Attempts to conduct a nationwide "Cow Science" exam have been thwarted repeatedly in recent months. Scant weeks after the exam was postponed, the government on Tuesday contradicted some of the information laid out in the syllabus of the unusual test.
"For raising mass awareness about indigenous cows among young Students and every other citizen, RASTRIYA KAMDHENU AAYOG(RKA) has come out with a noble initiative of making Study materials about Cow Science available and conduct “Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Examination," the PIB release had informed at the beginning of January.
Soon after this, the University Grants Commission informed that it had written to various Universities calling for the planned exam to be widely publicised by affiliated colleges to encourage students to enroll. Nearly months later, a day after Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria left office, the exam was postponed without any reason being given for the same.
Now, fresh debate has erupted after the Minister of State For Fisheries, Animal Husbandry And Dairying, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan contradicted some of the information given in the cow exam syllabus in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
You may recall that several reports that followed the announcement of the examination had quoted excerpts from the syllabus. One particular nugget, that contended that the milk of indigenous cows had an yellowish tint because it contains traces of gold, had gone viral. But this was not the only claim made about the superior nature of indigenous cows and their high quality milk that could help fight against many diseases. Inversely, the study material seemed to indicate that foreign cow breeds would be the harbingers of several diseases and health problems.
But while the RKA may fall under the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, the government does not seem to be quite in tandem with its point of view.
"As per the information received from ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), there is no conclusive information available regarding difference between the quality of milk of foreign breeds of cows and indigenous cattle," read the written reply from the Minister.