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# Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages - History for UPSC CSE

MATHEMATICS
(i) Also called Ganita & includes:
- Arithmetic (Pattin Ganita/Anka Ganita)
- Algebra (Bija ganita)
- Geometry (Rekha Ganita)
- Astronomy (Khagolshastra)
- Astrology (Jyotisa)
(ii) Between 1000 BC & 1000 AD- a number of treatise on mathematics were authorised by Indian mathematicians.
(iii) Algebra & concept of zero originated here.
(iv) Town planning of Harappa indicates a good knowledge of measurement & geometry.
(v) Geometric patterns- found in temples in form of geometrical motifs.
(vi) Bijaganita- ‘the other mathematics’ as Bija means ‘another’ or ‘second’ & Ganita means mathematics → it was recognised as a parallel system of computation.
(vii) Earliest book on mathematics- Sulvasutra by Baudhayana (6th century BC) → mentions ‘Pi’ & concepts similar to Pythagoras theorem.
(viii) Apastamba (second century BC) → introduced concepts of practical geometry involving acute angles, obtuse angles & right angles. This knowledge was used in construction of fire altars.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Which branch of mathematics was called Bijaganita during ancient times?

Aryabhatta
(i) In 499 AD wrote Aryabhattiya → which included concepts of mathematics & astronomy
- Method of denoting big decimal numbers by alphabets
- Number theory, geometry, trigonometry and Bijaganita
(iii) Astronomy- was called khagol Shastra- Khagol was famous astronomical laboratory in Nalanda where Aiyabhatta studied.
(iv) Aims of studying astronomy were:
- To get accuracy of Calendars.
- To know about climate & rainfall patterns.
- To look at horoscope.
- To have the knowledge about tides & stars.
(v) He stated that earth is round & rotates on its own axis.
(vi) Formulated area of a triangle & discovered algebra.
(vii) Value of Pi given by him is much more accurate than that given by the Greeks.
(viii) Jyotisa part of Aryabhattiya- deals with astronomical definitions, method of determining true position of planets, movement of Sun & Moon and calculation of eclipses.
(ix) Aryabhatta’s theories on eclipse- distinct departure from orthodox theories of astrology.
(x) Arabs called mathematics “Hindisat” or Indian art.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Consider the following areas related to chemistry:
1. Metallurgy
2. Extraction of sugar
3. Production of paper
4. Distillation of perfumes
Which of the above were applied in ancient times?

Brahmagupta
(i) In his book Brahmasputa Siddhantika (7th century AD)- mentioned Zero for the first time as a number.
(ii) Also introduced negative numbers as debts & positive numbers as fortunes.
The concept of Zero or Shunya
- is derived from concept of a void, which existed in Hindu Philosophy hence derivation of a symbol for it.
- influenced South-east asian culture through Buddhist concept of Nirvana ‘attaining salvation by merging into the void of eternity’.
- 9th century AD, Mahaviracharya wrote Ganit Sara Sangraha, first textbook on arithmetic in present day form, which mentions the current method of finding Lowest common multiple. Hence, it was an invention not by John Napier but by Mahaviracharya.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Consider the following ancient texts:
1. Lilavati
2. Rasaratnakara
3. Yukti Kalpa Taru
Which of the above is/are related to shipbuilding?

(ii) Book Siddhanta Shiromani is divided into four sections:
- Lilavati (dealing with Arithmetic)
- Beejganita (dealing with Algebra)
- Grahaganita (mathematics of planets.)
(iii) Introduced Chakrawat method or cyclic method to solve algebraic equations in his book Lilavati.
(iv) 19th Century- James Taylor translated Lilavati & made it known to people across the globe.
(v) Medieval period- Narayan Pandit produced works of mathematics like Ganitakaumudi & Bijagan itavatamsa.
(vi) Nilakantha Somasutvan wrote Tantrasamgraha, which contains rules of trigonometric functions. Nilakanatha Jyotirvida compiled Tajik, dealing with a large number of Persian technical terms.
(vii) Lilavati- translated into Persian by Faizi.
(viii) Faizi, in Akbar’s court also translated Bhaskara’s Beejaganita.
(ix) Akbar made mathematics as a subject of study in education system.
(x) Astrnomy- Feroz Shah Tughlaq established an observatory in Delhi & Feroz Shah Bahamani at Daulatabad.
(xi )Court astronomer of Feroz shah Bahmani, Mahendra Suri, invented an astronomical instrument known as Yantaraja.
(xii) Sawai Jai Singh

