Mumbai academia decided to march along with the world on 14th of April protesting against the fund cuts in the education sector, declination of scientific temperament and against the government policies taken without caring for any scientific evidence. “Today, science is under threat. We are in a situation like never before. The scientific community is being attacked from all quarters with fund cuts and an increasing shift towards pseudo-scientific ideas,” said T Jayaraman, Centre for Science, Technology and Society, School of Habitat Studies School of Research Methodology at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. “When the Prime Minister says that Ganesha is an example of plastic surgery, he is propagating ideas that have no scientific evidence. One cannot keep scientific temper in a box and restricted to superstition,” said Jayaraman, while addressing the protestors. “Through this March, we are trying to tell the world that the scientific community is taking note of what is happening in the country. It will be countered and restricted, not just by academics and scientists but by teachers and students as well,” said Vivek Monteiro, of Navnirmiti, an organisation that promotes scientific thinking and innovation.
With around 350 participants, the turnout was higher compared to last year, with an evident rise in student participation. Spontaneous participations were seen from institutions like TIFR, IITB, TISS, CEBS, BARC. According to the organizers this was not a sudden turn up. Follow up programs were taken after the event of IMFC,2017 with an attempt of not to make the march just an annual event. Last year’s march has culminated into a ‘Curiosity Circle’ wherein groups of scientists and academicians visit educational campuses and hold public dialogues to talk about science. Several talks and poster making programs were taken in IITB, CEBS to mobilize people to join this march. Colleges were also contacted. Students were seen taking self-initiation in preparing posters and all.