Scientists march in Delhi
Scientists march in Delhi

 New Delhi: Scientists marched in the national capital on Sunday against "concerted efforts by some interest groups" to undermine science and to send a message that the propagation of "unscientific ideas" should be stopped. 

The 'March for Science' organised in Delhi was a part of a larger programme across the world to rally science supporters to defend the formation of evidence-based policy decisions. The march began at Mandi House and concluded at Parliament Street. A similar march was organised by scientists last year. 

"In India concerted efforts by some interest groups to undermine science continue unabated. Unscientific and superstitious beliefs are being propagated at an accelerate rate," the organising committee behind the march said in an appeal. The march comes in the backdrop of criticism by science supporters that more thrust was being given to claims made without enough validation. 

For instance, at the Indian Science Congress in 2015, a claim was made that ancient India had inter-planetary planes, the organising committee said. The participants in the Delhi march demanded an increase in allocation of budget for education, research and technological advances in publicly-funded organisations. 

In a statement, the committee said "unscientific, obscurantist ideas" should be discouraged and emphasis be given to develop a scientific temper among people. It also demanded that the education system be structured in a way that it imparts ideas that do not contradict scientific evidence. 

"While most countries spend over 6 per cent of their GDP on education and 3 per cent of their GDP on scientific and technological research, in India, the figures are below 3 per cent and 0.85 per cent respectively," the statement stated.