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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Cow science exam postponed after Aayog chief’s exit

“Please note that online Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan Prachar Prasar Exam /Pratiyogita, scheduled for 25th Feb 2021 including Mock Examination on 21st Feb 2021, has been postponed,” read a notice on RKA's website.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: February 23, 2021 8:20:06 am
Cow science exam postponed, RKA, Aayog chief, Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan, Indian express newsSawla said the new board (chairman and members) now will decide about holding the exam.

A day after Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria left office, the commission has postponed the Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Exam, earlier scheduled for February 25.

“Please note that online Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan Prachar Prasar Exam /Pratiyogita which was scheduled for 25th Feb 2021 including Mock Examination on 21st Feb 2021 has been postponed,” read a notice on RKA’s website.

No reason has been cited for postponing the exam. The RKA has also not announced new dates for the exam. The announcement comes after Kathiria completed his two-year term on February 20.

On February 21, 2019, the government, through a resolution, had constituted the RKA for “conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny” and Kathiria was appointed its first chairman. Sunil Mansinghka and Hukum Chand Sawla were also appointed for a tenure of two years as non-official members. The tenure of these members has also ended.

During his tenure, Kathiria made headlines for his controversial remarks about “cow science.” On January 5, announcing the Gau-Vigyan exam, he had said, “Cow is full of science…. If we talk about the $5-trillion economy, we have 19.42 crore govansh (cattle) in our country, which can play an important role in it (growth of the economy). Even if a cow does not give milk, its urine and dung is still precious; if we use those, not only will cows be saved, the entire economy will be on track.”

Under Kathiria, RKA even released a 54-page “reference material” for the exam, which had topics such as Indian cows’ “superiority” over foreign breeds, including in showing “emotions”; cow dung benefits, including in ensuring people were “not affected” during the Bhopal gas tragedy; the purported “link” between cow slaughter and earthquakes because of animals generating “Einsteinian Pain Waves”; and how India became a leading beef exporter under “a cow-eating leader”.

RKA removed the “reference material” from its website following a massive uproar.

While the sudden exit of Kathiria and postponement of the exam come as a surprise for many, sources in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, say that many people in the government were not happy with the RKA chief’s remarks, which they feel were “promoting pseudoscience.”

Phone calls and messages to Kathiria remained unanswered.

Sawla, a non-official member of RKA, said, “Kamdhenu Aayog held its last meeting on February 19. We were hoping to get an extension but on February 20, an order regarding completion of our tenure came. We requested minister Giriraj Singh to organise the examination but he said, ‘hum nahin kar payenge’ (we will not be able to hold it).”

Minister Giriraj Singh could not be reached for comments. Minister of State Sanjeev Balyan said he was not aware of the developments.

Sawla said that the new board (chairman and members) now will decide about holding the exam.

Last week, the University Grant Commission had asked all universities to “encourage” students to enroll/register for the ‘Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Exam.

In his 2019-20 interim Budget speech, then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had announced setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog “to upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows.”

He had said, “The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cows.”

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