A government panel set up to carry out “scientifically validated” research into cow derivatives, including its urine, and their benefits has received 54 proposals, committee co-chairman Vijay Bhatkar has said. He said of these, 27 were selected and clubbed into 17 broad proposals under five thematic areas of research– uniqueness of indigenous cows, medicine and health, agriculture applications, food and nutrition and the scientific validation of Panchagavya-based utility products. Panchagavya is a concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee. “We have decided to go for more projects and invite institutes working on the subject,” Bhatkar told PTI.
The proposals, focusing on different aspects of cow research, have come from laboratories under different ministries of the Central government. Bhatkar, who is the president of Delhi-based Vijnana Bharati, an RSS-affiliated science body, said the committee had decided to widen its ambit and look at research on “cow ecology”, which could include aspects such as energy and indigenous breeds. The national programme SVAROP (Scientific Validation and Research on Panchagavya) is 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 19-member National Steering Committee, headed by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, will decide the course of SVAROP.
A committee member, who requested anonymity as panel members are not authorised to speak to the media, said a decision has been taken to form joint committees under different ministries covering the five themes. “The word Panchagavya is being widely misconstrued and this was discussed during the meeting. Steps will be taken to address the perception problem by the minister himself,” the panel member added. Apart from Bhatkar, the panel also has two members linked to the RSS and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. The two members are Jaykumar, the secretary general of Vijnana Bharati, and Sunil Mansinghka, whose Nagpur-based Go Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra is affiliated to the VHP.