Not lab-wala, can’t comment on Satyapal Singh’ Darwin remark: Harsh Vardhan

Vardhan was responding to questions on Minister of State for HRD Satyapal Singh’s comment that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “scientifically wrong”.

Written by Sowmiya Ashok | New Delhi | Updated: January 25, 2018 3:26:05 am
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Union Minister for Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday that he could not comment on “Darwin’s theory or Einstein’s theory” as he was not a “lab-wala” scientist.

He was responding to questions on Minister of State for HRD Satyapal Singh’s comment that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “scientifically wrong”. On Tuesday, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said he had asked Singh to refrain from making “such comments” and maintained that science should not be diluted.

“From the time we have been hearing stories from our grandparents, ever since books were written, until today, nobody has, either in a story or in writing, said he went somewhere into a jungle and saw an ape turning into a man… Darwin’s theory is scientifically wrong and so, in schools and colleges it must be changed. Since man came on Earth, he has always been man, and will always be man,” Singh told reporters in Aurangabad on Friday.

Asked whether he supported Darwin’s theory, Vardhan, who is a doctor, said: “I read Darwin’s theory only while I was a student and I was studying Biology…. I am not a lab-wala scientist to have further studied everything that I was taught. Einstein ne theek karaya, nah karaya… I haven’t probed further what I have studied… the nitty gritty. How can I be commenting on this.”

Vardhan said he would ask Singh about his views. “If I meet him (Singh) in Parliament, I will ask him what his views on this are. Commenting on this will be a little premature,” he said. “He (Singh) must have had a thought… he will be able to give a better overview. I have no comments to offer, I don’t want to get into that,” he said.

Vardhan announced four “new programmes” under the Department of Science and Technology, to be formally launched next month.

One of these is ‘Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research’ (AWSAR) which, he said, was to encourage popular science writing by young PhD scholars and post-doctoral fellows during the course of their higher studies.

Asked about the programme, he said: “You (media) have not been able to communicate our work properly, which is why we have the necessity to start something like this. We have been saying this for three years, you are unable to communicate even 10 per cent of this. Even we took three years to develop this scheme. This is not for competition with the press, the issue is to develop skills (of scientists).”

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