Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan today discounted allegations of science being saffronised in the country. “I don’t know what is the meaning of saffronisation of science. Science is what science is. You cannot change the definition of science,” he told a press conference here.
“You cannot change the power of wisdom in ancient Indian science. You call that saffronisation! The ancient Indian science professed by people like Acharya J C Bose! When I had visited ‘Basu Vigyan Mandir’ I felt proud to see the letter written by the grandson of Marconi acknowledging Bose for the discovery of radio. “Shouldn’t we feel proud of their works! Shouldn’t we talk about the works of past scientists like J C Bose?” he asked.
He said under the NDA rule science has become a movement in the country and a book on life histories of 55 scientists of India – from C V Raman to Meghnad Saha has been compiled to make the students know about the country’s rich science heritage. The minister said that the government was trying to disseminate information about the works of our scientists among the youth. “We are trying to popularise science to make it as easy to understand and easy to communicate,” he said.
Claiming that awareness about science in the country was changing, he said that the government is committed to see that science gets back its importance. The government, he said, is willing to promote workable ideas. “We have a number of schemes. There is Technology Development Board to support people in a big way.
“We are now taking scientific research forward. From brain drain we have now reached to the phase of brain gain. After introducing a number of scholarships people abroad have been coming back in last 2-3 years and this number of return is in far greater proportion than in the last 10-15 years,” he said.
The government is also supporting fundamental research in molecule, genome and protons. “Things are changing,” he said at the DST (Department of Science and Technology) Conclave of S N Bose National Centre for Basic Science.
Referring to yoga, he said, “We are promoting scientific research of Patanjali yoga which has already been acknowledged as an exercise to raise spiritual strength by 193 countries in 2014.”
Patanjali yoga has been accepted all over the world as the most effective healer, but his department did not want to make yoga compulsory. “Health issues cannot be legalised. It should be left to the individual,” he said.
On the issue of predatory journals and plagiarism, the minister said, “You do not value what is published in predatory journals. “We always tackle low quality for producing better works. We have leading science institutions and we follow a liberal, methodical approach for screening. Our scientific committee works to promote good projects.” He said the DST was committed to ensure ‘Make in India’ movement was successful. “We are trying our best to use all possible mechanism to see the campaign meets success and it is already,” he added.