MEDICINE
(i) Vedic times → Ashwini Kumars were practisioners of medicine & were given divine status.
(ii) Dhanvantari- God of medicine.
(iii) Atharva Veda- first book to mention diseases, its cure & medicines → said that diseases were caused by demons & spirits entering into human body & can be cured by magical charms and spells.
(iv) Atharva Veda → cure for diseases like diarrhoea, sores, cough,leprosy, fever & seizure.
(v) Around 600 BC- era of practical & more rational cure
(vi) Takshila & Varanasi- centres for medicinal learning.
(vii) Two important treaties during this time:
Charak Samhita (deals with Ayurveda) by Charak Sushruta Samhita (deals with Surgery) by Sushruta
(viii) Before them, Atreya & Agnivesa dealt with principles of Ayurveda (800 BCE).

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Which of the following is the earliest treatise on mathematics?

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Who of the following was an alchemist or chemist by profession in ancient era?

Charak Samhita
- deals with use of plants & herbs for medicinal purposes.
- mainly deals with Ayurveda as a science with following eight components
(a) Kaya Chikitsa (General Medicine)
(b) Kaumara-Bhrtya (Paediatrics) a Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery)
(c) Salakya Tantra (Ophthalmology/ENT)
(d) Bata Vidya (Demonology/Psychiatry)
(f) Rasayana Tantra (Elixirs)
(g) Vajikarana Tantra (Aphrodisiacs)
- extensive note on digestion, metabolism & immune system.
- he emphasised on three Doshas: 1. Bile, 2. Phlegm & 3. Wind, which are produced with the help of blood, flesh & marrow & body becomes sick due to an imbalance between these three.
- Prevention rather than cure.
- Genetics is also mentioned.

Sushruta Samhita
- Mentions practical problems of Surgery & Obstetrics.
- Sushruta studied anatomy.
- His forte was mainly:
(a) Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery)
(b) Ophthalmology (ejection of Cataract)
- Surgery- termed as Sastrakarma.
- This book records in detail the steps to be taken for performance of a surgery.
- Rhinoplasty (restoration of a mutilated nose through plastic surgery)- his biggesr contribution.
- Ejection of cataracts from eye was even done by him.
(i) Buddhist monks from India took Ayurveda system to Tibet & China.
(ii) Two books were translated in Arabic.
(iii) Greeks- influenced by Indian medicines during Indo-Greek rule in India in 180 BC-10 AD.
(iv) Medieval period, Sarangdhara Samhita (13th Century) emphasised on use of opium in medicines & for urine examination in laboratories.
(v) Rasachikitsa system- treatment of diseases using mineral medicines.
(vi) Unani system- came to India from Greece with book Firdausu hikmatby Ali-bin-Rabban.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Which of the following vessel(s) or ship(s) was/were used in warfare during ancient times?

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Which of the following was/were centres of medicinal learning during ancient times?

PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY
(i) From Vedic times, materials on Earth are classified into panchbhootas, which were identified with human senses of perception.
- Earth (prithvi) with smell
- Fire (agni) with vision
- Air (maya) with feeling
- Water (cipa) with taste
- Ether (akasha) with sound.
(ii) Buddhist philosophers- rejected ether & replaced it with life, joy and sorrow.
(iii) Last miniscule matter which could not be further subdivided- Parmanu.
(iv) Five types of parmanu for five different elements.
(v) Indian philosophers conceived the idea of splitting an atom.
(vi) Indian philosophers Kanada & Pakudha Katyayana (6th century BC) → first coined the idea of atoms & material world being constituted of atoms.
(vii) Kanada → material world is made up of lam a which cannot be seen through human organ. They cannot be further subdivided & are indestructible (modern atomic theory).

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Chaturanga, a sport in ancient times is presently played by the name-

