Vedic Maths is relevant and important in modern education system
Trans World Features | @twfindia | 04 Jul 2019
Vedic Maths is relevant and important in modern education system
Gaurav Tekriwal founder President of the Vedic Maths Forum India, in conversation with Subhojit Roy, co founder of Connections

An educator, Tekriwal has been imparting Vedic Mathematics skills over the past 18 years across the globe. He is the author of ‘Maths Sutras from around the World’, ‘Maths Sutra – The Art of Indian Speed Calculation’, published by Penguin Random House and 'Speed Calculation' (in Hindi) published by Prabhat Prakashan. He is a five time TED/TEDx Speaker. Named one of India's Top Young Visionaries by Indiafrica and Ministry of External Affairs of India, he was also awarded by the Governor of West Bengal for contribution to the field of Vedic Mathematics.


What made you chose Vedic Maths as education business enterprise?


It was 1999 and I was preparing myself for getting into a Business School in India. The examination CAT (Common Admission Test) was competitive and difficult. At that point I came across the book 'Vedic Mathematics' authored by Tirthaji- an Indian Saint. I was stunned at the ease and speed in which calculations could be done according to the book.


When I asked around in my friend circle, nobody knew about the existence of such a calculation method. I was so impressed and was in awe of the techniques explained in the book at that point in time. I thought to myself that this concept of Vedic Mathematics could be taken to a whole lot of people across the globe. School students and competitive exam aspirants will benefit from the amazing methods given. I thought to myself that this robust system is the World's Fastest Mental Maths System!


At the same point in time during 1999- 2000, Abacus was becoming a rage in India via the Franchise route. Abacus is an amazing tool via which one could calculate only the four operation -faster. Vedic Maths had a wider scope as through this system one can cover higher Maths as well- so why shouldn’t people learn Vedic Maths instead? I introspected that if the Chinese Abacus is becoming popular then the scope of Vedic Maths is even more far reaching because of the content and applications.


Researching a bit I realized that awareness about Vedic Maths needs to be created in the academic world. I also realized that Vedic Maths is a treasure from India just like Yoga and Ayurveda and it needs to be rediscovered and made popular because of some solid reasons:


According to the ASER Report by Pratham, 73.7% of all children in Grade 3 in India can’t subtract! (two digit problems with borrowing).
In the UK, more than 17 million adults have maths skills less than an 11 year old, according to the Guardian.


South Africa, Ghana, and Oman rank Bottom 3 in the World in Maths Scores according to the TIMSS Report.


After researching I also saw that the world is in a numeracy crisis. Can India be able to solve this crisis with Vedic Mathematics? I had to find out and that could have only happened if I took a leap of faith into the Vedic Maths Business, which I did!



Tell us about  significance of Vedic Maths in modern age and education system and how does it help a student for higher studies.


Ancient Indian wisdom like Yoga, Ayurveda, teachings of Chanakya etc are all based on solid foundation principles and have been time-tested. Same for Vedic Maths as well. Vedic Maths has many applications and is very relevant even to this day of computers and technology.


Maths phobia is prevalent across the world in students, teachers and even parents! So if there is a system which helps make Maths fun – it would be beneficial to everyone. In Vedic Maths there is more than one way to reach a correct answer in mathematics. Vedic Math, an ancient Indian method, sidesteps traditional computations in a manner that provides a shortcut, while being fun to use and to lean.


With the dawn of the Digital Age and the era of computers, the Vedic Math Calculation Algorithms have come to the forefront in solving technology related issues. We have scholars who have done research papers on the Vedic Math algorithms and have presented them at various International conferences organized by NASA, Intel, IEEE and SPIE. Vedic Math algorithms of Multiplication, Division, Squares and Cubes has been applied to Chip Designing, RSA Encryption System and Elliptic curve Encryption System.


There is much scope in the Decimal Computing System which IBM is coming up with where the Vedic Math Algorithms will play a significant role as it reduces the time to convert between 2 number systems. Research in the Algorithms of Square Roots and Cube Roots is ongoing and papers on them will be published soon in Math Journals.


Vedic Maths saves time in an examination environment hence it has direct applications in exams like SAT, GMAT and even CAT. School students from Grade III onwards benefit from the various algorithms as well.


Vedic Math is by far the World’s Fastest Mental Math System when compared to the Chinese Abacus System, Trachtenberg System, Chisanbop Finger Math Method, Sakamoto Math Method and The Kumon System. With Vedic Math apart from Arithmetic one can do Algebra and even Trigonometry which remains beyond the scope of the other Math Systems mentioned here.


What has been western world's reaction to the expansion of Vedic Maths in those regions?


The western world first got the glimpse of Vedic Maths back in 1958 when the founder Tirthaji went to the United States and gave demonstrations in various universities in the United States like Caltech, Stanford University, San Diego College, Vedanta Society Hollywood, Los Angeles City College, and American Academy of Asian Studies etc.


Thereafter not many seminars happened in the west and everything was silent even in India with respect to Vedic Mathematics.


I was given the opportunity to speak on Vedic Maths at a global platform in New York called TED in 2012. 


Thereafter Vedic Maths saw resurgence in the field. We spread to over 10 countries worldwide and have over 20 chapters to date.


As an education start up how did you manage to get investments from one of eastern India's leading businessman? What attracted the investment?


The Ambuja Neotia group has created Neotec Hub-a unique Incubator in Ecospace, Kolkata which has work stations, meeting rooms, auditorium, cafeteria etc. At Neotec Hub, they give Incubation Programs to Startups working on innovative technologies mostly in the domains of Healthcare, Education, Hospitality and Real Estate. Neotec Hub is a buzzing ecosystem where Startups, Investors, Mentors, Policy Makers, Corporates converge and collaborate.


We pitched the idea of Vedic Maths to the Neotec Hub team in 2017 and we were selected for the Incubation Program. We were mentored and they helped shape up our vision. We were to work on milestones given by the mentors every month and sometimes we succeeded and at times we failed. We built up our team here and appointed key individuals to take charge of Sales, Marketing and even the product lineup. Sessions on digital marketing, new technologies, the tax structure, Human Resources and other domains helped fine tune our companies’ systems.


Gradually and when we were ready to scale up we were further supported with an investment.


Next steps for Vedic Maths Pan India and abroad


By the franchise route, we have expanded our selves to 10 countries and 20 cities worldwide. Our teachers sit at a centralized location in Kolkata and teach online according to various time zones.  We not only teach Vedic Maths applications for SAT, GMAT and CAT but focus on school programs as well according to various National and International boards where students can benefit out of the System of Vedic Maths. We train teachers in Vedic Mathematics as well who then become edupreneurs themselves.


By March 2020 we see our presence in 25 more cities in India and 12 new countries via the franchise route. We would also like to partner with Universities, Departments of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources and Development to spread the cause of Vedic Maths across the country.


The future of Vedic Maths is very bright and I elated at the latest development under new Union Ministry where Incorporation of Indian knowledge systems in the curriculum, as recommended by an expert panel to the Human Resource Development ministry for the new National Education Policy. The draft of the new policy, formulated by a committee led by former Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Kasturirangan, was handed over to Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank recently. It talks about Indian contribution to knowledge and the historical context that led to them will be incorporated wherever relevant, into the existing school curriculum and textbooks. . The topics will include Indian contribution to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, psychology, yoga, architecture, medicine, as well as governance, polity, society, and conservation course on Indian knowledge systems.


The policy draft suggests that students be allowed to take a board examination in a given subject in whichever semester they take the corresponding class in school that is whenever they feel most ready.