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'Division Between Groups Can Become A Barrier To Intellectual Progress': Amartya Sen

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen while speaking at the annual Infosys Prize 2019 event, stated that "Divisions between groups and sectors can damage social lives."

Amartya Sen

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Tuesday, January 7, while speaking at the annual Infosys Prize 2019 event, stated that "Divisions between groups and sectors can damage social lives." He further added that the divisions also act as a "barrier" to intellectual progress within and across the nations. 

The Infosys Science Foundation gives the Infosys Prize every year to individuals for their contributions to science and research. In the event, Sen facilitated the winners with a gold medal, a citation and a prize of $100,000.

'Links between friendship and knowledge'

Addressing the event, Sen stated that there are deep links between friendship and knowledge. "Our intellectual horizons expand when we learn from each other. We can give to the world much more than what we get from it," he said. According to him, the constructive roles of friendship apply not only across the national borders but also within. 

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The Nobel laureate cited an example and said, "The mathematical revolution in India from the 5th century onwards led particularly by Aryabhatta was influenced by intellectual developments in Greece, Babylon and Rome. But Aryabhattian mathematics, in turn, took gigantic leaps in India and then spread abroad, with transformational impact on China, on the Arab world and eventually on Europe."

Read: Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize amid ethnic violence in country

On Vedic mathematics

Speaking at the event, Amartya Sen said, "The exaggerated claims about Vedic mathematics had generated a world of fantasy in a section of educational institutions in the country." According to him, it should be restricted. 

He said, "Nationalist sentiments may make a counter-claim of some kind of a secluded flourishing of science and mathematics only in their country, detached from the rest of the world and unrelated to what we can learn from others, but that is not how science and mathematics and culture ultimately proceed."

Read: Turkish President Erdogan slams Nobel Prize Committee for awarding a 'racist'

Read: 'Democracy is in danger', Nobel laureate Amartya Sen backs united opposition for 2019 Lok Sabha polls


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