National

Govt. panel to study cow derivatives

Harsh Vardhan.

Harsh Vardhan.  

The government has set up a 19-member panel, including three members linked to the RSS and VHP, to carry out what it says will be scientifically validated research on cow derivatives including its urine, and their benefits, according to an inter-departmental circular and members of the panel.

Headed by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, the committee will select projects that can help scientifically validate the benefits of panchgavya — the concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee — in various spheres such as nutrition, health and agriculture, says the circular accessed by PTI.

Named the National Steering Committee, the panel includes secretaries of the departments of Science and Technology, Biotechnology, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

It also has three members of Vigyan Bharti and Go Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, outfits affiliated to the RSS and VHP. The government circular says former CSIR Director R.A. Mashelkar, known for vigorously campaigning against U.S. patents on turmeric and basmati rice, is also a member of the panel. The others include IIT-Delhi director Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao and Prof. V.K. Vijay of the IIT’s Centre for Rural Development and Technology.

The government has given the project the acronym SVAROP, which stands for Scientific Validation and Research on Panchagavya, and says it is a “national programme” that’s 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 document also says “this multi-disciplinary programme” will involve participation of other related ministries, government departments, academic institutions, research laboratories, voluntary organisations and others “to carry out research and development and also build capacities, and cover five thematic areas including scientific validation of uniqueness of indigenous cows.”

It will cover “scientific validation of ‘panchagavya’ for medicines and health, scientific validation of ‘panchagavya’ and its products for agriculture applications, scientific validation of ‘panchagavya’ for food and nutrition,” the circular says.

Vijay Bhatkar, president of the Delhi-based Vigyan Bharti, an RSS-affiliated science body, is the co-chairman of the committee.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 1:59:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-panel-to-study-cow-derivatives/article19291033.ece

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