News special: Politicians and their alleged fake degrees

The recent fake degree controversy involving Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has grabbed the headlines, with the opposition demanding Irani's resignation. Here's a look at other such cases 

Smriti Irani

Smriti Irani

Smriti Irani. Pic/PTI

After the Smriti Irani's Yale dispute last year, she has once again been embroiled in a fake degree controversy. A freelance writer Ahmer Khan, in his complaint has alleged that Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani had given false information about her educational qualifications before the Election Commission of India while filing the nomination. In her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said that she completed her BA in 1996 from Delhi University (School of Correspondence) whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 for contesting Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she said her highest educational qualification was B.Com part I from the School of Correspondence, DU. After a Delhi court took cognizance of a complaint, Congress and the AAP have demanded immediate resignation. 

 

Jitender Singh Tomar

Jitender Singh TomarJitender Singh Tomar. Pic/PTI

Delhi law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar, was issued a notice to answer allegations that he enrolled as an advocate on a 'false and bogus' degree. Tomar, who denied the allegations said that he was 'fabricated' and that he would soon get his educational records. The Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University in Bihar, from where Tomar claimed to have obtained his law degree told the Delhi High Court on Monday that his provisional certificate is not genuine and the document does not exist in the university's record. The serial number of the provisional certificate in the record showed the name of some other person and not that of Tomar, it said. Tomar is currently in jail.

Vinod Tawde

Vinod TawdeVinod Tawde

BJP leader Vinod Tawde, was caught up in a row over his educational qualification after a news-channel reported that Tawde's BE electronics degree was bogus. Tawde clarified that he was a student of Pune's Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth during 1980 to 1984, and the course was not recognised by the government. he clarified that other than the electronics course, he has studied upto 12th class and that he had never hidden the fact including in his poll affidavit. His claim was also supported by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while on the other hand Congress raised slogans for the minister's resignation.

Ramakrishna Dhavalikar

Ramkrishna DhavalikarRamakrishna Dhavalikar. Pic/YouTube

Goa Public Works Department Minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar was alleged having a fake education degree. The matter cropped up when Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa accused Dhavalikar of lying about his graduation degree, in a sworn affidavit filed before the poll authorities. Dhavalikar, who belongs to the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a member of the ruling alliance in the state, had dismissed the allegations. He even produced a copy of a document which said he had passed his B.Sc. in 1978 from a college in South Goa. The AAP hit back by releasing official documents which did not contain the minister's name in the list of students who passed from the same institute over 1978-79-80. The documents showed that Dhavalikar allegedly failed in 1979 regular exam and failed in yet another attempt to clear the graduation exam in October the same year.


Babanrao Lonikar
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Babanrao Lonikar who holds the Water Supply and Sanitation portfolio, was accused by Congress for allegedly forging his degrees. In 2014 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, Babanrao Lonikar had declared his educational qualification as 5th standard from a Zilla Parishad-run school in Partur. Strangely, in 2004 and 2009 Assembly polls, Lonikar’s election affidavit mentioned his educational qualification a ‘Bachelor of Arts (first year)’ from Yeshwantrao Chavan Open University making the goof up apparent.

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