Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid tribute to mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887- 1920), on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary. He announced that his birthday - Dec. 22 - would henceforth be a National Mathematics Day and 2012 would be the National Mathematical Year, while addressing an event celebrating the famous mathematician, in Chennai on Monday.
The Prime Minister declared "as a tribute to the great mathematician, our government has decided to declare his birthday, that is December 22, as the National Mathematics Day and the year 2012 as a whole as the National Mathematical Year," according to a statement by the Prime Minister's office.
The statement also spoke of the country's "long and glorious tradition of mathematics" and encouraged people to nurture the subject.
Singh called Ramanujan "one of the greatest mathematicians the world has seen, whose extraordinary genius so very brightly lit up the world of mathematics in the second decade of the last century" and added that his genis was ranked by English mathematician G. H. Hardy in the same class as giants like Euler, Gauss, Archimedes and Isaac Newton.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the gradual decline of mathematics as a subject, pointing out that the country made considerable headway in the subject in the early years of the Common Era, only to see the subject lose centre-stage to other subjects. It took, he stressed, Srinivasa Ramanujan's contributions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to truly bring the country back to the attention of mathematicians across the world.