Lack of funds stalls research in cow-derivatives – The Hindu

The Centre’s ambitious scientific initiative SVAROP — aimed at validating research on cow-derivatives, including urine, and their benefits — has not made any headway even after two years as four of the five Ministries have not sanctioned funds, the convenor of the mission said.

V.K. Vijay, head of the Centre for Rural Development and Technology, IIT-Delhi, and the convenor of Scientific Validation and Research on Panchagavya (SVAROP), said of the ₹100 crore earmarked for the project, the Ministry of Science and Technology has sanctioned only ₹30 crore.

The four other Ministries involved in the project — Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Renewable Energy, Ayush Ministry and Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises — are yet to sanction their share of money, Mr. Vijay said.

Under the programme, several projects proposals were invited for research. “The status is as it is. Nothing is progressing. Now that a new Ministry (Ministry for animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries) under Giriraj Singh is in place, I think they will start it,” he said.

“We had (been earmarked) ₹100 crore. The DST has approved ₹30 crore but unless other Ministries release it (funds), they will not approve it. All ministries were to contribute equally. The S&T Ministry approved it but others didn’t,” Mr. Vijay said.

RSS, VHP members in panel

In April 2017, the government had set up a 19-member panel, including three members linked to the RSS and the VHP, to carry out what it said 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 was to select projects that could help scientifically validate the benefits of panchagavya — the concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee — in various spheres such as nutrition, health and agriculture.

Named the National Steering Committee, the panel included 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 included three members of Vigyan Bharti and ‘Go-Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra’, outfits affiliated to the RSS and the VHP.

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