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Indian scientists on Vedic astrology
Thirty comments from Current Science
Abstract -- In 2001 the University Grants Commision (UGC) in India
decided to provide funds for courses in astrology and palmistry at
Indian universities. The decision provoked outrage and controversy in
the pages of the prestigious Indian science journal Current Science. Of
thirty comments, most of them from scientists in university departments
or research institutes, about half dismissed astrology as a
pseudo-science, about half of the rest felt decisive tests were needed, and the
rest felt there was nothing wrong with funding something that the
majority of Indian people believed in. In chronological order, the
authors and their comments are briefly as follows, starting with editor
2000, Volume 79, issue 9
Balaram -- UGC should not promote astrology and palmistry courses.
2001, Volume 80, issues 6-11
Ganeshaiah -- But tests not decisive, more are needed to assess claims.
Balaram -- Evidence is overwhelmingly against, UGC lacks credibility.
Pal -- No respectable university should accept UGC's offer.
Sitaram and 29 others -- Our apathy means protest may be too late.
Murthy -- Opposition to astrology is based on sensible science.
Chandrashekaran -- No defence is needed when so many people believe.
Rao -- Why haven't scientists protested? Astrology is not a science.
Khare -- Vedic astrology has not been scientifically validated.
Virk -- Guru Nanak rejected astrology in 15th century. So should we.
Tiwari -- Big science is suppressing new ideas and should be challenged.
Sashidhar -- Astrology is a pseudo-science, scientists will ignore it.
2001, Volume 81, issues 1-3
Narasimhan -- The ancients were good observers, give their ideas a chance.
Karanth -- Astrology relates to gems, and mineralogy is part of science.
Seshadri & Kathiravan -- Most Indians believe in astrology, so honour it.
Chattopadhyay -- Some scientists secretly believe, so don't blame public.
Subbarao -- Faith is often needed to overcome fear and uncertainty.
Chopra -- Funding psychological props is OK if other needs not affected.
Devakumar -- Vedas say nothing about astrology, so Vedic is a misnomer.
Valluri -- Astrology fails to meet the methodology of a science.
Gautham -- Most consult an astrologer if pressed, so struggle is futile.
Balasundaram -- Tests of astrology are indecisive, it needs demystifying.
Tiwari -- Vedic = beyond sensory experience. How can Vedic be science?
Gupta -- Astrology may be a science-like knowledge but more difficult.
Mandal -- We either accept astrology and reject evolution, or the reverse.
Ganeshaiah -- Issue is nonsense vs good information, not arts vs sciences.
Abhyankar -- Astrologers offer only therapy by talking. Why be fooled?
Narlikar (review of Astrology: Believe it or not?) -- Not! Recommended!
Sitaraman -- Science not threatened by Vedic astrology or any other.
At which point the debate was closed by the editor. Three years later:
2004, Volume 87, issue 8
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Chattopadhyay -- Government reaffirms UGC proposal. But we stay silent.
Full article is 30 kB, needs 6-8 pages of A4, takes 15 minutes to read, has no graphics.