Ancient Indian made immense contributions in Science and Technology. Here, we are giving the summary of the important facts related to the Ancient Indian contribution in Science & Technology which will helps the aspirants in the preparation of the competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Ideas in Science and Technology in Ancient India
• They conceptualises that the universe is composed of Panchbhutas – Water, land, fire and either-each a medium of sense perception.
• They knew the existence of atoms and molecules even before the Greeks.
• Vaiseshika School elaborated the atomic theory.
• Brahamagupta anticipated Newton‘s theory of gravitation by declaring that –‘All things fall on the Earth by law of nature’ and it is the nature of the Earth that attract the things.
• Indians made three important contributions – notation system, decimal system and usage of zero.
• Indian notation system was adopted by Arabs and numerals are called Arabic in English. They are found in Ashokan inscription.
• Indians were the first to use the decimal system and Mathematician Aryabhatt was associated with it.
• Knowledge of Geometry is reflected in the Sulvasutras of 5th century BC. Aryabhatta (Surya Siddhanta) formulated the rule for finding out the areas of a triangle which led to the origin of Trigonometry.
• Jyotisha Vedanga (500 BC) is the earliest source dealing exclusively with astronomy. It contains rules for calculating the position of new and full moon amongst the 27 nakshatras.
• Aryabhatt explained the true cause of solar and lunar eclipses, stated that the Sun is stationary and the Earth rotates around the Sun. He gave the value of pie (3.1416), and stated that the Earth is spherical in shape in his book i.e. Aryabhattiya (499 AD).
• Varahamihira stated that the Moon rotates round the Earth, and the Earth rotates around the Sun in his book Brihat Samhita (6th Century AD).
• There was great development in Metallurgy with large scale production of various metals like gold, silver, copper, iron, brass and other alloys.
• Post Maurya Period steel products were exported to the west.
• Gupta period copper statue of Buddha from Sultanganj and iron pillar of Mehrauli at Delhi are the finest examples.
• Hyms of Atharvaveda is associated with Ayurveda.
• Charaksamhita of Charak (100 AD) refers to the various diseases with cure and treatments, also about prevention and control through diet.
• Sursutasamhita of Sasruta refers to various kinds of diseases and operation with anaesthesia, surgical treatment, cataract, rhinoplasty etc.
Apart from all the Ideas in Science and Technology during Ancient India, there was also the development of grammar and linguistics that help in the recitation of the Vedic prayer and mantra with meticulous correctness such as the production of Sanskrit grammar as in Astadhyayi of Panini in 400 BC and Mahabhasya of Patanjali in 2nd century BC. All these advancement first originated for religious purposes.