Scientists and medical experts floated 40 proposals, including setting up a “gau vigyan (cow science) university” and researching the “anti-cancer” properties of cow urine, at a workshop organised by the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi on Sunday.
The programme was aimed at instituting a national project to validate the health benefits of Panchgavya – a concoction prepared with cow urine, dung, milk, curd and ghee.
Professor VK Vijay, programme coordinator and head of the institute’s centre for rural development, said some of these projects will be approved by a steering committee.
Following that, they could receive funds from various government agencies such as the ministry of science and technology and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Around 200 scientists, experts and students gathered to discuss the varied ways in which Panchgavya and related products can be used for rural development, medicinal purposes and food manufacture.
Professor RS Chauhan, who teaches pathology at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Uttarakhand, put forth a proposal to study the possible role of cow urine in enhancing immunity and treating cancer. “My research on the urine of four indigenous cattle breeds has revealed that it enhances immunity and kills cancer cells. However, we are yet to test its effects on humans,” he said.
Hemant Purohit, an expert from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute at Pune, said “a combination of ancient knowledge and modern science” will be taught at the gau vigyan university.
Union science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan said although Indians have a soft spot for cows --- an animal that has unwittingly found itself surrounded by controversies in the last two years, there was a need to beyond religious sentiments and look at the benefits of Panchgavya from a scientific angle. “We need to focus on patenting our research and getting it published in reputed journals,” he added.
The workshop – titled ‘Scientific validation and research on Panchgavya’ – was backed by the Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan, a flagship scheme of the HRD and science and technology ministries.