India scraps ridiculed cow exam that claimed bovines produced gold in their milk

India's government has scrapped a ridiculed cow exam that claimed bovines born in the country produced gold in their milk.

More than half a million Indians had been revising for the online test which also said cow dung and urine had medicinal powers.

It was scheduled on Thursday as the first exam of a new curriculum set by the Hindu nationalist government, the Times reports.

But it has been postponed for "administrative reasons" after university academics complained it promoted unsubstantiated claims.

Some had refused to hold the exam which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced last month.

Cows are considered to be sacred by Hindus with extremists claiming they possess magical medicinal and scientific powers.

Beliefs around the animals' powers have become more popular under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist regime.

BJP officials claimed cow dung protects from radiation and that the cow is the only creature on Earth that inhales and exhales oxygen.

Their Cow Science course material also said that Indian cows were "alert" and "emotional towards humans" – while other breeds exhibited "none of these feelings" and were lazy.

BJP party members have also endorsed ranges of soap and health drinks based on cow dung and urine.

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Party officials proposed replacing the tiger with the cow as the national animal.

The National Cow Commission was set up in 2019 to promote the ideology five years after Modi came into power.

The BJP has restricted the beef and leather trades which are dominated by the country's religious minority.

Armed "cow protection squads" have stopped lorries in search of smuggled cattle and several Muslims have been beaten or killed.

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Last September a two-headed calf enticed worshippers in India after a cow gave birth to it.

Farmer Somanlal Yadav could not believe his eyes when his pregnant cow delivered the deformed calf with its two heads blinking independently.

The two heads were joined at the neck and each one had two eyes, but shared three ears.

Local people in Rajnandgaon's Panega, Chhattisgarh, Central India, gathered in large groups to witness and worship the spectacle.

Many left cash gifts believing the abnormality to be a miracle.

The four-legged two-headed freak of nature was born on September 5 and news quickly spread.

Villagers have flocked to witness the spectacle and some believe it has “miraculous” significance.

Sadly the health of the newborn deteriorated quickly.

The calf passed away after just a few days.

It was not the first cloven beast to have had a following of worshippers in India.

Earlier in the year another strange-looking calf was born at a farm in Paarsalai, south India.

The cloven-hoofed baby had conjoined heads, four eyes and two moths.

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