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12 Sep, 2019 15:28

Facepalm: Maths never helped Einstein ‘discover gravity,’ Indian minister says

Facepalm: Maths never helped Einstein ‘discover gravity,’ Indian minister says

India’s railways minister tried to warn against worrying about “GDP maths” as “maths never helped Einstein discover gravity,” seemingly unaware that the natural phenomenon was discovered nearly 200 years before Einstein was born.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with the Board of Trade, Minister for Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal sought to reassure the public about the prospects of the Indian government hitting a target of becoming a $5 trillion economy. 

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“Don’t go by all these calculations you see on TV, that if the country has to become a $5 trillion economy, it will have to grow at 12 percent but right now it is currently growing at 6-7 percent,” Goyal said. “Don’t get into those maths. Those maths have never helped Einstein discover gravity.”

Goyal argued that, had Einstein followed the tried-and-trusted “structured formulae,” there wouldn’t have been any innovation. 

There was just one major flaw: Sir Isaac Newton published his laws of motion and universal gravitation in ‘The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy,’ in 1687, some 192 years before Einstein was even born.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter users did not react kindly to the minister’s major mishap.

The Google search results also paint a dire picture of the public response to Goyal’s historical inaccuracy.


Goyal later tried to clarify his comments. However, based on the online reaction, it appears the damage was already done.

The minister’s gaffe comes hot on the heels of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman blaming the slowdown in India’s auto sector on millennials. Sitharaman’s remarks sparked an avalanche of memes and mockery on social media platforms earlier this week.

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