The Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association on Saturday called off an astrology workshop after facing criticism online from alumni, faculty and academics, The Times of India reported.

The workshop, titled “Astrology as a Scientific Tool for Individual Progress”, was scheduled to be conducted by alumnus MS Rameshaiah at the Bengaluru institute’s campus on November 25 and November 26. Rameshaiah is a member of the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences.

“Our intention was different,” said the association’s President MP Ravindra after cancelling the event. “The context has not come out clearly in the communication [about the workshop], and I understand the concerns of those opposing it.”

Ravindra also told The Hindu that the event will not be held “due to lack of interest and disagreement”. “Given the image astrology has in the society, IISc should not get involved,” he said.

After the event was announced, some alumni wrote to IISc Director Anurag Kumar, saying the idea was “profoundly shocking and, frankly, incredible”. They urged him to not allow the workshop to be held.

“Astrology is a system of belief that has no scientific basis,” Deccan Herald quoted from the letter. “The repercussions of holding such a workshop are many. First, it is being organised by the IISc Alumni Association, which will be taken to imply that the alumni body supports astrology as a science. Second, it is being held on the IISc campus, which will be taken as further proof that the scientific community of IISc agrees with astrology.”