15 major contributions of India to the world

15 major contributions of India to the world

India is a land of great culture and civilization.  Science and technology were much developed in ancient India.  It is a country which has a marvellous legacy to the world.  There are wonderful contributions of ancient and modern India.  These gifts of India changed the world and paved the way for modernisation.

Here are 15 great contributions of India to the world in different fields that make every Indian feel proud of the country.

1. University of Takshashila and Nalanda

Takshashila was the first university in the world.  The university flourished in the kingdom of Gandhar from 600BC to 500AD.  At one time, more than 10,000 students from Greek, Syria, China and Babylon studied in the University.  68 subjects including Vedas, philosophy, medicine, politics, astronomy, warfare, dance, mathematics were taught in this institution.  The legendary scholars like Kautilya, Vishnu Sharma, Panini and Jivak were the glory of the university.

university of takshashila
The University of Takshashila | Image source: Navbharattimes

Nalanda University was one of the most illustrious learning centres of India.  The university was built in the 5th century by the emperor Kumargupta in Bihar.  It was devoted to Buddhist studies but subjects like fine arts, astronomy, politics, the art of war and medicine were taught.

2. Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the natural treatment of diseases.  Charak, the father of medicine introduced Ayurveda to the world 2500 years ago.  Today Ayurveda is gaining fast acceptance as naturopathy in the world.

Ayurveda, Charak
Charak: Father of medicine

3. Mathematics

India introduced the number zero which was invented by Aryabhatta.  In the sixth century, Budhayana explained the concept of Pythagorean Theorem.  He calculated the value of pi (π).  Shridharcharya, in the 11th century, put forward the quadratic equation.  India also introduced the world to the decimal number system, part of trigonometry and calculus.

4. The theory of the atom

The atomic theory was devised by Kanad, one of the notable scientists of ancient India, long before John Dalton.  He speculated the existence of anu or a small indestructible particle.

Kanad-father of atom theory
Kanad-Father of Atom Theory | Image source: Mystery Of India

5. Game of snakes & ladders, chess and cards

In the 13th century, a poet-saint namely Gyandev created the game of snakes and ladders.  Ancient Indians called it Mokshapat.  The game was played with cowrie shells and dice.  The ladders in the game represented virtue while the snakes indicated vices.

Similarly, the game of chess is believed to have originated in India in the Gupta Empire during the 5th century.  People called this game as chaturanga.

Card game, also called suits was played in ancient India with the name karidapatram.

6. Surgery

Shushruta is known as the father of surgery.  2600 years ago, Shushruta and his team conducted several surgeries like cataract, urinary stones, caesareans, plastic surgeries and fractures.  Almost 3000 surgeries had been performed and nearly 120 surgical instruments had been invented by the time.

Shushruta, surgical instruments
Surgical instruments used by Shushruta

7. Contribution of Indus Valley Civilisation

There are several revolutionary gifts of Indus Valley Civilisation to the world.  Around 2000 B.C., people used ornamental buttons in Indus Valley Civilisation.  These buttons were made from seashell and some of them were carved into the geometric shapes.  Similarly, flush toilet and ruler measurements were invented in this civilisation.

8. Yoga

Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India.  It is mentioned in Rigveda and developed around 5th BCE.  The renowned philosopher Swami Vivekananda and later Yoga Gurus from India introduced yoga to the western countries.  Yoga was also listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

9. Binary numbers

Binary numbers system is used to write a computer program.  In this system, only two numbers or symbols are used, typically ‘0’ (zero) and ‘1’ (one).  The Indian scholar Pingala developed a binary system for describing prosody in 2nd century BC.

10. Shampoo

Shampoo was originated in the eastern Indian regions by the Mughal Empire.  People used it as head massage, consisting of natural oils and fragrances.  It is interesting to know that the modern shampoo was first introduced in Britain by a Bengali entrepreneur Sake Dean Mahomed who belonged to Bihar.

Apart from these, there are several gifts of modern India to the world.  Some of them are:

11. Rocket Missile

Rocket science developed initially in Mysore in the empire of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.  The technology was used as weapons against the British.  Later, the Britishers took samples and developed it.

First rocket missile
First rocket missile | Image source: The Daily Star

12. Crescograph

It is a device used for measuring the growth in plants.  Crescograph was invented in the early 20th century by an Indian scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Crescograph invented by Jagadish Chandra Bose

13. Universal Serial Bus (USB)

We all are familiar with the term USB.  This device was defined and developed by an Indian American computer architect Ajay V. Bhatt.  Credit also goes to him for Accelerated Graphic Port (AGP), PCI express and various chipset improvements.

Ajay V Bhatt
Ajay V Bhatt | Image source: Darpan

14. Pentium chip

The Indo-American scientist Vinod Dham is known as the father of Pentium chip.  He contributed to the development of Intel’s Pentium microprocessor.

Vinod Dham
Vinod Dham | Image source: Facebook

15. Fibre Optic Communication

Narinder Singh Kapani is an Indian born American physicist.  He is also known as “Father of Fibre Optics”.  He was named as one of the seven “Unsung Heroes” by the Fortune magazine.  Optical fibres are used in voice, data and video transmission technologies and also in medical purpose such as endoscopy.

Narinder Singh Kapani
Narinder Singh Kapani | Image source: Twitter

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