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DNA Mumbai : Decoding Vedic Maths

Gaurav Tekriwal, founder president, Vedic Maths Forum India, speaks to
Sanchayan Bhattacharjee about the advantages, faulty perceptions as well
as the importance of Vedic Maths in the Indian curriculum.
 As per a recent newspaper article, Vedic Maths only
aids in speedy calculations and not in logical thinking and
clarification of concept. Do you agree?
All formulas in Vedic
Mathematics has an algebraical proof which has been duly given in the
book ‘Vedic Mathematics’ by Tirthaji and also in the new book ‘Vedic
Mathematics Proofs’ published in 2013. Some proofs needed to be
generalised have been done so in this new book. For example in the
method of multiplication by the ‘Vertically and Crosswise’ rule one
understands that the process is through a visual pattern, with a solid
algebraic proof. You first multiply the units with the units place to
arrive at the unit’s digit of the answer and so on. In Vedic Maths, one
is given a choice of methods to arrive at an answer, rather than
sticking to one method of solving a problem.

How is Vedic Maths different from conventional Mathematics? 

Firstly
India is facing a huge Maths Crisis. According to the ASER 2014 report,
only 26.3 per cent of class III children could perform a two-digit
subtraction. Only 26.1 per cent of children in class V knew division and
only 44.1 per cent in class VIII could solve a three digit by one digit
division problem. This is a serious cause for concern. The current Math
methods have failed and hence there is a need for alternate methods
which simplifies the concepts for them. Instead of making kids love the
math they hate, why can’t we make math they would love to learn? That is
where Vedic Maths steps in. Since the current set methods have failed;
why not introduce some new Vedic Maths Methods in the curriculum? In my
opinion, Vedic Maths helps in speedy calculations and provides a solid
foundation of proofs.

 

With the emergence of technology like
computers and calculators, the relevance of speedy calculations through
Vedic Maths has diminished. Your views? 
I do not think that the
relevance of Vedic Maths has diminished because of technology. According
to a survey in the United Kingdom (UK), 17 million adults had Math
skills less than that of an 11-year-old kid. So when the UK government
understood this, they brought about a series of educational reforms and
as part of the reforms they banned calculators at the primary level from
2014. The government felt that “Over-reliance on calculators meant
children missed the rigorous grounding in mental and written arithmetic
they needed to progress.” I think mental maths skills are necessary for
children who are not introduced to technology. In South Africa where
students have not been exposed much to technology, we found out that
after introducing them to the Vedic Maths system they understood Maths
much better, and their scores improved by a huge margin.

Is there a perception or awareness problem about Vedic Maths in India?

I
believe there is an awareness gap about Vedic Maths in India, its own
country of origin. People are yet to find out about the benefits of it
and once they do – they simply love the concept. Also, there is no
acknowledgement by the Government of India so far, and hence large cross
sections of people do not know about it yet. To promote Vedic Maths,
just as Yoga or Ayurveda, there has to be some involvement by
The government with respect to building an opinion.
Source: DNA Mumbai


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