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Government distances itself from bizarre comments that drew flak at Indian Science Congress

India’s principal scientific advisor, professor K VijayRhaghavan, in a blogpost on Saturday night said the government has no role in selecting the speakers and the association has no filter on what scientists say.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2019 23:11 IST
Anonna  Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Jalandhar
government,Indian Science Congress,K Vijay Rhaghavan
The government has distanced itself from the bizarre and unscientific statements that drew flak and ridicule at the ongoing 106th Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar.(HT Photo)

The government has distanced itself from the bizarre and unscientific statements that drew flak and ridicule at the ongoing 106th Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar.

India’s principal scientific advisor, professor K VijayRhaghavan, in a blogpost on Saturday night said the government has no role in selecting the speakers and the association has no filter on what scientists say.

“The Indian Science Congress Association does get some support from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), ISCA raises funds for its activities, such as for the holding of the Congress, from other sources (too). ISCA decides the agenda, the venue and selects the speakers. The government has no role whatsoever in these matters. The organisers rightly don’t have a filter (over what the scientists say) and the government rightly has no role in the matter. The talks, then reflect the speakers,” VijayRaghavan wrote.

This was in response to the controversial statements by Vice Chancellor of the Andhra University G Nageswara Rao that Kauravas were test-tube babies and that Dashavatara (the ten incarnations of lord Vishnu) was a better theory of evolution than Darwin’s natural selection.

His co-speaker, Kannan Jegathala Krishnan, went on to say his theory of fundamental physics was the right one as it could explain both planetary and quantum physics.

He said that space was energy and planetary movement was not because of gravity but the force exerted by the space. Newton, Einstein, Stephen Hawking were all wrong, he said.

The Indian Science Congress is one of the most important annual scientific events, which is always inaugurated by the Prime Minister too.

In his blogpost, Prof VijayRaghavan, said that it was unfortunate that a sitting VC would say something “scientifically completely untenable.” Yet, these were not the “Gorillas in the room. The Gorillas, who deserve to be in #pseudoscience bin are huge, several and freely roaming around.” These are the ones who can influence the scientific policies and can prevent the right thing from being done.

First Published: Jan 06, 2019 23:11 IST