'March for Science' on April 14

Scientists and citizens will stage a 'March for Science' in the city on April 14. The march is part of a global movement, which calls for espousing science in public life and in policy formulation.

The Bengaluru chapter of the march is being organised by the Breakthrough Science Society, Karnataka-a non-governmental organisation-at the Malleswaram Grounds, 18th Cross.

The march in India is significant because of the several statements made by politicians and lawmakers, said Bharath Kumar, a member of the society in Bengaluru.

Satyapal Singh, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, recently received flak for saying that Darwin's theory of evolution was wrong and that our ancestors had never mentioned witnessing an ape turning into a man. Later, the Union Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan, falsely claimed that the late physicist Stephen Hawking had said Vedas might have a theory superior to Einstein's E=mc2.

Poor infrastructure

"While the statements and prevailing superstitions are one issue, the other is of funding science research in our country. Science education is neglected, with poor infrastructure and a shortage of staff," Kumar said.

It is, however, encouraging scientists and scientific institutions have stood up for the cause of science in the past year, he added.

Science enthusiasts have demanded 3% of the GDP allocated towards scientific and technological research and 10% of GDP towards education.

Last year, the march was held on August 9 in India and on April 22 across the globe.

This year, the march will be held in more than 40 cities in India. Human chains will be formed to defend and celebrate science.

The April 14 event will start at 4 pm. A memorial service for Stephen Hawking and science writer J R Laxman Rao is also organised at the event.

Scientists and activists such as Prof T V Ramachandra, from the IISc, rationalist Narendra Nayak and several others have extended their support to the march.

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