Thursday’s exam has been postponed indefinitely after allegations of misrepresentation and pseudoscience.
A national review on ‘cow science’ in India has been postponed indefinitely after widespread criticism over the spread of unscientific claims about the animal, considered sacred by the country’s Hindu majority.
The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) or National Cow Commission, set up by the ruling Hindu nationalist government, was due to host the online exam on Thursday.
The program for the review sparked controversy, with media reporting it contained unscientific claims such as cow’s milk containing traces of gold and earthquakes from the slaughter of cows.
“The government livestock department, under which the commission operates, has shelved the review due to controversy and fury over the program,” a commission official said, asking for the anonymity.
“The exam was designed by RKA President Vallabhbhai Kathiria, whose term ended on February 20. The department will oversee the commission until a new chairman is appointed, ”he added.
The Hindu newspaper reported that the department disowned the review which encouraged false claims and pseudoscience.
The commission had “no mandate” to conduct such a review and any future outreach program would be conducted on a “scientific basis,” the report said, citing ministry officials.
The exam, intended to promote and protect the cow, was open to children and adults as well as non-resident Indians and was to be conducted in 12 regional languages in addition to Hindi and English, said responsible.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party, which came to power in 2014, has made cow protection a priority to strengthen Hindu support within its electoral base.
The government has initiated research programs into the uses of cow’s milk, dung and urine which ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine has claimed have healing properties.