Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on August 17 said that the concept of gravity was mentioned in Indian scriptures long before Issac Newton discovered the phenomenon.

He made the comment while he was speaking at RSS-affiliate Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas’s event ‘Gyanotsva’ at New Delhi. He was present at the event to discuss the National Education Policy. He also appealed to the directors of premier institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to undertake a study on ancient Indian science.

The high profile event had various directors of IITs, NITs and heads of organisations like the University Grants Commission in attendance, as reported by ThePrint.

“We need to prove that all that we keep talking about like Charaka, Aryabhata, they all existed and that our scriptures mentioned the concept of gravity much before Newton discovered it,” said Nishank.

He also went on to say that sage Kanada introduced the theory of the atom. He also called Ram Setu in Rameshwaram to be an example of ‘our capabilities in engineering during ancient times’. He called for greater research in Indian scriptures. “Ask American scientists-where did they find formulae (of their inventions)? They will admit that they found it in Indian texts,” he added.

Nishank’s statement drew much ire and ridicule from people, calling it to be ‘unscientific’ and ‘ignorant’.

‘Sanskrit Most Scientific Language For Programming’

Pokhriyal has a history of such bizarre statements. Just a few days back, he had claimed that NASA believed Sanskrit was the most scientific language for programming. He was speaking at an event at IIT, Bombay.

After his statement got overwhelming criticism, the HRD Ministry issued a clarification. In the clarification, the ministry said that Nishank was quoted out of context. It further added that he was referring to the scientific work of NASA Rick Briggs who published an article in the American Society of Al journal.