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An engraving based on a sketch by James Prinsep showing the Great Trignometrical Survey measurement of the Calcutta baseline in 1832 by George Everest.
        A print depicting men working on machines in England, late 18th century. England’s Industrial Revolution was powered by wealth looted from India
British to fulfil their ambitions.
In fact, the Trigonometrical Survey of Peninsular India was established in 1800, with second-hand instruments. Af- ter the complete defeat of the Marathas in 1818 in the Anglo-Maratha war, the entire territory south of the river Sutlej came under the control of the EIC. The British renamed the Trigonometrical Sur- vey as the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (GTS) in 1818, which covered the entire country, including the trans- Himalayan region. The intention behind surveying the Himalayan region was its
rich mineral wealth.
It’s the same GTS that calculated
the height of the highest mountain peak of the world called Peak XV and the unsung hero behind it was none other than an exceptionally brilliant young Indian mathematician, Radhan- ath Sikdar, who was employed at the post of ‘computer’. But without giv- ing any credit to Sikdar, the peak was named after Surveyor-General George Everest as ‘Mt Everest’. This is but just one of the innumerable examples, where Indian scientists were deprived of their legitimate due through discriminatory policies.
Whether it’s the looting of wealth from India or winning accolades, the British used science, scientific institu- tions and tools as potent ammunition to exploit the nation to the hilt. And, it was done by oppression and domination of India’s indigenous science and the valu- able work of Indian scientists.
An important tool in fulfilling this goal was to discredit India’s indigenous science and Indian scientists, including those educated in foreign universities, by building a narrative that Indians lacked scientific temperament. This would play out very clearly in the decades to come.
The date of April 16, 1853, is etched in our history in gold as the day when the first rail ran in India, courtesy the British.
The colonial rulers introduced the railway system in India because they felt the need for fast and quick transporta- tion of coal, iron, cotton and other natu-
intentions of the EIC in taking control over the sub-continent in all spheres as the Mughal empire was past its glory and much reduced, and its chief provinces such as Awadh and Bengal had become independent. The effete state of politi- cal affairs across the sub-continent was a grand opportunity that the EIC had seen and embarked upon seizing through systematic, scientific means, of which the Survey of India was the first flag post.
Through the Survey of India, the EIC
mapped the entire subcontinent, creating quantifiable knowledge — data, maps and census — that was seen as a neces- sary step for efficiently conquering and administering India. Over the decades, different kinds of topographical, geo- metrical, military and revenue surveys were conducted by building various in- stitutions.
This was also the time when scientific instruments were introduced — even sec- ond hand ones — in the country by the
            All Images Courtesy: Internet
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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