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Jyotir Vigyan: SC admits petition to scrap astrology course

Press Trust of India

Posted: Sep 03, 2001 at 1606 hrs IST

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on a petition seeking to quash the controversial government decision to start degree and post-graduate courses in Vedic astrology in various universities from this year.

A bench comprising Justice S Rajendra Babu and Justice Doraiswamy Raju issued the notices to the respondents on the petition which sought to challenge an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court refusing to intervene in the matter. The petitioners are scientist Dr P M Bhargava, Prof Ksubhash Chandra Reddy and Chandana Chakrabarti.

Counsel for the petitioner Prashant Bhushan assailed the decision of the UGC to start astrology courses on the ground that astrology as a science has not been tested or proved and to introduce this as a course in universities was "illogical and irrational". "The scientific community considered the action of UGC and the HRD ministry in starting the course as a giant leap backwards, undermining whatever scientific credibility the country has achieved so far," the petitioners said.

The UGC at its October 16, 2000 meeting considered the proposal for setting up of departments of Vedic astrology in universities and decided to approve in principle the setting up of few departments in this course.

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