Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' took charge of the HRD Ministry on Friday, 31 May, with the senior ministry officials handing him over the draft of the much awaited National Education Policy (NEP).The policy, an ambitious project of the previous Modi government, is expected to be on the agenda of Pokhriyal, who started his career as a teacher in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Saraswati Shishu Mandir.But Pokhriyal’s comments in the past makes us hope that his understanding of science doesn’t make it to our textbooks:‘Astrology No 1 Science in The World’The former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Haridwar MP, during a parliament debate in 2014, had remarked, "All streams of science are dwarfed in stature when compared with the science of astrology. Astrology is the number one science for the entire world.”The debate in the Lok Sabha we are talking about was about further empowering School of Planning and Architecture.Modi Means Business: New Roles For Shah, Sitharaman, Jaishankar‘Nuclear Tests Carried Out by Sages’In the same debate, he claimed that nuclear tests had been conducted in India by a 2nd century sage, Kanad, in his time.As quoted by The Indian Express, he had said:“Today we are talking about nuclear tests. Lakhs of years ago, Sage Kanad had conducted a nuclear test. Our knowledge and science do not lack anything.”‘Modi ji Correct on Ganesh’s Plastic Surgery’Pokhriyal was also of the opinion that PM Narendra Modi was correct when he cited “plastic surgery” and “genetic science” to explain the creation of Lord Ganesha and Karna respectively.He had said, “People are raising questions on Modiji’s comments on Ganesh’s surgery. It was actually a surgery. The science available to us is not available elsewhere in the world… science or knowledge to transplant a severed head existed only in India,” as quoted by The Indian Express.In 2011, the BJP top brass had convinced Pokhriyal to step down from the post in the wake of a series of scam allegations against his government, paving the way for BC Khanduri to be the chief minister.After his term as the Uttarakhand chief minister ended, Pokhriyal remained in political wilderness of sorts for eight years. During these years, he won every election he contested, but did not get any ministerial berth in his state or at the Centre.Pokhriyal, however, is a prolific Hindi writer with 36 works to his credit, of which 10 have been translated into other languages.His works include novels, short stories, poems and travelogues. He holds a PhD degree from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.Nishank hails from Pinani village in Pauri, a district which has produced personalities like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, Army chief Bipin Rawat and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.