From February, Punjab Technical University (PTU) is starting a six-month certificate course on Vedic mathematics based on the model of saffron ideologue Dinanath Batra. It will teach students how to make quick calculations by using different techniques the solve complex mathematical problems by simple approach, the university has claimed.
As per the curriculum the university has prepared students will be taught to use 16 different techniques of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Contrary to the traditional method that starts calculations from left side to solve a sum, one can calculate from right to left, left to right, vertical and cross vertical ways for different numbers by using ancient methods.
Prof Ashish Arora, who is behind bringing the course to the technical university, said the most striking feature of the Vedic system is its coherence. “Instead of a hodgepodge of unrelated techniques, this system is beautifully interrelated and unified. The general multiplication method, for example, is easily reversed to allow one-line divisions and the simple squaring method can be reversed to give one-line square roots. And these are all easily understood,” said Arora.
“For example, if we are asked to multiply 25x35, generally we would multiply both the numbers in a traditional way. But by using a Vedic formula, Ekadikena Purvena (one more than the previous one), we can calculate the results in a single line,” Arora added.
There are at least sixteen such techniques that would be the part of the curriculum prepared by PTU with the help of the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas. The organisation has prepared the study material on the subject and PTU in a bid to prepare the syllabus had signed an MoU with it.
The university is also in the process of finalising full-fledged undergraduate and postgraduate courses, especially engineering mathematics, in the next couple of years.
PTU vice-chancellor Rajnish Arora, said interpretations with political overtones are being made over the issue.
“It is a science. We will not challenge the traditional mathematics but it makes one learn fast and single-line calculations by using different methods. Rather, the introduction of the course is a matter of pride for us as students will get a chance to learn new calculation techniques as in the ancient times,” said the V-C.
However, the timing of starting the course has raked a number of questions as the university has been accused of implementing RSS agenda in the past too. “With RSS-backed government at the Centre, the aim is to convert the entire curriculum as per Hindu mythology. Implementing Vedic math is one step in this direction,” a Congress leader said.
“We had announced to start the course in 2013 when we celebrated great mathematician Ramanujan’s birth anniversary. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed last year and we had planned to start the course by 2014. We failed to do so because the curriculum available with us was in Hindi. Now after converting it in English we are ready to introduce it,” said the vice-chancellor.