MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
HUMAN resource development is an important ministry in the central cabinet for it deals with the system of education, which is of utmost importance for the progress of the nation. The government should spare no pains to ensure that educational setup in the country is at its best – right from the school level to the university stage – to keep the country competing with the rest of the world. Strangely, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank addressing the Gyanotsav event organised by IGNOU last week asked the IITs and the NITs to prove that Sanskrit is the most scientific language and also the most appropriate language for talking computers, if they become a reality. To prove the superiority of Sanskrit, he has burdened the top technological institutes with an insignificant issue. It would have been prudent if knowing that only three Institutes – IIT (Bombay), IIT (Delhi) and IISc – have figured among the top 200 in the prestigious QS World University Rankings, the minister had asked the technocrats to gear up in the field of research and rise up in the next rankings, and assuring them of all cooperation from the government. We do accept that Sanskrit is the mother of all languages and forms the basis for the scriptural documentation of Hinduism. But that is no ground to unnecessarily invade into the realm of science. It was further embarrassing that the minister has asserted that thousands of years before Sir Issac Newton discovered the gravitational force some Hindu texts had mentioned about it. Even more ridiculous was the statement of the minister that some rishi who did pioneering work in Ayurveda was the first to discover atoms and molecules. We feel that the BJP, which is deeply buried under Hindu religious philosophy, is proving indomitable in proclaiming the supremacy of their creed. In the past some top ministers have justified that aviation technology, stem cell science and plastic surgery existed in ancient India to justify Rama’s reaching Ayodhya from Lanka, Karna’s birth in Mahabharata and implanting elephants head to Ganesha respectively.