What started as NASA’s attempt to showcase diversity has taken a bitter turn after an intern was mocked for having Hindu idols in a photo. US’s top space agency, NASA had posted a reminder that the last day for fall applications for its internships was on July 10. NASA internships and fellowships leverage NASA’s unique missions and programs to enhance and increase the capability, diversity and size of the nation’s future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Internships are available from high school to graduate level. Internships provide students with the opportunity to participate in either research or other experiential learning, under the guidance of a mentor at NASA.
The post on Twitter showed photos of four diverse interns and was simply captioned, “Today’s the day: applications for fall NASA internships are due!"
— NASA (@NASA) July 9, 2021
One of the photos however captured more attention - one of an Indian-American girl who had idols next to her laptop.
The photo showed her sitting with her laptop on a table along with idols of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati and more Hindu idols. Some people however, mocked her for equating science with religion.
While some people mocked her, she also received a wave of support from India.
Great to see that Goddess Saraswati has blessed them with knowledge. Can't wait to see their bright future 🙏🙌— Abhi and Niyu (@abhiandniyu) July 11, 2021
What a beautiful ensemble of photos. More power to each of them and a shout out to the beautiful Hindu woman for proudly representing her culture 🌺— Rashmi Samant 🌺 (@RashmiDVS) July 11, 2021
NASA also has an international intern project. ‘I2’ seeks to better prepare all students to work in a global environment and on multicultural international missions. NASA and the nation benefit from a cadre of future scientists, engineers and other professionals who become familiar and experienced in multinational environments. Internship sessions are arranged in three sessions during the calendar year (spring, summer and fall). Currently, the list of countries does not include India.