March for Science: Bengalureans Demand More Investment in Education and Research

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), August 9, 2017 | Go to article overview

March for Science: Bengalureans Demand More Investment in Education and Research


India, Aug. 9 -- On Wednesday, at least 1,000 people, including school and college students, teachers, researchers and senior scientists, took part in the nationwide 'March for Science' in Bengaluru, demanding an increase in funding for education and research and a greater effort to instil scientific knowledge.

The march is a continuation of the worldwide movement held on April 22, where more than a million people across 600 cities all over the world held the 'March for Science'.

The marchers called on the government to allocate at least 3% of GDP to scientific and technological research and 10% to education to propagate scientific ideas and end religious intolerance, and develop scientific temper and a spirit of inquiry following Article 51A of the Constitution; ensure that the education system imparts only ideas that are supported by scientific evidence; and, enact policies based on evidence-based science.

GSD Babu, director of the MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, said insufficient funding was affecting even the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the University Grants Commission. "Scientific learning is the need of the hour and there is no better time to reiterate what I tell my students: believe in astronomy, not astrology," Babu said.

Richard Rego, faculty at the St Joseph's College said science had long been neglected. "We have failed to give science importance, without realising that we cannot progress without new ideas."

Rego said in most developed countries the outlay for science and education in general was about 6% to 9%. "We must realise that the policies for this will come from the state," Rego added. "In the west, the private sector does help fund research, but event there the government plays a big role."

Nagaragere Ramesh, former principal of the National College, Jayanagar, said the march was a political move. "It is political because society has been a victim of the propagation of all manner of superstitions in the name of tradition, which have been promoted by some vested interests," he said.

Ramesh said there was an attempt to put a stop on the development of science. …

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