The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, a government body under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, has postponed the online exam on cow science. Last week, the University Grants Commission had asked all universities to encourage its students to take the test.

“Please note that online Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan Prachar Prasar Exam /Pratiyogita which was scheduled for 25th Feb 2021 including Mock Examination on 21st Feb 2021 has been postponed,” a notice on the website read. The government body did not mention a rescheduled date for the exam, and the reason for the postponement is unclear.

On Sunday, the Aayog’s chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria told The Times of India that the exam was postponed due to “administrative reasons”. He said that a new date would be decided within the next three to four days due to a significant amount of interest among the public and students across the world. “Instead of conducting the exam on a weekday, we may possibly look for a new date on any weekend so that more people can take the exam,” he added.

More than five lakh applicants submitted their applications to appear for the exam, according to the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’s official statement, reported India Today. This reportedly includes applicants from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among other countries.

The decision came after widespread criticism on the course material of the test. The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad, which describes itself as a “people’s science movement” of the state had demanded cancelling the “cow science” exam, questioning them on the basis of the reference material that the organisation said comprised of controversial and unverified content with no scientific validity, reported The Times of India.

The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog had announced its plans of conducting the exam on January 5. It had said that the exam was aimed to “infuse curiosity into all Indians about cows and make them aware of the unexplored potential and business opportunities a cow can offer, even after it stops giving milk”.

The cow protection agency had uploaded a 54-page “reference material” for those interested in taking the exam. In the document, it described cow dung as “antiseptic”, “tooth polish” and having “anti-radioactive” properties. The document, however, is no longer available on the agency’s website.

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UGC wants students to write ‘cow science’ exam, asks vice chancellors to ensure wide publicity

Faculty at Jadavpur University refuses to conduct exam

Jadavpur University’s professor of history Samantak Das told Anandabazar Patrika that the exam would not be conducted in the institution.

“The University authority and teachers are of the view that the University has always upheld a Scientific and Secular form of education since it’s inception,” an unofficial Facebook page that tracks the university’s activities posted. “Holding this examination will be a compromise with it’s eternal philosophy. “...teachers feel that research should have been conducted in Scientific disciplines well funded by the govt, instead the current exam tries to push a particular unscientific philosophy on the current generation of students.”