From the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off this year’s Indian Science Congress 102 Conference on January 3 in Mumbai, more than the selected theme of ‘Science and Technology for Human Development’, ancient Indian astrology to Vedic period Vimana Shastra dominated the discussion and media coverage than in the past.
The conference held at the Kalina campus of the Mumbai University, with an estimated 12,000 delegates, concluded yesterday January 7 but not without leaving its impact on Hindu revivalism in terms of ancient science that has been a source of price but not practice.
Nobel Laureates, eminent scientists, technology experts and research students from India and abroad were participated the Indian Science Congress where ancient sciences through Sanskrit, Ancient Indian aviation technology, Biodiversity conservation, Space application, clean energy systems and other topics got the focus this year.
Also, Science and Technology in SAARC Countries and the issue of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in India were discussed. In addition, Children’s Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress and Science Exhibition were organised and the Children’s Science Congress was inaugurated by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Compared to last year’s 101th Indian Science Congress that was held in Jammu with the theme “Innovations in Science & Technology for Inclusive Development” in February 2014, this year’s congress evoked huge enthusiasm over the interpretation of ancient Hindu science and mythology.
The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) was originally started in 1914 with the initiative of two British Chemists Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon, who thought that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers somewhat on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged.
From 1914, with 105 members and 35 papers presented at the first session, ISCA has grown into a huge fraternity of more than 12,000 members now.
But unlike in the past, this year’s conference was relegated to revivalism in Hindu ancient science beliefs and faith despite many scientists’ appeal for proof and scientific base. While the organizers may be relieved from the hype that the new ministers and NRI scientists have evoked in the media, the debate will continue for some time.
May be it is time for a scientific panel to come up with a scrutiny of the ancient science found in the Vedic period to prove or disprove the claims from ancient writings and references.