বিজ্ঞান বিষয়ক

India March for Science 2021

 

Krishanu Bhattacharjee
09 August 2021

 

The March for Science is being held worldwide since 2017

to uphold the banner of rationality and scientific temper and

to remove the hurdles in the path of the onward march of science and social progress.

The Indian scientific community has organized the Marches,

to highlight the problems facing science on Indian soil since last 5 years ...

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National Appeal for India March for Science, 2021

The March for Science is being held worldwide since 2017 to uphold the banner of rationality and scientific temper and to remove the hurdles in the path of the onward march of science and social progress. The Indian scientific community has organized the Marches, to highlight the problems facing science on Indian soil. These include the abysmally low governmental support for education and scientific research, the concerted propaganda by the fringe groups to propagate unscientific and obscurantist ideas.

 

In the past year, when humankind has been facing an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID pandemic, these problems have increased manifolds. While the scientific community warned about a second wave as experienced by European and American countries, India invited the crisis by organizing mass gatherings in state elections and Kumbh-Mela and other festivities. But the government chose to ignore evidence-based scientific advice, precipitating a disaster when the second wave struck. While doctors and nurses struggled to treat COVID patients in hopelessly inadequate healthcare infrastructure, unscrupulous people were busy peddling untested concoctions as a remedy for COVID.

 

Education and scientific research has been affected very badly during the lockdown due to the government's apathy. While remedial action demanded additional funds, the funding support to all institutions has been slashed as the outlay on education has been reduced by about 6% in the 2021-22 budget while granting tax exemption to the corporate sector!

 

Now unscientific material is being introduced in the education system in the name of 'Indian Knowledge Systems' – a mainstay of the New Education Policy. The IGNOU has announced the introduction of an MA course in astrology, and many other universities are introducing courses in astrology, Vastushastra and other areas of pseudo-science. Taking advantage of the pandemic, the government is proposing online mode of content delivery to partially replace in-class teaching as the ‘new normal’.

 

We strongly protest against these and demand that the Centre and State governments :

  1. Take adequate steps based on scientific advice supported by data to counter the COVID pandemic.

  2. Stop propagation of unscientific, obscurantist ideas, and develop scientific temper, human values and spirit of inquiry in conformity with Article 51A of the Constitution.

  3. Ensure that the education system does not impart ideas that are not based on or contradict scientific evidence.

  4. Allocate at least 10% of the Central Budget and 30% of the State budget to education. Ensure that at least 3% of the country's GDP is used to support scientific and technological research.

March for Science, Silchar Chapter

Since 2018, India March for Science's 2nd year, Silchar Chapter is organizing either rallies or demonstrations along with other cities and towns in India. Many People's Science Organization have joined this movement in Silchar in last 4 years like People's Science Society, Breakthrough Science Society Silchar Chapter, Man Making Mission, Human Science Forum, Chorus, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Development Foundation, AIDSO, Forum for Social Harmony, Fridays for Future Barak Valley and few more...

In Silchar, Association's maxiumum focus has been on 2 sectors since last 4 years :

 

  1. Public Healthcare Facilities of Barak Valley

  2. Conservation of Environment 

 

Public Healthcare Faciliity in Barak Valley is in abssymal condition where only 1 Multi Speciality Hospital : Silchar Medical College, on which around 50 Lakh people of North east are dependent annually, is running in depeleted condition since many years. COVID Pandemic has exposed its severity in last one and half years. All other small Civil Hospitals, Rural Model Hospitals and Primary Health Centers are lacking basic minimum infrastructure to share the load of SMCH. 

March for Science, Silchar Chapter and all the associated organizations are raising their voice and continuosly pursuing Government Authorities and Administration to resolve the crisis since start of the movement in the region. We are hopefull to carry out the movement until the region is served with a best possible Public Healthcare System.

Another issue on which March for Science, Silchar Chapter is concentrating is ecological conservation, pollution control, waste management in Silchar Town and different parts of Barak Valley. many demostrations, awareness programs, participation in public activities has been done in last 4 years but still there is a long way to go to address the climate conservation in the region because of public apathy regarding the issue.

But as like minded people associate for something noble, and the journey continues. March for Science, Silchar Chapter has started the journey on a positive note and its going on ...