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Karnataka’s NEP proposal marks Pythagoras’ theorem and Newton’s apple on head as fake news

The proposals form part of the position papers for contributions sent to the Union Government to be included in the school curriculum.

The teaching of Sanskrit as a third language and the introduction of Manusmriti and ancient numeral systems like Bhutasankhya and kaṭapayadi sankhya to all school children in the state finds a place in the proposal sent by Karnataka for inclusion in the school curriculum under the new National Education Policy (NEP). While Bhutasamkhya is a method of recording numbers in Sanskrit using common nouns, the kaṭapayadi system of number notation for easy recall.

Educators in the state have expressed deep concern over some of the proposals made by the state government. The proposals are among the position papers for contributions sent to the Union government to be included in the NEP programme, The Times of India reported.

One of the main suggestions made in the position paper is the inclusion of Sanskrit as a compulsory third language. “In the Land of Thousands of Languages, at least three languages ​​should be taught – the regional language, English and another Bhāratiya language, preferably Saṁskṛta,” the position paper states. Saṁskṛta is the language in which the overwhelming majority of Indian knowledge is available, and in addition, a basic knowledge of Saṁskṛta will enable students to learn any other language, including foreign languages,” he adds. -he.

The proposal also called the Pythagorean theorem and Newton’s falling apple “fake news”. “Encouraging a questioning attitude and not simply accepting everything the textbooks (or print/electronic/social media) say as infallible truth, with a clear basis on how knowledge generation takes place and how fake news such as Pythagorean theorem, apple falling on Newton head etc. are created and propagated,” reads one of the proposal’s suggestions.

The proposal suggests incorporating mathematical concepts from ancient ‘Bharat’ while contrasting with mathematical concepts that have their origins in Europe. He also recommends introducing “certain sutras” of Vedic mathematics for “quick mental arithmetic”.

Another suggestion in the proposal deals with removing the depiction of the faces of Greek mathematicians Pythagoras and Heron while including examples from Indian geometry. “It is also recommended that some of the examples given in textbooks on Bhāratiya geometry can be done outside the classroom, probably in the playground. The sections on Greek mathematics should be reduced, especially representations of the faces of ‘Greek mathematicians’ such as Pythagoras, Heron, etc.,” the proposal reads.

The proposal also mentions the incorporation of medieval Indian contributions in the field of science. “Textbooks should help our students become familiar with, assimilate and appreciate the irrefutable fact that the profound sense of inquiry and analysis is rooted in our civilization from the Rig Vedic period which is universally accepted as the earliest and oldest living literature in the world produced by humans on this planet,” the proposal reads.

Another suggestion, along the same lines, mentions the origin of calculus in medieval India and suggests including more concepts that “communicate to our students such details of our noble past”.

The proposal comes amid controversy over changes made to Karnataka textbooks by the state government in which the removal of lessons on Gandhi, BR Ambedkar and Nehru as well as the inclusion of essays on RSS ideologues KB Hedgewar and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar met with protests. .

Educator Niranjanaradhya called the changes unscientific and regressive. “Many regressive changes have been recommended in subjects like science and social studies. These arguments, based on mythological stories, have been challenged by scholars as unscientific,” says Niranjanaradhya. This is linked to sweeping changes to Karnataka’s textbooks which have recently caused controversy, he added.