Published: 21st February 2021
Kerala body demands cancellation of UGC recommended national-level cow science exam
The parishad, a progressive outfit in the state conceived as a people's science movement, asked civil society to disregard a recent directive issued to all Vice-Chancellors by the UGC
The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad has sought to cancel the national-level voluntary online exam on 'gau vigyan' (cow science), saying it was an attempt to spread superstition and to saffronise the education sector in the country.
The parishad, a progressive outfit in the state conceived as a people's science movement, asked civil society to disregard a recent directive issued to all Vice-Chancellors by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to encourage students to take up the exam organised by Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA). The Central government had, on January 5, announced the gau vigyan to be held on February 25 in a bid to generate interest among students and general public about the native breed of cow and its benefits.
"It's condemnable and shocking that the UGC, an apex body of university education in the country, is encouraging the students to take part in an exam based on an unscientific text full of blunders," the Parishad said in a press release. The Aayog had said the syllabus of the objective model exam would be recommended on the website of the RKA. The parishad said there are so many nonsensical claims on the website which does not have any scientific backing.
"The website contains claims that there are traces of gold in the milk of indigenous cows due to which its milk has a light yellowish tint. It also says the cow's milk protects humans from nuclear radiations and many more," the parishad said. The parishad pointed out that the Article 51A (h) of the Constitution of India says it shall be the duty of every citizen to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. "It's a disgrace that a government agency in a countrywith a Constitution, which emphasis on scientific awareness, was associating in spreading superstitious propaganda," the organisation said.
The parishad, in a statement, said the move was part of a concerted effort to saffronise the country's educational process, which is supposed to be secular and scientifically based. "This will embarrass Indian universities and the education system before the world," it said. The parishad asked the UGC to withdraw its letter to the universities and cancel the examination. The RKA had said the exam would infuse curiosity into all Indians about cows and make them aware of the unexplored potential and business opportunities a cow can offer, even after it stops giving milk. The RKA, which comes under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, was set up by the Centre in February 2019 and is aimed at conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny.