After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that millennials are responsible for the slowdown in the automobile sector, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal inexplicably said on Thursday that mathematical calculations of growth cannot be used to determine how the economy will grow to a $5 trillion one.

Goyal was attending the Board of Trade meeting on Thursday when he delivered this bizarre statement. “Don’t get into those calculations that you see on television... Oh if you’re looking at a $5-trillion economy, the country will have to grow at 12%, today it’s growing at 6-7%... don’t get into those maths. Those maths never helped Einstein discover gravity. If we had only gone by structured formulae and what was past knowledge, I don’t think there would have been any innovation in this world.”

While he must have said more than this during his address, Goyal does not seem to have elaborated on exactly how the Indian economy would achieve the target without a certain average rate of growth every year – nor why he referred to Einstein and not Isaac Newton as the scientist who discovered gravity.

Later, Goyal said that his comments had been taken out of context, though even in his clarification he maintained that Einstein had discovered gravity.

“While maths helped Einstein discover gravity, it’s because he had an open mind and the ability to think big that he could use maths to discover gravity,” Goyal said.

The comments prompted much humour online, with discussion about Einstein, Netwon and Goyal’s dismissal of mathematics.