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  India   All India  17 Jul 2017  Government sets up panel for study on benefits of cow

Government sets up panel for study on benefits of cow

Published : Jul 17, 2017, 2:30 am IST
Updated : Jul 17, 2017, 2:30 am IST

It also has three members of Vigyan Bharti and “Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra”, outfits affiliated to the RSS and VHP.

The vigilantes’ ostensible defence is that they are protecting a sacred symbol of Hinduism.
 The vigilantes’ ostensible defence is that they are protecting a sacred symbol of Hinduism.

New Delhi: The government has set up a 19-member panel, including three members linked to the RSS and the VHP, to carry out what it says will be scientifically validated research on cow-derivatives, including its urine, and their benefits, according to an inter-departmental circular and the members of the panel.

Headed by science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan, the committee will select projects that can help scientifically validate the benefits of panchgavya — the concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee — in various spheres such as nutrition, health and agriculture, says the circular accessed by PTI.

 

Named the National Steering Committee, the panel includes secretaries of the departments of science and technology, biotechnology, ministry of new and renewable energy, and scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

It also has three members of Vigyan Bharti and “Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra”, outfits affiliated to the RSS and VHP.

The government circular says former CSIR director R.A. Mashelkar, known for vigorously campaigning against US patents on turmeric and basmati rice, is also a member of the  panel.

The others include IIT-Delhi director V. Ramgopal Rao and V.K. Vijay of IIT’s Centre for Rural Development and Technology.

 

The development comes at a time when the cow has become an emotive issue in the country with increased incidents of so-called “gaurakshaks” lynching cattle traders and others suspected of smuggling cows.     

The vigilantes’ ostensible defence is that they are protecting a sacred symbol of Hinduism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned such violence, saying “killing human beings in the name of gau bhakti is unacceptable”.

The government has given the project the acronym SVAROP, which stands for Scientific Validation and Research on Panchagavya, and says it is a “national programme” that’s being conducted by the department of science and technology, department of biotechnology, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the ministry of science and technology in collaboration with IIT-Delhi.

 

The document also says “this multi-disciplinary programme” will involve participation of other related ministries, government departments, academic institutions, research laboratories, voluntary organisations and others “to carry out research and development and also build capacities, even at grassroots level, and cover five thematic areas including scientific validation of uniqueness of indigenous cows”.

It will cover “scientific validation of ‘Panchagavya’ for medicines and health, scientific validation of ‘Panchagavya’ and its products for agriculture applications, scientific validation of ‘Panchagavya’ for food and nutrition and scientific validation of Panchagavya based utility product”, the circular says.

 

It says the panel, which will have a tenure of three years, will function as an apex body for guiding SVAROP.

Vijay Bhatkar, the president of Delhi-based Vigyan Bharti, an RSS-affiliated science body, is the co-chairman of the committee. Known as the architect of the Param series of supercomputers, Mr Bhatkar is also the chancellor of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar.

Mr Bhatkar confirmed to PTI the creation of the panel, and said it is tasked with selecting projects that scientifically validate research on indigenous cow and also the panchagayva.

The other two RSS-VHP-linked members of the panel are A. Jayakumar, secretary general of Vigyan Bharti, and Sunil Mansinghka of the Nagpur-based Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra.

 

Mr Jaykumar, an engineer by training, who also confirmed the circular, told PTI his focus has been on promoting traditional sciences such as ayurveda, vastu shastra as also research on cow. Vigyan Bharti has been organising the India International Science Festival for the past two years now. The festivals were partly funded by the government.

Tags: narendra modi, cow urine, cow dung
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi