PM Degree Row: What We Know So Far

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Source: India.com

In a recent development on PM degree row the Chief Information Commissioner has directed Delhi University’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) to release the information of all the students enrolled under BA program in year 1978 along with roll number, names of the students, father’s name and marks obtained as available with the university and provide certified copy of the extract of relevant pages from the register. This move comes after an RTI applicant named Neeraj filed an RTI for the information mentioned above. Earlier this application was rejected by the university’s CPIO on the grounds that it violates the privacy of many individuals enrolled in the year 1978. During the hearing of the case university was not able to provide enough evidence as to how it is a breach to privacy this application was accepted and permission has been granted by the CIC to provide the records of students under BA program in 1978.

Aam Admi Party has already highlighted this issue last year. In the month of May, the party’s top leader and Delhi’s CM himself used his favorite platform, Twitter for accusing the PM.

Let us understand with the series of events and arguments as to how this PM degree row has unfolded and how it involved Delhi University in it.

It all started with a tweet when Kejriwal questioned the authenticity of the PM’s educational qualifications. The degrees under question were Bachelor of Arts from DU in 1978 and Masters from Gujarat University in 1983.  It is important to be noted that the law minister of Delhi Mr. Jitender Singh Tomar of AAP was booked under charges of fraudulent degree in February which later resulted in his arrest on June 9, 2016. He immediately resigned from his post and even Kejriwal who was earlier in his support took a step back.

Media highlighted Kejriwal’s claim and ultimately BJP had to come for the rescue. A profile press conference with top politicians of BJP, Mr. Amit Shah and finance minister Arun Jaitley was called and original copies of Modi’s degree were presented.

Source: Financial Express
Source: Financial Express

This gave an opportunity for AAP to rebuttal on this issue again. In a press conference AAP’s Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan questioned the documents on the grounds that it has been obtained by the BJP itself and are forged. Further AAP raised the following questions to the BJP:

  1. Why was the BA marksheet dated, 1978 and the degree, 1979?
  2. Why do the BA marksheets spell surname differently i.e “Modi” and “Mody”?
  3. Why does the name in BA marksheet says Narendra Kumar Damoderdas Modi and in Master’s Narendra Damoderdas Modi?
  4. Why does the MA degree list subject as “entire political science” when there is no such subject?

However BJP didn’t give much weightage to AAP’s claims and just briefly answered these questions:

  1. Why was the BA marksheet dated, 1978 and the degree, 1979?

BJP:  Degree certificate from DU States Narendra Damoderdas Modi was “examined” in 1978 and degree was awarded at convocation in 1979

  1. Why do the BA marksheets spell surname differently i.e “Modi” and “Mody”?

BJP: It was a clerical error which is common nowadays also.

  1. Why does the name in BA marksheet says Narendra Kumar Damoderdas Modi and in Master’s Narendra Damoderdas Modi?

BJP: Using Kumar was common practice then. MA and BA degrees carry the correct name.

  1. Why does the MA degree list subject as “entire political science” when there is no such subject?

BJP: Gujarat University clarified that it means the student took all 8 papers in the course

Delhi University’s Stand:

As reported by The Indian Express DU registrar Tarun Das has said: “Delhi University seeks to maintain privacy of any student who is getting enrolled with it. In view of the queries and reports in media, the University would like to state that Narendra Damodardas Modi had qualified for degree of Bachelors of Arts. His enrollment number was CC 594/74 and his examination roll number number was 16594,”

Aftermath:

As reported by The Wire Information Commissioner M. Sridhar Acharyulu was abruptly asked to hand over the charge of all cases relating to the human resource development (HRD) ministry to his colleague, Manjula Parashar. This decision came after Acharyulu on December 21 passed an order allowing for inspection of Delhi University’s 1978 BA degree records.

 

 

 

 

 

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