Vedic mathematics only aids in speedy calculation and not in main aspects of the subject including logical thinking and clarification of concepts, a retired professor of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s (TIFR) has said while rubbishing the claim that it is helpful in developing a child’s overall progress in mathematics.
Professor S R Dani, who retired from TIFR and is at present a distinguished visiting professor at IIT Bombay, conducted the session on ‘The trajectory of mathematics in India over time’ at the D G Ruparel College on Sunday.
Dani said, “While ancient Indian mathematics dates back to the 9th century, Vedic mathematics originated only in 20th century, with some presentations by Bharati Krishna Tirthaji, a former Sankaracharya of Puri. His book on Vedic mathematics shows acute lack of awareness of genuine ancient mathematics. It is a book where the author is only trying to be superlative about Indian mathematics.”
The professor dismissed the popularity surrounding Vedic mathematics as a “marketing device.”
Dani also presented several historical milestones tracing the development of mathematical concepts that emerged from different schools in India. According to him, the 16 “sutras” written in Sanskrit by Tirthaji are nothing but “rules laid down for certain procedure”, which can help in recalling a trick.
“With calculators, the concept of speedy calculation has lost relevance in today’s day and age. One has to consider the time and effort being spent on it and not get carried away by the propaganda around. The concept of Vedic mathematics has nothing to do with ‘Vedas’ or serious mathematics. It has only been designed to impress people and has no contextual significance. One needs to take an objective look at concept and not get carried away by the load of ancient wisdom,” Dani said.