Certain things are not scientific, but give happiness to people: Jaya Kumarhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/vijnan-bharti-rss-pracharak-certain-things-are-not-scientific-but-give-happiness-to-people-jaya-kumar/

Certain things are not scientific, but give happiness to people: Jaya Kumar

Secy general of RSS science wing tells ASHUTOSH BHARDWAJ what it stands for

jaya kumar, senior pracharak, vijnan bharti, RSS, NIT nagpur, indian express interview
Jaya Kumar

Jaya Kumar, a senior pracharak, is secretary general of Vijnan Bharti, the RSS’s science wing. It has been undertaking a number of programmes, including a conference on innovation, industry and entrepreneurial skills in collaboration with NIT Nagpur. It is seeking to tap the Indian diaspora with an interaction with science students and teachers in Qatar. It is also coordinating with the HRD and S&T ministries for several schemes, including Unnat Bharat Abhiyan under which villages are provided scientific support from institutes.

Excerpts from an interview:

RSS and science

“India’s contribution to the world of science is immense, but it has not been highlighted. The objective of Vijnan Bharti is a self-reliant India in science, energy, technology and education. We are bringing the scientific community together… building up a scientific, vibrant nation. I don’t think there is such a popular perception (to a question if RSS is perceived as professing blind faith). The RSS is guided by scientists. Rajendra Singh (former sarsanghachalak) was from the science discipline. Akhil Bharatiya prachar pramukh Manmohan Vaidya is a PhD in nuclear chemistry. The RSS leadership has a very good scientific temperament. They never say things that cannot be proved. Many people in India lead their life on the basis of faith and beliefs. There are certain things that are not scientific, but give happiness to people. What’s wrong in allowing people to live with that.”

The village initiative

“IIT-Delhi under the chairman of its board of governors, Dr Vijay P Bhatkar, is leading Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. He is also the national president of Vijnan Bharti. IIT-D is networking with 40,000 institutions, including universities, colleges and research labs in the country. For the first time in the history of this country, educational institutions are becoming part and parcel of the development process. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a programme devised by the HRD Ministry connecting the IITs and NITs with villages. Vijnan Bharti is identifying villages and their problems, the availability of primary health centres, and possible solutions. For instance, in villages where there is no power, waste material can be used as an alternative source of energy. Students and academicians are becoming a part of the development story. IITs and Vijnan Bharti are coming together, guiding institutions to work for people.”

Work abroad

“Over the last 10 years, we have set up units in Middle Eastern countries under Science India Forum. We have a presence in Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait etc. Two lakh Indian students are studying in Middle Eastern countries. We are connecting these students with India. We are also going to Singapore, Malaysia and SAARC countries. We are conducting programmes at several institutions. While these countries have money, there are not many career avenues. We are conducting exhibitions and seminars for career options in the Middle East. V K Saraswat has gone to Qatar, Madhavan Nair has gone to Oman (both are scientists associated with Vijnan Bharti). We are undertaking a major interactive programme with science students and teachers in Qatar in March. Last month, students of Bahrain visited several institutions in Hyderabad for some programmes.”

Indian scientific diaspora

“We have formed a scientific and technocrat forum for global Indians. Two lakh Indian scientists are working outside the country. We are trying to coordinate with them, with their villages… We want to connect the Indian diaspora with Indian villages and facilitate their development. We have had discussions with Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. The minister also wants these scientists to be part of Indian development. They can help financially also. We are planning a huge meeting of these scientists on Pravasi Bhartiya Divas next year. He (Harsh Vardhan) is meeting top scientists. Of these two lakh scientists, if we can bring even one per cent, 2,000, that’s a huge achievement.”