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As it’s rightly said – mathematics is what you make of it. Perhaps, mathematics is more of Arts than Science and the art lies in how skillfully an educator can teach the concepts of the subject to a student. If the teacher is good, students love mathematics; but if the teacher is lackadaisical, the students become scared of the subject.
Today, on December 22, mathematicians and students around the world are remembering the contribution of Srinivasa Ramanujan to the field of mathematics. The legendary Indian mathematician was born on this date in 1887 and quite correctly, India marks its National Mathematics Day on his birth anniversary. It is a good day to remember his works, teach them to our young generation, and encourage students to make strides in the field of mathematics like the great Ramanujan himself.
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To recall his feats, Ramanujan was one of the youngest members of Britain’s Royal Society and the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University. His contribution to mathematical analysis, infinite series, continued fractions, and number theory was immense. Ramanujan is most popular for his contribution to the analytical theory of numbers, elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series.
According to government data, Ramanujan also discovered his own theorems and compiled as many as 3,900 results independently. Academicians across the globe agree that his theories transformed 20th-century mathematics and continue to shape the subject in the 21st century.
Besides Ramanujan, our great land has produced several gems in the field of mathematics – including Satyendra Nath Bose, CR Rao, PC Mahalanobis, Shakuntala Devi, and the young Manjul Bhargava who is the first person of Indian origin to win a Fields Medal. And while Ramanujan was undoubtedly among the world’s greatest mathematicians in the 20th century, even in the years before him, India was always ahead of the world in mathematical inventions.
India’s tryst with the subject began in the ancient era itself. The discoveries relating to the times of the Indus Valley Civilization (that existed around 3000 BC) have confirmed practical applications of mathematics. For instance, excavations at Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro reveal that people manufactured bricks whose dimensions were in the proportion 4:2:1 and produced accurate weights in regular geometrical shapes.
Another Indian discovery, Vedic mathematics also flourished in India a little ahead of Indus Valley Civilization. Vedic maths is hailed by the world for its contribution in solving mathematical arithmetics in an easier and faster way. The 16 sutras (formulae) and 13 sub-sutras (sub-formulae) laid down in Vedic Mathematics are instrumental in solving the problems of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and conics.
Now cutting to the period between 400 AD and 1200 AD, Indian scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, and Varahamihira transformed mathematics with their findings. It is a well-known fact that if it wasn’t for Aryabhata, the world wouldn’t have known the number ‘0’. He also gave the value of pi up to four decimals. Significantly, he was the first to calculate the number of days in a year.
Later on, Brahmagupta invented the Fibonacci identity and also discovered the first general formula for solving quadratic equations. He also tabulated the sine table as well as the Pythagorean Triples. Similarly, mathematician and astronomer Bhaskara (or Bhaskaracharya) was a pioneer in discovering calculus and an expert in arithmetic, algebra, the mathematics of planets and spheres. Not to forget, famous Jain philosopher Hemchandra worked with the cadences of length ‘n’ and described the Fibonacci sequence even before Fibonacci himself.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: जानिए क्या है ‘भारतीय अनुवाद संघ’ और क्यों है इसकी आवश्यकता?
All young students in India must be aware of these brilliant minds and also keep in mind that their inventions were not just limited to academia but had real-life implications as well.
We all know the basic daily life uses of mathematics without which transacting any business would be unimaginable, to say the least. The calculation of the value of a good (or service) and payments is an exercise that we all – be it literate, semi-literate, or even illiterate – undertake almost regularly without even realizing the significance of mathematical formulas in our life.
Going a step further, our economists, statisticians, and mathematicians make use of the different concepts of mathematics to ascertain the growth of companies, shares, bonds, and even countries. Forget the tangible things; we are even able to measure intangible assets like the goodwill of a company, happiness index of a country using mathematics.
In more recent examples, epidemiologists were able to predict the peak of Covid-19 infection in places using sophisticated mathematical modeling. Similarly, the several successful launches by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in recent years have also been a testament to how mathematics can be put to the right use and change the lives of people for the better. Mathematical analysis coupled with rocket science helped ISRO launch satellites that tell us about our surroundings, save us from our enemies, and alert us regarding any forthcoming natural or man-made disaster. Further, the usage of mathematics in areas of defense and business is also magnanimous.
The recently-introduced National Education Policy of 2020 lays special emphasis on mathematics, applied mathematics, and Vedic mathematics. The draft reads, “On the curricular side, there will be an increased focus on counting, arithmetic, and mathematical thinking – throughout the preparatory and middle school curriculum.”
The draft further adds, “All efforts will be made in preparing high-quality bilingual textbooks and teaching-learning materials for mathematics.” The introduction of coding in the early years, as suggested in the NEP, will be the beginning of bringing mathematics to real-life application during school years.
While these steps give the right nudge at introductory steps, the NEP also talks about encouraging students to take up mathematics at an advanced level. “It is recognized that mathematics and mathematical thinking will be very important for India’s future and India’s leadership role in the numerous upcoming fields and professions that will involve artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science, etc,” says the draft.
Young students often ask me – how will this topic of mathematics help them? And I tell them that each and every topic in mathematics is of great value in all walks of life. It is thus upon our educators to make sure that they teach students in a manner that they fell in love with the subject. The NEP also acknowledges the role of pedagogy saying, “Capacities of teachers in the teaching of mathematics will be developed”.
