Report on Theoretical Sciences

Activities in Theoretical Sciences section of the Congress were largely of the nature of recapitulating Indian heritage of Sastric activities which i have close semblance to contemporary theoretical sciences.' Most of submissions, under various categories of activities of the Congress', reported on going modem research on various, faces of theoretical traditions which can be related to subject areas such as mathematics, logic, linguistics, .cognitive science and philosophy of science.

The following types and activities were organized


30 papers were presented over four days under following sections.

1. Mathematics and Astronomy (4 papers)

2. Linguistics and Logic (4 papers)

3. Cognitive Science and Logic (4 papers)

4. Music, Speech, Sound and Sight (4 papers)

5. Methodology (4 papers)

6. Tradition and Modernity: An Enigma (4 papers)

A special conference was organized in collaboration 4with ICFR and PHISC project on PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE OF NATURE IN INDIAN PERCEPTION. The conference had three sections.

7. Understanding Nature (3 papers)

8. Utilizing and Appreciating Nature (3 papers)

9. Panel discussion on NATURE IN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE.

Plenary Lecture

A plenary talk on Recent Advances in Revitalization of Theoretical Sciences of India by Prof. P.K. Mukhopadhyaye was delivered. He reviewed recent research efforts in the area of theoretical sciences. Some of these researches were being reported in the main conference sections of theoretical sciences. He stressed the need for a dialogue between India and Western theoretical systems at the level of their fundamentals. He noted that in certain areas of research where modem disciplines are facing deep problems, leads for solution on the basis of insights from our theoretical heritage are already evident Such activities in future hold great promise for the development of knowledge.

Teaching Workshops

Four workshops of 200 minutes each were organized on two themes.

1. "Introduction to Indian Mathematics" by Ashok Jhunjhunwala in which various methods
and calculations were taught. .These methods have unique properties of brevity. A book elucidating these methods was also released during the congress.

2. "Paninian Grammar and Computer Sciences" by Rajiv Sangal in which basics of Paninian grammar and outline of computer programme based on it for natural language processing was taught Collection of support material on the subject was also distributed.

Technology Demonstration

A computer package which translates from Kannada to Hindi was demonstrated. The design of the package called Anusarak is based on the principles-of Paninian grammar. Anusarak is not really a translating system but is a tool to help the Hindi-knowing .to read a Kannada text. Its Hindi translation is akin to (Dakkhoni) Hindi which a Kannada speaker would speak. This technological tool is uniquely relevant for Indian language situation (Indian languages which are influenced, by the Paninian tradition of Vyakarana).


An Exhibition consisting of about 40 posters on the theme of "Indian Mathematics arid
Astronomy was organized It highlighted and elucidated' major achievements of India
mathematical heritage.

Panel Discussions

Three panel discussions were organized on

1. Theory and Practice relation in the Indian Tradition of Science

The discussions were of the nature of debates between practitioners of traditional disciplines of knowledge and modern disciplines of knowledge. The Main issue which was debated was a blame on Indian Tradition that hand and head were divorced. Good theories but impractical and good craft but devoid of theory. The discussions touched upon Sastra-vyavahara relation according to tradition to issue of integration of traditional sector with modem sector.

In the section on Music, Speech, Sound and sight issues related to Indriyas (senses) were discussed. Nature of intelligible sound, and intelligible color was discussed in the context of sastra as well as current debates. Interesting controversy regarding whether mixture of all colors will be a white or a black color were discussed. Significance of traditional Indian alphabetic structure in speech therapy for retarded children was also highlighted. Besides relation of sounds with life styles (traditional and modem) were discussed.

In the section on methodology issues of method in Nyaya, Ayurveda and_Rasa Sastra were discussed. Rigorous methodology for determinate assertion about non-physical entities like injunction, belief, practices, gunas, and (qualities) formed the main subject matter of this section. Science of non scientific entities throws up an interesting issue which is very significant for understanding Indian scientific heritage and its relation with modem science.

In the section oh Tradition and Modernity: An Enigma, socio-cultural and philosophical aspect of the troublesome interface of tradition and forces of modernity were discussed. The Value of 'simplicity' in organization of life was discussed. A new emerging paradigmatic approach to "other's knowledge" was pointed out and various issues relevant to the congress were debated. This section largely drew from anthropological and sociological tradition and linked issues with various current approaches to relation of modernity and tradition.

In the section on understanding nature/the significance of traditional outlook and associated values for understanding of physical nature was brought out in the section on utilization and appreciating of nature, differences between the traditional and modern approaches to utilization were discussed. An Interesting-thesis regarding the idea of 'waste', produced through various paradigmatic practices, was discussed in a historical perspective since colonial India.

2. Panel discussions on "Research directions in theoretical science

In this session research agenda in various theoretical disciplines was discussed, especially in linguistics and cognitive sciences.

3. Panel discussions oh "Policy aspect of research in theoretical sciences"

Discussions centered around the need for technology support to Indian language policy. Such technology on the basis of Paninian grammar is possible and needs to be supported. There was a need articulated for continued and enhanced support for research in diverse areas' of our theoretical traditions whose significance is quite clearly obvious today.

Highlights of Conference Presentations

Most of the presentations were reporting of intensive research which is being conducted in the last two-three years and thus were of technical nature.

In Mathematics and Astronomy section study on nature of proofs was presented especially in areas of dealing with infinite power series. Research on computational complexity of India integrated algorithms - division, indeterminate equations and trigonometrically functions was presented. Interesting finding of the heliocentric mode) of planetary motion developed decades before Copernicus was also reported.

In linguistics and logic section, results and status of Vyakarana Sastra's contribution to computational linguistics was reported. Issues revolved with semantic theories of Sabdabodha with respect to problem of disambiguation were presented. A path of fruitful intervention of Navya Nyaya in debates on current theories of communication was also outlined.

In the cognitive science and logic section, the algorithmic basis of functioning of mind according to Nyaya was presented. Fundamentals of psychological aspect of functioning of mind according to Jaina, Buddha and Yoga tradition were outlined. Causal process of mental assertion about truth condition was elucidated. Besides causal working of analogy in mind was discussed.

Contact Address:
Navjothi Singh
National Institute of Science,
Technology and Development Studies
Dr.KS.Krishnan Marg, NEW DELHI - .110 012

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