
Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Electronics and Information Technology, who visited the stall was impressed by the work being undertaken and specifically suggested preparation of a report on the work– ‘A Comparative Study between Lunar Eclipse Procedure according to Ganesa Daivajna’s Grahalagnam and Suryasiddhanta’ done by Mr. Sagar Gowda, a B.Sc. (Physics Hons) student from Hindu College conducting research under Prof. Sharma.
Union Minister of State for Education, Mr. Subhas Sarkar, while appreciating SOA’s IKS activities, suggested that the university should collaborate with other IKS Centres like Haridwar-based Panini Kendra.
The other visitors included Mr. K. Sanjaya Murthy, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Higher Education, Prof. (Dr.) Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, NAAC and Dr. Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi, Chairman, National Council for Vocational Education and Training.
Mr. Murthy evinced interest about the miniaturization of astronomical instruments of Pathani Samanta and great tradition of Siddhantic astronomy while Dr. Kalsi asked his officials to share the taxonomy of 64 Kalas to enable preparation of IKS activities surrounding these Kalas for incorporation into vocational courses.
Prof. Sahasrabudhe had a look at the Jyotiryantras, Science Books and Puppetry made by interns for IKS outreach dissemination, last year’s SOA IKS calendar on ancient Indian Universities, this year’s calendar on Indian scripts, lectures delivered on IKS through the SOA Fortnightly Academic Lecture (SOAFAL) series including one by Prof. Kapil Kapoor, considered the doyen of IKS.
Mr. Deepak Pattanaik, Senior Research Assistant in the IKS research project, said instruments like Gola Yantra, Dhanur Yantra and Shanku were to be miniaturized to sensitise naked eye astronomers about ancient India’s glorious past in astronomy. Ms. Bishnupriya Pani, another scholar working in the project, explained to the G20 delegates the ten non-zero contributions made by ancient Indian scientists to the mathematical knowledge of the world including the Indian Numeral System, The Bauddhayana-Pythagoras Theorem, the Mathematics of Language, the Sine Function in Trigonometry, negative numbers and solution to Quadratic Equations.
Dr. Aldrin Herwany, Educational and Cultural Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, discussed about the work with Prof. Sharma evincing interest about future collaborations. Prof. Sharma informed the delegates that SOA had been chosen as an IKS Bhasha Kendra for undertaking translation work relating to IKS material and resources.