Science, research and education are crucial for the nation-building. For India to rise and to be the next global power- a dream which current BJP dispensation holds close to its heart- scientific research and education are essential. What we are seeing in India is the organised and well-scripted assault on science and rationality. Education is, thus, natural victim when the political ideology of those in power comprises myths, rabbid religious polarization and vicious fear-mongering.
When the fund for the public universities and research institutes are squeezed and students are levied hefty fees you can expect in what direction our education system is hurtling. JNU protests over fee hike is fallout of this. Government says that educational institutes should raise their resources from students to fund their research and functioning. This is not only unjust but dangerous too. Even the American government, despite its capitalist leanings, pays the money for the research conducted at its sundry universities.
Research institutes are reeling due to fund-crunch. Still the BJP government wants India to be the technological superpower. Government might spend money on dud projects like statues but cringes when it is asked to allot more funds on chandrayaan-2. The Modi government wasted $450 millions on the useless statue of unity but it gave paltry $140 millions for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission. These are just few selected examples. Scientific research and education have undoubtedly suffered major setback under the saffron regime. All this can be contrasted with increased focus on cows and their urine. For the India’s right, cow urine is where funds for science should be spent. It is not surprising when many scientists and researchers have complained that they are asked to conduct research on cow urine as they risk losing funds for their genuine research.
Education and scientific research must not be handed to the profit-minded private entities. Private universities and firms have little inclination to spend their money on something called “innovation” and “research”. It is obvious that Modi government is only interested in reducing the corporate tax of Ambanis and other cronies of BJP while it is hell-bent on starving the students and universities of public money. In this way we are heading towards a “New India” where state-peddled lies, drummed-up past glory and religion based politics will prevail.