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History of Indian Science and Technology

AICTE and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi via Swayam


This course is equivalent to one refresher course in Interdisciplinary area.The objective of this course is to provide an exposure to the development of Science and Technology in India, and is primarily meant for teachers and research scholars in various universities and colleges.Science and technology have been the part of every civilization, and people belonging to all the sections of society have contributed to the advancement of different branches of science and technology all through the ages.

Till recent times, the history of science and technology has been primarily eurocentric in nature, attributing most of the development of science and technology to Greece and Rome in the ancient period, and Europe in the medieval and modern periods, which were then transmitted to the rest of the world. This course will highlight important concepts in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, etc., that originated and developed in India. In the study of Indian science and technology, the often neglected role and contributions of local people, craftsmen, artisans,farmers, forest dwellers in the development of sustainable and locally adaptable technologies and traditional scientific knowledge will also be highlighted

ThiscoursewillimpartauthenticknowledgeofIndia’sscientificandtechnological traditions and will show through case studieshowsome of them are stillrelevantin today’s world. It would also try to provide an understanding of the socio-cultural and philosophical context in which the various scientific and technological ideas got developed in India and thereby help in repositioning India’s contributions inscience andtechnology.

Thecoursecomprisesof40modules,withlecturesofaboutthirtyminutesdevoted toeachmodule.Theoverallstructureofthecourseare given in the outlay of course.



Overall structure

• Introduction – 4 modules

• Astronomy and Mathematics – 12 modules

• Ayurveda – 10 modules

• Technology – 14 modules

1. Introduction

1.1 Logic and methodology of Indian sciences

1.2 An overview of Indian contributions to sciences

1.3 An overview of Indian contributions to technology

2. Astronomy

2.1 Development of astronomy in India

2.2 Pancanga: Indian calendrical computations

2.3 The distinct features of Indian planetary models

2.4 Computation of eclipses: Its simplicity, elegance and efficiency

2.5 Observational astronomy in India

3. Mathematics

3.1 An overview of the development of mathematics in India

3.2 Mathematics contained in Sulbasutras

3.3 Combinatorial aspects of the Chandassastra

3.4 Solutions to the first and second order indeterminate equations

3.5 Weaving mathematics into beautiful poetry: Bhaskaracarya

3.6 The evolution of sine function in India

3.7 The discovery of calculus by Kerala astronomers

4. Ayurveda

4.1 History of Ayurveda

4.2 Rational foundations of Ayurveda

4.3 Textual sources in Ayurveda

4.4 Ayurveda and allied disciplines

4.5 Approach to health and disease in Ayurveda – 2 lectures

4.6 Approach to diet and nutrition in Ayurveda

4.7 Ayurveda and modern medicine

4.8 Ayurveda and Yoga

5. Technological development in India

5.1 Agriculture

· Origin and development

· Ancient crops

· Traditional practices

5.2 Water management>

· Overview

· Harappan water management

· Other case studies

· Medieval Water structures

5.3 Pottery

· Overview

· Technical aspects

5.4 Silpasastra: Architecture and Construction

· An introduction to Silpasastra

· Construction Technology

5.5 Metallurgy

· Copper/Bronze/Zinc

· Iron and Steel Technology in India

Taught by

Prof. Madhav Govind


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