NASA writes code in Sanskrit.
A video is being shared virally in social media in which a woman claims National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is using Sanskrit for its coding. Some of the other claims made regarding this state that the 6th and 7th generation of super computers will be based on Sanskrit codes and America is working on it. Various versions of these claims can be found from at least since 2012.
Apart from some websites and social media posts from the past (see here, here, here); many leaders, predominantly from the BJP, too have made similar claims. In 2015, Subramanian Swamy said that Sanskrit has been made compulsory in NASA and some schools in England too had started teaching the language. Keeping up with the emerging technologies, in 2022 he said Sanskrit is best suited for Artificial Intelligence.
NASA has made Sanskrit compulsory,some schools in England also because it causes positive vibrations in brain:S.Swamy pic.twitter.com/4WtEfQn2IX
— ANI (@ANI) June 5, 2015
Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister of India, claimed (also in 2015) that Sanskrit is the most useful language for Science and Technology and even NASA is building super computers using the language. Ganesh Singh, a BJP MP, said during a debate in the Parliament that Sanskrit keeps diabetes, cholesterol at bay in addition to claiming that NASA’s research had revealed that programming done in Sanskrit would be flawless. In 2019, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Former Union Minister for Education (then HRD Ministry), said NASA believes Sanskrit is scientific language for programming.
— Rituparna Ghosh (@RitupaGhosh) October 20, 2020
So, these are not just some fringe opinion by random people in social media or in a public opinion received by Newslaundry. These have been mainstream for more than a decade now.
What’s the truth?
When we searched for this claim, we came across a paper titled Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence. The paper published in 1985 highlights the advantages of leveraging natural languages, in this instance – Sanskrit, but it does not make a definitive statement that using Sanskrit is superior or the best approach for computer programming. Given the language’s structure and grammar, the paper claims that Sanskrit can also be used for programming.
As far as NASA is concerned, there are no such mention anywhere in their website. NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division too does not make any reference to usage of Sanskrit as a programming language. Apart from NASA’s own communication channels, there are no credible reports from any news agency that has reported that NASA has adopted or is working to adopt Sanskrit as a programming language.
No, NASA has not adopted Sanskrit as programming language or coding language. There are no such credible information anywhere in the public forum that states Sanskrit would be adopted in the future as well.