Smriti to speak on ‘zero’ at Unesco conference

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani will address an international conference on the concept of ‘zero’ at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, officials said on Sunday.

The event is being organised by the HRD ministry through the permanent delegation of India to Unesco, in collaboration with the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, on April 4-5.

The high-level segment of the conference would be addressed by Irani and Unesco Director General Irina Bokova on April 5.

“The conference will share the rich and remarkable history of mathematics, through the participation of some brilliant minds, resonating with the Unesco’s mandate to advance, transfer and share knowledge for the greater global good,” an official said.

The conference would open on April 4 at Pierre and Marie Curie University with a session on “Gems of Ramanujan and their lasting impact on mathematics” by professor Manjul Bhargava from Princeton University in the US.

The second session on “Negative numbers, zero, infinity and beyond” will be addressed by Shailendra Mehta from Auro University in Gujarat.

A special session by Bhargava on “Mathematics in Indian music” will be a high point of the conference,” the official said.

The event will close with the unveiling of a bronze bust by Irani and Bokova of the ancient Indian mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata, which is a gift from India to Unesco.


  1. Mathematics, like different branches of science, has no regional, linguistic, religious or ethnic boundaries. It is embarrassing to see Indians still brag about ‘zero’, Aarya Bhatta and Raamanujan. Yes – these are all great things. Raamanujan was a mathematical genius who is relevant even today!! So are the brilliant mathematical patterns in indian music. (For those illiterates – I recommend reading more about 72 melakartaara raagas. Or, learn about trishra-chaturasha-khanda-mishra-sankeerna beat patterns in Mridanga ). But, it doesn’t mean that we are unique. Other countries, especially from Europe, have contributed significantly more to world of mathematics than rest of world combined. When it comes to knowledge, we need to stay humble and ambitious. Please stop lecturing world on concept of zero. This is year 2016 and world has moved on!!

    • It is embarrassing to see Indians still brag about ‘zero’. – Maha Zero Rampai

      Arre Rampa, WHICH Indian – to be SPECIFIC, plans to speak about the Zero?

      That ‘Yale Shertipicate/workshop’ (for 1 week) bragging who moonlights as the HRD minister?

      Kuda suru malthe imbe, imbena Raaga.. ayena Mridanga bottudu. Vaa onji shoonye maraya! Thirgauni pettha.. panpini Proj Manager. Wa onji Rampe! 🙂

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