NEW DELHI: The cow has come to be recognised as the official animal of great academic curiosity. Nearly 5 lakh candidates have registered to take the Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan exam that will be conducted by the Centre's cow welfare body on February 25.
There has been an overwhelming response from Indians living abroad and even foreigners. A record number of NRIs and foreigners from 51 countries and applicants from almost all districts of the country have registered for the exam.
Nearly one lakh NRIs have registered to take the test while at least 15 per cent overseas applicants include foreigners.The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), the organising authority, said registrations have picked up in the last two-three days with at least 5,000 people enrolling per hour. The registration deadline was to end on Thursday, but has now been extended till Saturday.
A mock exam will be conducted on Sunday. According to the registration data by RKA, around 4.9 lakh people have registered for the exam, with most registrations coming from children up to 8th standard. The Aayog has reached out to the UGC, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and the AICTE to encourage students to enrol.
"We were expecting at least 1 per cent of our population to register for the exam, but the response has been lukewarm. The registration climbed steeply after we reached out to various educational bodies," said an RKA official.
The purpose of the exam is to spread awareness about the unexplored potential and business opportunities the cow can offer. It will be an hour-long online exam, with cash rewards and certificates to applicants.
Constituted on February 21, 2019, the RKA is a high-powered permanent apex advisory body with a mandate to help the Centre in developing appropriate programmes for conservation, sustainable development and genetic upgrading of indigenous breeds of cows. It can suggest measures for optimum economic utilisation of the bovine wealth for enhanced production and productivity.
Huge hoofed population
As per the 2012 livestock census, India had 300 million bovines out of which 191 million were cows and 108.7 million buffaloes. The cattle and buffalo genetic resource is constituted by 43 breeds of cattle and 16
breeds of buffaloes. As many as 5.2 million cattle were abandoned