March for Science: Scientists, professors demand higher budgetary allocation for researchhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/scientists-professors-take-to-streets-want-higher-budgetary-allocation-for-research-in-india-4789361/

March for Science: Scientists, professors demand higher budgetary allocation for research

Scientist at the rally also expressed their concern over the SVAROP (Scientific Validation and Research On ‘Panchgavya’), a program based on promoting the benefits of cow dung, cow urine and ghee for their 'medicinal properties'.

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Scientists, professors, and researchers from across several cities in India have joined the ‘March for Science’ protest rally to voice their concern against the poor budgetary allocation for scientific research in India. Seen in this picture, professors and students from Jawaharlala Nehru University taking party in the rally. (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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The ‘March for Science’ protest rally is a global movement initiated by researchers and scientists in United States, who took to the streets to protest against dramatic budgetary cuts and shift in scientific policies under President Donald Trump regime in April this year. Over 600 cities globally participated in a first-ever protest march.(Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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The major demand from the protesters is to increase budgetary provision from 0.85 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent for scientific education and research. The protestors are also against “pseudo-scientific ideas”, slashing of IIT budgets, and center’s shift in scientific research. (Express Photo Nitika Kakkar)

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Breakthrough Science Society, a Kolkata-based group of scientists, were the catalyst in organising the protest march in India. The group had started writing e-mails to the scientific community after the April rally in United States and several other countries. (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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Asmita, a PHd student taking part in the protests, said: "We have seen a lot of non-scientific things being used as propaganda. We are marching today against that propaganda. Secondly, we need more funding in research. How can developments take place without funding. These are the main reasons we are marching today. We want more funding for basic research as research has long term benefits. It is very important for drugs and medicine as well. This March is for people to take notice of it." (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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Prashant, one of the organizers from Breakthrough Science Society, told Indianexpress.com: "Three important demands, keeping those in center there was a worldwide phenomenon on 22 April in 600 cities where more than 1 million people participated. Nothing could be done then but today we've organised a march in India in more than 35 cities. Things which are based on beliefs but not on scientific evidence, should be stopped." (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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Taking about the importance of the rally, Prashant said: "Myths are being passed as science, such as Pushpak vimaan. These kind of things are happening....If you see the textbooks by DN Batra, you will start laughing looking at the kind of things that are being taught in the name of science to school children. These things used to happen before as well but they have increased much more under this government." (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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At the rallies, scientists also expressed their concern over SVAROP program (Scientific Validation and Research On ‘Panchgavya’), a program based on promoting benefits of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee for their alleged medicinal properties. (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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MC Arunan, working with the Collaborative Undergraduate Biology Education at Bhabha Center, told Indianexpress.com: "The scientific temper is taken for granted, and with current government there is less focus on evidence based decision making. In High court, a judge spoke about peacock’s tear. We are worried if we don’t speak about these perceptions now, we will never get an opportunity later.” (Express Photo by Nitika Kakkar)

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Speaking about the rally, Aniket Sule, an astrophysicist attached to the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education told Indianexpress.com: “The rally is not just to demand more funds for science. It is time scientists come together to speak about the shift we are seeing in government funds for research in cow urine. If we don’t speak now, people will believe in validation of cow urine without evidence.” (above) Photos from JNU. (Express Photo By Nitika Kakkar)

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In Mumbai scientists and professors from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Homi Bhabha Center and various colleges plan to start their rally from August Kranti maidan and then move towards Girgaum chowpatty. (Express Photo by TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA)

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Around 500 scientists, professors, and researchers joined ‘March for Science’ protest rally in Mumbai, along with scientists in other cities in the country. (Express Photo by TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA)

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A protester at the rally in Mumbai. (Express Photo by TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA)

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Protester preparing their pamphlets before the protest rally begins in Pune. (Express Photo)