Chemistry
(i) It developed in phases through experimentation.
(ii) Areas of application of chemistry:
- Metallurgy (smelting of metals)
- Distillation of perfumes
- Making of dyes and pigments Extraction of sugar Production of paper.
- Production of gunpowder.
- Casting of canons, etc.
(iii) In India, it was called Rasayan Shastra, Rasatantra, Rasa Vidya & Rasakriya, all of which means science of liquids.
(iv) Chemical laboratories- Rasakriya Shala & chemist- rasadanya.
(v) Development of metallurgy in India- from Bronze Age.
(vi) Progress from Bronze Age to Iron Age- made great contribution in metallurgy.
(vii) Indians had expertise in extraction of metals form ore & its casting, which India could have borrowed form Mesopotamia.
(viii) Best evidences of Indian metallurgy- Iron pillar of Mehrauli in Delhi & idol of Gautama Buddha in Sultanganj, Bihar → have not caught rust.
(ix) Famous alchemist- Nagarjuna -Awas bom in Gujarat in 931 AD & was blessed with power of changing base metals into gold & extracting “Elixir of lifc”→ also wrote Rasaratnakara, a book on chemistry in form of dialogue between him & Gods.
(x) Book deals with preparation of liquids (mainly mercury)
(xi) He also wrote Uttaratantra, a supplement to Sushruta Samhita and deals with preparation of medicinal drugs.And also wrote four ayurvedic treatises later.
(xii) Idea of transformation of metals- takenby Arabs from Indian books.
(xiii) Rasarnava- Sanskrit text written in medieval period (12th century) & deals with Tantrism (metallic preparations & alchemy).
(xiv) Preservation of ancient literature was done on palm leaves.
(xv) Use of paper begun in medieval period.
(xvii) Process of paper making- same throughout nation.
(xviii) After advent of Mughals^ manufacture of gunpowder and its use in guns started.
(xix) Saltpetre, sulphur & charcoal were used in different ratios to produce different varieties of gunpowder.
(x) Casting of cannons- explicitly mentioned in Tujuk-i-Baburi.
(xi) Ain-i-Akbari- “regulation of perfume office” of Akbar.
(xii) Mother of Noorjahan- discovered attar of roses.
(xiii) In field of geology’, hydrology and ecology, the contribution of Varahamihira (Gupta period & one of nine gems in court of Vikramaditya) cannot be forgotten-^his predictions were so accurate that king Vikramaditya awarded him with title of “Varaha”.
(xiv) He said presence of termites (Deemak) & plants could indicate presence of water in that particular area.
(xv) He gave a list of six animals & thirty-six plants which could indicate presence of water.
(xvi) Propounded earth cloud theory in his book Brihat Samhita.
(xvii) He related earthquake to influence of plants, behaviour of animals, underground water, undersea activities & unusual cloud formation.
(xviii) Also made contributions in Astrology orJyotish shastra.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:The compass of the ship used for navigation in ancient times was called

(i) Sanskrit & Pali literature- mention of ship building & navigation activities.
(ii) Theological folklore of Hinduism- Satyanarayan Puja talks of sea merchant who was caught in a storm & prayed that if he is saved then he will offer puja to Lord Satyanarayana.
(iii) Yukti Kalpa Taru- treatise in Sanskrit which deals with the various techniques used in ship building during ancient times.
(iv) Ships were primarily classified into two classes:
- Samanya (Ordinary class)
- Vishesha (special class)
(v) Ordinary class^for sea voyage & had two types of ships:
(a) Dirgha type of ship - long and narrow hull
(b) Unnata type of ship - higher hull
(vi) As per length & position of cabins, ships were classified into:
(a) Sarvamandira vessels - cabins extending from one end of deck to another, used for transportation of royal voyage & horses.
(b) Madhyamandira - cabins in middle part of the deck, for pleasure trips.
(c) Agramandira - vessels used for warfare.
(vii) Sanskrit terminologies for various parts of the ship are:
- Anchor of ship - Nava bandhan kilaha
- Sail - Vata vastra
- Rudder of ship - Jeni pata or karna
- Keel of the ship - Nava tala
- Compass of the ship - Machayantra or fish machine (in shape of a fish).
(viii) Famous Sports of India in ancient times:
(a) Kalaripayat: martial art from Kerala which was transmitted to China in 5th century BC by a sage called Bodhidharma. Present form of Judo & karate originated from it.
(b) Chess: was known as “Chaturanga” meaning four bodies & was played with counters and Aksha (dice). It was also called Astapada meaning game of eight steps.
It finds its mention in Mahabharata where it was played between Kauravas & Pandavas.

Question for Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages
Try yourself:Sushrutasamhita which deals with surgery elaborately discusses?

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## FAQs on Nitin Singhania: Summary of Science and Technology Through The Ages - History for UPSC CSE

 1. What is the significance of the book "Science and Technology Through The Ages" by Nitin Singhania?
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Ans. The book "Science and Technology Through The Ages" by Nitin Singhania covers a wide range of topics related to the development of science and technology. It includes discussions on ancient scientific traditions, contributions of ancient civilizations, medieval scientific advancements, the scientific revolution, modern scientific discoveries, and contemporary technological innovations. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of science and technology through different historical periods.
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