At the risk of sounding Panglossian, I would say India is poised to become the cradle of next-generation big inventions and mathematics is going to be at the root of these discoveries. Our country lost a few crucial years due to a few governments ignoring reforms in the education sector, but things look back on track with the NEP now. So, to every student, teacher, and guardian – make learning a celebration, not a compulsion; and love mathematics, I promise it will love you back. (IANS)
There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.
If the guests arrive, then this would be the second time when India hosts a group of state heads as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2018, state heads of ASEAN countries graced the occasion with their presence. Apart from Kazakhstan, none of these countries' state heads had been invited as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2009, Kazakhstan's then president Nursultan Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest.
The Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest. Mitul Gajera / Unsplash
As per sources, due to the corona situation, the Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest, so the plan seems to have been cancelled. Last year, British Prime minister Boris Johnson was invited for the same, but later cancelled due to rising corona cases in the UK.
In the past, there have been occasions when the Republic Day ceremony was celebrated without any foreign guest. In 1966, there was no foreign chief guest in the Republic Day parade ceremony as the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had passed away in Tashkent in January, and Indira Gandhi took oath as Prime Minister on January 24. (IANS/SP)
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A team of scientists from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have found a cure for those suffering from chronic wounds, particularly with diabetic foot ulcers. The team led by Prof Gopal Nath of the department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, said that wounds that took months and years to heal, could now be cured in days or months. The findings of study have been published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US.
Prof Nath said that a wound is defined as a breach in the skin or body tissues due to injury. An acute wound is defined as a "recent break that is yet to progress through sequential stages of healing". The wounds where normal healing process is stalled due to underlying pathology (vascular and diabetes) or infection beyond three months is defined as chronic wound. While chronic wounds always get infected, the contaminated wounds are reasonably susceptible to infection.
A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks.Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash
Infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and biofilm formation halt healing progress. These wounds cause significant psychological and physical morbidity. The traditional treatment strategies often succeed in healing wounds, he said adding that many wounds have been observed recalcitrant to them, leading to persistence and recurrent infections. Search for alternatives to antibiotics has now become a compulsion. Fortunately, bacteriophage therapy is a re-emerging solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Prof Nath's team carried out phage therapy of acute and chronic infected wounds in animals and clinical studies. It showed efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a mice wound model. Furthermore, they evaluated the efficacy of phage cocktails in animal models' acute and chronic osteomyelitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. They also observed biofilm eradication from K wire in rabbits' wound infection model. Clinical trials of phage therapy initiated by the BHU have reported the efficacy of topical phage in healing chronic wounds in three prospective exploratory studies and no adverse events mimicking the results in vivo animal models.
Scientists have found a cure for those suffering from diabetic foot ulcers. Unsplash
A clinical study by Gupta demonstrated the significant role of bacteriophage therapy in the chronic wounds associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study employed a total of twenty patients with chronic non-healing ulcers for more than six weeks duration. A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks. Another study, employing 48 patients having a minimum of one eligible full-thickness wound that did not heal in six weeks with convention wound management, showed the promising result, and significant improvement was observed in the wound healing.
The study projected that specific phage therapy is equally effective regardless of the diabetic or non-diabetic status of the patient though the healing was relatively delayed in diabetic patients. Another successful study has shown encouraging results on healing process of infected acute traumatic wounds. The average number of days required for complete granulation of wounds and attaining sterility and healing was half compared to conventional therapy. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : scientists, cure, chronic, wound, suffer, ulcer, diabetes, healing, pathology, health, infection, bacteria, study, patient, therapy, successful.)
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By Anna Melnikova
The Indian cricket lovers have been waiting for a ton from Virat Kohli for a long time, and he finally has made it. However, not in the batting as most fans expect, but in catching balls.
The second day of the 3rd Test in Capetown between local Proteas and the Men in Blue was rich for interesting occasions. Thus, South Africa was waiting for a good scoring result after stopping all Indian batters on the first day. Their opponents, however, have been looking for nice bowling not to lose the game just in the first innings. And while Bumrah added five wickets to his score, one of the dismissals should go to Virat Kohli. By the way, if you want more cricket news in India, we recommend subscribing to the specified site using the link.
Also Read : Acts of good sportsmanship
The legendary captain was great in batting but now can not score a ton for more than two years. But the three-digit result came from another side, where he is also quite successful. And while most of his catches came from opponents' misses, he proved he can be effective in the outfield parts of the pitch. According to experts, Kohli has a unique ability to be energetic on the pitch and still be concentrated for long shots by opponents, which rarely come in Test format.
Kohli has a unique ability to be energetic on the pitch. Unsplash
Even a legendary Gavaskar, who was the first Indian with such a result, praised the ability of the recent captain to catch. He admitted the ability to grab slipping balls, which are hard to cope with. Interestingly, Virat became only the sixth Indian to achieve a milestone in this component in the Test format. Kohli needed 99 games to find the needed number, although he is focused on making the 28th century first of all.
Another three-digit achievement can happen just today. He opened the 3rd day of the Test in Capetown along with Pujara and stayed alive at the moment of writing this article. If you are fond of sports betting, we recommend that you go to the rating of sports betting sites in India and choose a reliable bookmaker.
(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article and includes some commercial links.)
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