A Glimpse of Science, Technology, and Mathematics in Ancient India: Social and Cultural Perspective

Uttpal Anand

Department of Molecular and Cellular Engineering, Jacob Institute of Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences, Allahabad- 211007, Uttar Pradesh, India. Correspondence Author: sourabhsoniplp@gmail.com

Sourabh Soni

Pharmacology and Toxicology Laboratory, Food and Nutraceuticals Division, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur- 176061, Himachal Pradesh, India.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31014/aior.1991.01.02.16 


India is one of the world’s oldest countries, and its civilization is among the most ancient. In its philosophical literature and the practice of dance, music, sculpture, painting, and fine arts; India has totally excelled across the world. India has a highly rich legacy of scientific ideas. We are the ones who generated and created science and did not borrow it from anywhere. Present day technology is greatly based on yesterday’s science, and tomorrow’s technology would be totally based on today’s science. Thanks to the work of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Indian National Science Academy, Indian Council of Social Science Research and other learned bodies, the development of sciences in India during the ancient period has drawn attentions of scholars in the 20th and 21st century. It became clear from the past studies that India has consistently been a scientific country, right from Vedic to modern times. This mini review paper will throw light on the early knowledge in the different spheres of science and technology in which ancient Indian excelled. It also highlights some of the achievements of ancient Indian society which are of immense importance for spreading knowledge to a wide range of audience making it a matter of pride not only for Indians but also for the whole educational and scientific community.

Introduction and Background

India has had age old relationships with scientific and technological endeavors. After many long years of scientific development, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, better known as CV Raman, became the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in science for his discovery, ‘The Raman’s effect” in 1930. He reportedly published 475 peer-reviewed articles during his career. His legacy didn’t stop there; Raman’s nephew Subrahmanyan Chandrashekar was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics “for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars.” Indian civilization is a living civilization which still exists even in this age of globalization, although it is getting eroding day by day at an alarming rate. [1]

In the current scenario, India is a prolifically growing nation in the field of science and technology. India’s performance is higher in a few key sectors. For instance, engineering is India’s most impactful field in terms of citations, with material science securing the second position [2].

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