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By Gaurav Sharma

The world has always been a playground for geniuses. But time and again Earth gives birth to a different kind of brilliance, one that completely revolutionises the way we think and act.

It can be hard to imagine such a personality to be existing some two and a half thousand years ago. Yet, the same genius is found in Panini, an ancient Indian scholar.

Born in Brahmana caste, the highest of the social orders at that time, Panini was a model modern day nerd, a geek who redefined the laws of language (grammar).

His magnum-opus– the Ashtadhyayi– created in a mere forty pages, establishes the most complete linguistic system in the world. The epic work built a firm footing for establishing Sanskrit as the lingua-franca of the masses for more than a thousand years.

Born around the 4th century BC(subject to contention) in the city of Charsadda, Pakistan, Panini possessed a unique mind and a piercing intellect that was able to decipher the deeper meaning of things.

By demystifying Sanskrit, a language of phenomenal precision and vision, Panini captured the essence of language in such a concise way that it could be memorised and passed-on orally.

A short hand or a code was developed through which Panini expressed the ancient language’s structure and grammatical principles. Various elements of the language (types of verbs, classes of sound etc) were represented by abbreviations, usually a single alphabet.

The master grammarian, then combined these abbreviations into verse like strings or sutras, which in turn, set out the rules of the language in a highly sophisticated meta-language.

While the four-thousand sutras so created, take less than two-and-a-half hours to recite, the same translation in English amounts to a mind-boggling thirteen-hundred pages.

Even more commendable is the fact that Panini could devise an innovative system that functioned like a power algorithm, similar to how computers function in today’s day-and-age.

But the magical erudition of Panini does not end there. Such is the magnitude of his treatise, that through a combination of general rules and specific exceptions, a person can translate basic linguistic input into limitless grammatical sentences.

Paul Kaparsky, professor of linguistics at Stanford University could not believe that the science he was teaching in University had roots going back thousands of years.

“When I was studying grammar with Chomsky back in 1962, we were trying to write precise and comprehensive description of languages. But our main intention was to find what all languages have in common. In order to do that, we tried to construct an explicit and comprehensive grammar. To our surprise, we found out that such a magnificent feat had already been achieved by Panini, and that too on the basis of a single language”, says Kaparsky while talking to BBC.

So remarkable was Panini’s ability to compress and articulate rules of grammar that the Ashtadhyayi is likened to the Turing machine, an idealized mathematical model that reduces the logical structure of any computing device to its essentials.

Sadly, with the demise of Sanskrit as a language of intellectual enquiry and debate, Panini’s face has also been reduced to that of a forgotten relic.

However, in spite of receding into the background of popular discourse, not everyone has forgotten Panini’s works that continue to power-forward the global economy.

Vikram Chandra, a novelist and former software professional has written a book called Geeks Sublime as an ode to the genius of Panini.

While highlighting the epic proportion of Panini’s work that spans diverse areas, Chandra says, “Panini does not only play an important role in Sanskrit and linguistics, but in a strange way, he connects with everything that we do today.

All the programming languages that are used to change the global landscape today, are in some sense dependent on Panini’s insight and ideas.”

The honorary–capturing the world in a cow’s hoofprint–aptly sums up the visionary genius that was Panini.


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Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.


Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough.

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough. It is commonly observed that while many people take their skincare routine seriously, a majority of them neglect to moisturise the body. It is important to keep in mind that timing matters a lot when it comes to applying moisturisers. Therefore, knowing the appropriate time to apply body lotion is essential.

Take a look at the ideal times to moisturise your body shared by Kimi Jain, Head of Retail, KIMRICA.

Morning
Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. The skin is constantly exposed to harsh chemicals and pollutants when you're outside which is why using a protective and soothing moisturiser while going out is necessary. Kimirica's Five Elements Body Lotion comes with natural Aloe Vera extracts that act as a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that helps protect your skin and provide a deep nourishing effect.

man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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