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Now IITs, NITs to prove Sanskrit is scientific language



Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokriyal 'Nishank'

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Premier institutions of the country like the IITs and NITs now have a new task — to prove that Sanskrit is indeed a scientific language.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokriyal ‘Nishank’ on Saturday tasked the directors and chairmen of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to prove that Sanskrit is the “most scientific language” and the “most appropriate language” for talking computers – if they become a reality in the future.

“We are questioned only because we are unable to prove Sanskrit’s ability. I want to request the Vice Chancellors and Chancellors of IITs and NITs that we should prove this,” the minister said in his address at the Gyanotsav 2076 event organised at IGNOU.

“The scientists at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have acknowledged that Sanskrit is the most scientific language in which the words are written exactly in the manner they are spoken or thought of. If talking computers become a reality in the future, Sanskrit would be the most useful language for them. If the scientists at NASA pronounce Sanskrit as the most scientific language, why do you have a problem?” he asked, challenging his critics to cite any language which is more scientific than Sanskrit.

“Sanskrit is the oldest language as the ‘Vedas’ and ‘Puranas’ were written in the language. Sanskrit is the mother of all languages on the planet. If there is any other language that you can claim to be older than Sanskrit, you should tell me,” he said.

Nishank had made similar claims at the 57th convocation of IIT-Bombay earlier. The Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry then had clarified that he was referring to the work of a NASA scientist who had published an article ‘Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence’ in the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ magazine.

He also claimed that the gravitational force has been mentioned in ancient Hindu texts thousands of years before Isaac Newton discovered it. He asked the gathering to further the rich knowledge available in the ancient texts.

The minister also claimed that ‘Rishi Pranav’ was the first to discover atoms and molecules.

Interestingly, the minister had claimed at the IIT-B convocation that it was Charaka Rishi – hailed as one of the principal contributors of Ayurveda – who was the first person who researched and discovered atoms and molecules.

“Who conducted research on atoms and molecules? Charaka Rishi was the one who researched atoms and molecules and discovered them,” he had said.

Nishank also batted for Hindi as the medium of communication, while emphasising that all Indian languages will be strengthened.

“We will strengthen all the Indian languages. However, a language of communication that weaves in all the languages is the language of the nation. This is the reason why the paragraph 343 of our Constitution states that the national language will be Hindi. Gandhiji said that the nation that does not have its national language is dumb,” he said.

The minister also asserted that India can become a world leader once again if it looks towards its ancient knowledge.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that along with ‘Jai Jawan’, ‘Jai Kisan’ and ‘Jai Vigyan’, time has come to add ‘Jai Anusandhan’ (research) too,” he said.

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Private players to run trains on key routes: Railways



New Delhi, Sep 24 : The Indian Railways is mulling the idea of handing over operations of more trains to private players in the coming days on several important routes with improved services and amenities for passengers.

The decision comes under the 100-day agenda of the national transporter to hand over operations of the trains to private players on key routes.

Earlier, the Indian Railways had announced to grant operations of two of its luxurious Tejas Express trains to Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

According to a railway ministry official, the national transporter has called a meeting of senior railway officials on September 27 under the chairmanship of Member, Traffic of the Railway Board to decide the operational issues relating to private operation of passenger trains.

In a letter to all the Principal Chief Operations Managers of the Central, Northern, North Central, South Eastern, South Central and Southern Railway dated September 23, Principal Executive Director of Coaching of the Railway Board, A. Madhusudan Reddy said, “As part of the 100-day action plan, the ministry has proposed that private operation of passenger trains be introduced to provide world class services.”

He said, “Under the railways proposal, private operators would be identified through a participative bid process to run private passenger day or overnight trains connecting important cities.”

“It is contemplated that the private operators shall induct modern passenger trains and operate them on paths allocated to them on payment of haulage charges,” Reddy said.

“Thus in order to prepare the RFQ (Request for quote) and concession documents, it is necessary to identify the routes and the number of services that can be run,” he said.

According to the railway ministry plans, besides the Lucknow-New Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad being given to the IRCTC for operations, the national transporter is mulling to give trains to private operators on inter-city services on 14 routes, while 10 on overnight and long distance services and four suburban services.

The railways has proposed giving trains to private operators on long distance or overnight journey trains on the routes of Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Jammu/Katra, Delhi-Howrah, Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Secunderabad-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai, Mumbai-Chennai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai.

It has proposed to invite the private players for the intercity express on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Aurangabad, Mumbai-Madgaon, Delhi-Chandigarh/Amritsar, Delhi-Jaipur/Ajmer, Howrah-Puri, Howrah-Tata, Howrah-Patna, Secunderabad-Vijaywada, Chennai-Bengaluru, Chennai-Coimbatore, Chennai-Madurai and Ernakulam-Trivandrum routes. The railways has also proposed the operation of suburban trains in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad by private players.

The railways had earlier clearly said that before engaging private operators to run the trains, the national transporter will consult the trade unions and other stakeholders.

The IRCTC has started the booking of tickets for the Tejas Express between Lucknow-New Delhi from October 5 onward journey. The IRCTC’s Tejas Express will be flagged off from Lucknow on October 4.

The minimum fare for the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express has been kept at Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while the fare for Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express AC chair car will be Rs 1,280.

On the other hand, the ticket price for Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express Executive chair car has been kept at Rs 2,310 and the Delhi-Lucknow fare for Executive Chair Car will be Rs 2,450.

The passengers travelling on Tejas Express from Lucknow to Kanpur in AC chair car will have to shell out Rs 320 and Rs 630 for the Executive Chair car (ECC). For Lucknow to Ghaziabad travel, the passenger needs to pay Rs 1,125 for the AC chair car, while Rs 2,310 for the ECC. On the return journey, the fare is Rs 1,155 for AC Chair car from Delhi to Kanpur while for the ECC it is Rs 2,155.

All these fares are subject to the application of dynamic fare, just like airlines, the IRCTC has said.

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File affidavit detailing guidelines to regulate social media: SC to Centre




New Delhi, Sep 24 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to file an affidavit within three weeks detailing statutory guidelines to balance online privacy, state sovereignty and the reputation of an individual.

A Bench, headed by Justice Deepak Gupta, gave the order while hearing a case on linking of Aadhaar with Facebook and regulating of the social media.

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Police can’t seize property during investigation: SC




Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Sep 24 The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that police has no power to seize immovable property during an investigation.

The top court upheld the Bombay High Court order.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna had heard the matter relating to powers of the police under section 102 of the Criminal Procedure Code in respect of seizure of property during investigation.

The court was hearing Maharashtra government plea challenging a Bombay High Court order which held that the police has no power to seize property during the course of an ongoing probe.

The ruling was announced by the bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

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