Charaka Rishi, hailed as one of the main contributors of the traditional system of ayurveda, discovered atoms and molecules, and NASA has confirmed that walking computers, if they become a reality, would be primarily due to the help of Sanskrit, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said while addressing students at IIT-Bombay on Saturday.
He also said that ancient physician Sushruta was the world’s first surgeon. Western researchers attribute the first theory of atom to Greek philosopher Democritus.
Addressing an event at the 57th convocation of IIT-Bombay as the chief guest, Pokhriyal said: “NASA has confirmed that if walking computers were to become a reality, it will only be based on the foundation of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a scientific language, incomparable to any other. It is the only language where the words are written exactly the way they are spoken.”
Maintaining that the world of medicine is incomplete without ayurveda, the minister said, “World over, no hospital can be started without establishing an ‘AYUSH’ wing. This is because without ayurveda, medicine is incomplete,” the minister said.
AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. The Narendra Modi government, in its first term, had set up a Ministry of AYUSH in November 2014.
Recalling “what things the world used to say about Patanjali”, the company and yoga institute founded by yoga guru Ramdev, Pokhriyal said, “Today our Prime Minister invites (people from other) countries to heal their mind and body through yoga. Yoga enables one to link the mind and the body. Today, 199 countries have said that nothing exists without yoga — if we want to keep ourselves safe, yoga is necessary.”
Advocating the need to link culture with education, Pokhriyal told the students, “When nothing else existed, people across the world came to Nalanda and Taksashila (ancient universities) for knowledge. We should boost our country as a world university. If this is to be made possible within the next five years, it should be started through you.”
The minister congratulated IIT Bombay for securing a rank among top 200 world universities and expressed a vision to bring the institute to number one position. “All things required by the world should be made in India, and it will begin with you,” he said, exhorting students to save 1 litre water every day in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent emphasis on water conservation.
He also inaugurated hostel number 18, and earlier in the day interacted with all IITs across the country through video conferencing on “Navbharat ka nirman, IITs ke saath”.
In all, 2,603 degrees and 385 PhDs were conferred on Saturday. This includes 23 PhD degrees that the IIT conferred in association with Monash University. Chairman of Infosys Technologies Limited, Nandan Nilekani, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa). Four students were presented with gold medals.
Electrical engineering student Srivatsan Sridhar got the ‘President of India’ medal, whereas the ‘Institute Gold Medal (2017-2018)’ went to Shashank Obla from the same department. The ‘Institute Gold Medal (2018-2019)’ was awarded to Mathematics student Reebhu Bhattacharyya and ‘Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold Medal’ went to electrical engineering student Dhruti Shah.
IIT-Bombay Director Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri said, “Out of the 50 top rankers in JEE (Joint Entrance Exam), the top 47 have joined IIT-Bombay. If we consider the top 100, 63 of them have joined us.”