Our Railway minister Piyush Goyal said today that Einstein discovered gravity. I am not too concerned about this gaffe which might have been an unintentional slip of the tongue. But what concerns me as a citizen with a scientific mind is his comment that maths have never helped Einstein discover gravity and a general alluring to the idea that maths is non-essential in prediction of future course of economy.
This is the classic anti-intellectual sentiment created by politicians in face of sane criticism that, raw emotional decisions are better than well thought out plan by thinkers. He emphasized that even if economy is growing at 5%, we are well on our way to achieve $5 trillion economy by 2024. Size of current Indian economy is $2.5 trillion. So, we would need about 15% growth rate to double our economy in 5 years. Even a common man knows that doubling your money in 5 years would need a compound interest of 15% per annum.
And yes, about Einstein, gravity and maths, anyone with a high school education knows that without maths, analysis of neither gravity nor relativity is possible. Unfortunately, maths, correctness of data recording and taking help from well established economists do not appear to be a strong point of this government.