Ocean Exploration

Historians to explore origin of Ram Setu, determine whether it is a natural or man-made structure

However, the Indian Council of Historical Research has clarified that the project will not deal with whether the bridge was built by Hindu god Ram.

The Indian Council of Historical Research will conduct an underwater exploration to ascertain whether the Ram Setu – the chain of limestone shoals connecting Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka – was built naturally or is a man-made structure. Experts from the Archaeological Survey of India, research scholars, university students, marine experts and scientists will begin the work from October and submit their report by November-end, said ICHR Chairperson Y Sudershan Rao on Friday.

While it is an independent initiative by the historical research body, Rao said they may seek help from the Centre, PTI reported. “Our purpose is to explore it only from the archaeological standpoint...We will only speak about the artifacts and not get into whether it was built by Lord Rama,” he added.

The research institution functions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Former ASI Director Alok Tripathi will head the pilot project.

The ICHR chief said they will hold a nationwide selection process to bring 15 to 20 experts on board, reported Hindustan Times. “We are going to hold a two-week workshop on the history of oceanic archaeology in May or June. We will also identify scholars, students and trainers who could be part of this ambitious project,” he said.

The Ram Setu bridge – also known as the Adam’s Bridge – is a 50-km stretch from Rameswaram Island in Tamil Nadu to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. According to Indian mythology, it was built by an army of monkeys for Hindu god Ram and his warriors to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sita.

The bridge got embroiled in controversy after the government’s Sethusamudram shipping canal project was planned. It required dredging in the region. Some groups had protested, claiming that no one should touch the bridge keeping in mind its mythological significance. They later filed a petition in the Supreme Court.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.


It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.