The Minister of State for Higher Education, Satyapal Singh, on Wednesday declined to respond to questions relating to his earlier comment on Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion, which the minister said had been codified by ancient India, much before the scientist did.According to a news report which attributed the facts to the minutes of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meeting held last month, where Satyapal Singh reportedly said that the laws of motion were codified earlier in Indian 'mantras'. "There are mantras which codified 'laws of motion' much before it was discovered by Newton. Hence it is essential that traditional knowledge must be incorporated in our curriculum," the Minister in the Human Resource Development ministry was quoted by the Hindustan Times as having said during the meeting attended by academics and ministry officials to deliberate on policymaking.
When approached by journalists on Wednesday at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) where he gave a lecture on the National Science Day, Satyapal Singh refused to take any questions on the issue.Before his comment on Newton, the minister had disparaged Charles Darwin's pioneering work on evolution saying the theory was "scientifically wrong" and advocated for change in the education curriculum to reflect that.In his lecture at the INSA on Wednesday, Satyapal Singh spoke about the need for instilling a scientific temper among students and also of acquainting them with science of "spirituality" so that they could cope better with lifer. "The other day I was saying... that the number of suicides in Delhi, Mumbai are more than the number of murders. It is science which teaches us the cost of human life. Will science teach us this value of life? It won't happen till we speak about spiritual science. We should be taught science of intellect," the minister said, addressing students and academics from the science community.