‘Attempt to Saffronise Education’: Kerala Forum Seeks Withdrawal of UGC’s Cow-Science Exam Directive

Taking a stern view of University Grants Commission’s mandate to all vice-chancellors to encourage students to appear for an all-India gau vigyan (cow science) exam, The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has said that the exam is “an attempt to spread superstition about the cow and saffronise the higher-education sector”.

The KSSP has demanded withdrawal of the directive and A P Mulareedharan, state president of KSSP, said it is shocking to see the apex body of higher education promoting such unscientific initiatives, the Times of India reported. It also urged universities and students in Kerala to dismiss the directive.

According to Mulareedharan, the information on cow available in the study material is “full of blunders and nonsensical” and does not have any scientific validation. “It said the yellowish tint of the milk of indigenous cows is due to the presence of gold and that the panchagavya, which is the mixture of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, has medicinal values. It claims that the negative energy waves produced using cow slaughter and earthquakes are closely linked. A governmental agency publishing blunders in the name of disseminating knowledge is in itself shocking and UGC asking varsities to make students write the exam is even more shocking and unacceptable,” he was quoted by the report as saying.

K Radhan, general secretary of KSSP, said several schools have sent emails to their students directing them to attend the exam. “It is a clear example of subjecting children to religious indoctrination. The academic community in the state should raise its voice against the move,” he said.

In January, the central government announced a national-level voluntary online exam on ‘gau vigyan’ (cow science) to be held on February 25, in a bid to generate interest among students and general public about the indigenous cow and its benefits.

Announcing the first-ever exam of this kind, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) Chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria said this exam will be held annually.

Students of primary, secondary and college levels and general public can take part in the ‘Kamdhenu Gau-Vignyan Prachar-Prasar Examination’ without any fee.

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”.

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