Prime Minister Manmohan Singh favours popularising mathematics as an academic discipline, saying the general perception that the subject does not offer attractive career possibilities is no more valid as new opportunities are now available to mathematicians.

Dr. Singh was inaugurating the yearlong celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan here on Monday by declaring December 22, Ramanujan's birthday, the National Mathematics Day and 2012 the National Mathematics Year.

The Prime Minister reminded parents and students that mathematics was “the mother science,” which was also influencing the study of social sciences in a big way.

However, he regretted that the country did not have enough competent mathematicians. “It is a matter of concern that for a country of our size, the number of competent mathematicians we have is badly inadequate. Over more than the last there decades, many of our young men and women with natural ability in mathematics have not pursued the discipline at advanced levels.” This resulted in a decline in the quality of maths teachers in schools and colleges.

Dr. Singh said the perception that mathematics did not provide attractive career options might have been valid until some years ago, “but, today, there are many new career opportunities… and the teaching profession itself has become much more attractive in recent years.” The mathematical community had a duty to address the shortage of top quality mathematicians in the country and must reach out to the public, especially in the modern context wherein mathematics had a tremendous influence on every kind of human endeavour.

“Mathematics has also influenced the study of social sciences in a big way. Students, parents and people at large need to be aware of these facts so that the study of mathematics as an academic discipline gains [in] popularity,” he said.

Ramanujan came from an economically disadvantaged background and had but minimal training in mathematics, yet his genius overcame formidable difficulties to reach the pinnacle of greatness, he pointed out.

“The Ramanujan story illustrates the inadequacy of the university evaluation system in the early decades, while at the same time it shows that the system displayed enough flexibility to take care of mavericks like him. A genius like Ramanujan would shine bright even in the most adverse of circumstances, but we should be geared to encourage and nurture good talent which may not be of the same calibre as Ramanujan.”

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, who is also the chair of the national committee that is organising the celebrations, quoted from the correspondence between Ramanujan and Cambridge mathematician G.H. Hardy, in which Ramanujan admits to not having a conventional university education and describes himself as a “half-starving man.”

The correspondence demonstrated the fact that it was not necessary to follow a regular university course to realise one's genius and that there were discoveries to be made beyond formal education. It also showed that students should be encouraged to strike a new path for themselves and that “the genius in many of our young minds may never be recognised because of extreme poverty,” Mr. Sibal said.

Dr. Singh released a commemorative stamp on the occasion.

Ramanujan's biographer Robert Kanigel was honoured by Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah.

Union Ministers G.K. Vasan, V. Narayanasamy and Jayanthi Natarajan and Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister P. Palaniappan were present. Vice-chair of the national committee M.S. Raghunathan outlined the programmes planned for the next one year as part of the celebrations.

Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh proposed a vote of thanks.

Keywords: Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ramanujan birth anniversary, Manmohan Singh, 125th birth anniversary, National Mathematics Day, commemorative stamp

## Five math topics I would be sad to have not leanerd, or problems I would be sad over not seeing them resolved would be .1) Riemann Hypothesis resolved- thought a lot about that problem I'm hoping someone will alleviate my worries. 2) Quantum Yangs-Mills theory developed- quantum field theory fascinates me, but it is a bit hard to swallow from a mathematician's perspective 3) I too would like learn more on arithmetic dynamics, but haven't had much time to work through Silverman's books perhaps soon 4) I would like to have a deeper understanding of category theory, higher categories, categorification, etc. The applications to theoretical physics intrigue me, but its a bit hard to get a grip on.5) I would love to understand more about string theory and the various elements of the mathematical theory behind it, especially learning more about complex manifolds.The top 5 mathematicians is a tough one . there are so many fields, each with their pioneers, as well as saviors from stagnation, but as of this moment I would go with . Euler, Galois, Grothendieck, Gauss, and Riemann.As for top 5 mathematicians to bring on a desert island probably Euler, Hilbert, Hardy, Galois (he had such a rough life- he could use the vacation! ) and . not a mathematician, but can I bring Carl Sagan? I'd bring that man anywhere- never fails to enlighten, encourage, and excite me.Top 5 formulas . I would include Euler's formula as well as the functional equation for the Riemann zeta function, Stokes theorem (general version in terms of differential k-forms on R^n [or manifolds, I suppose], since it served as such a huge motivation for a vast spectrum of new fields), Cauchy's integral formula, and the Euler product formula.Top 5 functions: Riemann zeta function, Gamma function, exp(z), Euler phi function, Mobius function.One more additional list (not sure I can list 5, but still)- most shocking/unexpected/surprising bits of mathematics I came across during my studies: different sizes of infinities, unit spheres of increasing dimension actually start shrinking in volume, and the Banach-Tarski paradox.

