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Indian Scientists to March

Scientists in India planning a march for this week to highlight low research funding and increasing religious intolerance, ScienceInsider reports. It adds that the organizers were inspired by this past April's March for Science.

The Delhi Science Forum's Prabir Purkayastha tells ScienceInsider that spending on science in India lags behind that of China and South Korea and that the Indian Institutes of Technology in particular needs to be better funded. Purkayastha and his colleagues are calling for research and development spending in India to increase from 0.85 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2016 to three percent. Government officials, though, tell ScienceInsider that spending has been increasing.

At the same time, it adds that the march organizers also want to ensure that officials focus on scientific, rather than pseudoscientific, principles. "Unscientific and superstitious beliefs are being propagated around in a big way, and we see government's hand in promotion of these ideas which has made scientists extremely unhappy," the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research's Soumitra Banerjee, a march organizer, tells ScienceInsider.

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