DG UNESCO and HRD Minister Joint Statement on National Mathematics Day, 2015
INVC NEWS New Delhi, India has accompanied UNESCO since its founding in 1945 on the conviction that peace is built in the minds of people through education, science and culture. Our longstanding partnership is one of values and action. India subscribes fully to the principles of UNESCO, and seeks today to broaden and deepen this partnership, especially in education and science, because we know that these hold the keys to inclusion, innovation and shared prosperity. In the Indian tradition, knowledge is deemed a supreme wealth that increases by giving. It is the greatest gift that one can give, for knowledge brings lifetime enrichment. UNESCO shares this profoundly humanistic vision. All the Organization’s initiatives are driven by the belief that universal access to education and knowledge is the single most transformative investment to empower individuals and nations, to promote mutual understanding and foster world peace. In this spirit and going forward, India and UNESCO will work jointly to deliver programme of collaborative action on education, commemorating as well the pioneering work of two celebrated Indian academics and intellectuals, Ramanujan and Aryabhata, whose contributions have spawned generations of mathematical and scientific research, catalyzing landmark advances over the years. Ramanujan’s contributions to number theory are legendary. His birth anniversary on 22 December is celebrated in India as National Mathematics Day. Aryabhata, who dates back to the classical age of Indian mathematics and astronomy, is credited with the ‘invention’ of the zero, his contributions also spanning an extraordinary range of mathematical fundamentals which are the basis of current major applications and continued research. The gift of a bust of this great mathematician-astronomer to UNESCO will be India’s tribute to the world of mathematics and science. On the occasion of National Mathematics Day 2015, India and UNESCO agree to work jointly in spreading the joy of mathematics and knowledge to students and learners across the world. To this end, Conferences on the “Zero” at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as well as at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore will be held, bringing together academics, mathematicians and teachers to explore and discuss key associated concepts. Together we will connect research and practice, because it is on the benches of schools that the spark of mathematics is lit in young minds – through innovative teaching and learning, positive role models, and encouraging girls early on to follow scientific pathways. India and UNESCO are firmly and fully convinced of the transformative power of education as the world seeks to build more inclusive, sustainable and just societies in pursuit of Agenda 2030. A sharper focus and a sense of collective duty must imbue our actions if we are truly to ensure that none are left behind in the quest to fulfill the right of education for all.