## Attending the Ramanujan Society Conf.at Maths Dept. Allahabad University in Oct 2011 was a thrilling and amazing experience.Since I am engaged in Industrial Designs of Vibration Isolation Systems involving physics and mathematics I am interested to correlate the concepts and deliver such Industry-academia oriented lectures for college and university level students. The concepts of mathematical correlation between molecular Vibration and Machine Vibration,Automobile and Aerospace related Vibration system design may be an interesting topic which may inspire young students towards mathematics.For tech papers see website www.resistoflex.in. I opt to volunteer & dedicate myself to work on the aspects of Ramanujans Mathematical concepts and Vibrations in the Quantum Universe in the National Year of Mathematics.

## It is true that there is a dearth of good teachers -not only in Mathematics -but in all subjects. This is because of the unscientific,unreasonable,unethical and dubious policies on education planned and implimented by successive governments in the past two decades. Mr.Manmohan Singh,who has been at the helm of policy making during this period should do more than providing lip servise.

## IN the olden days, some colleges used to offer BA course with all

papers in mathematics. Now we seldom find colleges offering BA course

with either all the papers inmathematics or completely in English

language. NO wonder in these two subjects we do not get adeqwuate

nyumber of teachers as well.

## I agree with Ridge.

## True now the scope for Mathematics is enormous.To book and bring back the Rajas under bars , the officials engaged in investigation must have good knowledge of even arithmatics...the zeros(No doubt the contribution of Ramanujam) involved in each scam is very often runs in to rows.So compared with the past now the scope for Mathematics is on the rise.It is likely that the scope will continue to rise...so youngsters if you like to have a job in ivestigative field even if it is in journalism you need to be mindful of the zeros involved.

## If anyone would like to see more Ramanujans in India, they must advocate more flexibility in college admissions. If I recall correctly from Kanigel's excellent biography, Ramanujan failed every class other than math at his high school. In today's numbers and test oriented college admission race, no one would have admitted him to their college, and he would have shrivelled on the vine. Do we still have influential voices in academia able to recognise and appreciate genius. The real heroes in Ramanujan's life were the many mentors (like Hardy) he lucked upon and who moved him up the mathematics ladder.

## Several years back when the instituion in which I was working announced that it would take candidates who came in the first few ranks in graduation in mathematics, the unions aprang to their feet and said that that was a retrograde step infringing their the 'reservation; rules. They lost a sensse of proportion and killed every well meaning effort looking from the narrow prism of reservations. In a way, it is the reservations policy which would undo a resurgent India. Mathematics and science are no exceptions for being victims.

## Good to see that our PM is concerned. But, is he bothered to find the reason of this phenomena? Allow me to give one reason.. on to his left is the person alloted by PM as education minister. What our education minister has directed to all Delhi schools and CBSE that there should be lenient marking ie. full marks to be allotted very often, now tell me if a kid gets perfect score easily ie. he becomes Mr/Miss perfect with no effort, how on this earth he will put more efforts to open the unexplored realms of mathematics?

Young and old minds are pursuing maths or arithmetic even today.Not what Ramanujan pursued or PM wanted young to pursue.They are very calculative in their earnings,in choosing their careers.Elders are interested in the arithmetic during election results.After the elections when there is a hung parliament,the leaders do lot of mathematical permutation and combination.The senior citizens often say they are counting their days.Most of the politicians count on the Dalit and caste votes to win.When they are so much involved in mathematics of life and living,counting,adding and dividing every day,we wonder when PM is going to get his dream mathematics teachers and students.

## India needs to produce more mathematicians of the calibre of Ramanujan to become a knowledge superpower in the world. But how we are going to produce such mathematicians is a difficult question. One way to address this issue is to give more importance to mathematics all the way through school years. Students from various streams must have an advanced degree in Mathematics so that they are not mathematically deficient. By giving greater inducements to students who excel in Mathematics, we can encourage others to be like them. This means to give scholarships to students who do exceptionally well in Mathematics.

Interest and Curiosity in Mathematics must be created in the students from their school years. This way they might be able to carry their passion to their adulthood and become more inclined to do research in Mathematics.

## .. When the politicians innovate novel methods to earn money in lakhs of crores and go free with the blessings of higher ups ,what is the wrong for youths to choose the courses which will bring them financial status . If we would like to encourage the study of Basic Sciences and Art Subjects like Economics ,History ,Sociology ,first make A BASIC DEGREE Is a must for entering BE ,MD ,etc.Recently I asked a young man the reason for his preparing for IAS ,his quick reply was to earn money in short time and boss over the unscrupulous politicians. He was frank.

## For these two gentlemen to speak about teachers and education! Let them first count the ill gotten wealth in Swiss banks, 2G scam, CWG scam and how much did "Q' facor cost the nation. Let them explain why is rupee getting de-valued when BBC financial expert asserts that the movement should have been the other way round. Their own Maths is dictated by someone else! Disappointed! Degrees and high ranking positions; all misutilised for such a long time;

Please Email the Editor