The scientific community raised serious objections after the central ministry of education released a circular asking premier universities and research institutions to voluntarily participate in webinars or seminars conducted by the Bhartiya Shiksha Mandal (BSM), an NGO affiliated with RSS. They questioned the move to rest the serious responsibility of disseminating information on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 on an RSS-linked organisation with no reasonable track record in the field.
Scientists have already opposed the inclusion of BSM in the sub-group of the Niti Aayog standing committee, stating it does not have any academic standing.
The Breakthrough Science Society (BSS) had condemned the education ministry's decision to admit BSM in Niti Aayog and asked the centre for a reversal of the decision. In a statement, it expressed its shock in learning that the government had delegated the task to an extra-constitutional agency instead of employing eminent educationists. It had claimed that the education ministry had directed the IITs, NITs, and IISERs to 'voluntarily' participate in BSM conducted webinars. The president of BSS, Dhrubajyoti Mukhopadhyay, expressed his doubt that this is a ploy to introduce Hindutva ideology in the education system. He alleged that the centre intends to saffronise the education system using BSM and pointed out that in NEP 2020, there are mentions of the education system in the ancient Hindu era. Soumitro Banerjee, general secretary of BSS and professor of IISER Kolkata, said that the government has no right to release public fund for "questionable activities of a dubious organisation". BSS is a voluntary organisation working towards the cause of science, culture and scientific outlook.
In a letter, the BSM had informed the Ministry of Education that the Niti Aayog had entrusted them with connecting educators and institutions to conduct nationwide orientation programmes regarding NEP.