The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal issued a clarification on some of his remarks made towards the end of the Board of Trade meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. Earlier, Goyal received considerable flak on social media for his "Maths never helped Einstein discover gravity" comment. In his explanation, he alleged that some people were spreading a mischievous and baseless narrative by taking the statement out of context. He opined that his intention was to encourage Indian business to aspire for a $1 trillion target within the next 5 years and enthuse the exporter community.
As soon as the remarks became viral, the Congress party was quick to latch on to this controversy. Writing on Twitter, it sought to correct Goyal that it was Sir Isaac Newton and not Albert Einstein who discovered gravity. Further, it reminded the Commerce and Industry Minister that mathematics was important to fix the economy.
Former Finance Minister @PiyushGoyal is correct, Einstein did not require maths to discover gravity, but Sir Isaac Newton did.— Congress (@INCIndia) September 12, 2019
FYI, maths is also required to #FixTheEconomy. pic.twitter.com/Nr3QyYbPpA
Goyal stated that not only was his comment misinterpreted, but also the next line was conveniently edited out.
Immediately after the 'Einstein' remark, he said, "If we had only gone by structured formulae and what was past knowledge, I don’t think there would have been any innovation in this world.”
He emphasized that he wanted to make the people confident and instill positivity in them. According to him, if people continued to live in the past, they would never be able to achieve a very ambitious target. He further mentioned that India was the nation of aspiring youngsters. Goyal reckoned that the entire group of people who assembled in the Board meeting exuded enthusiasm. He urged for the need to go beyond the structured way of thinking and break old barriers to become a $1 trillion export country.