What are Smriti Irani’s real educational qualifications?

Smriti Irani affidavit Lok Sabha Chandni Chowk 2004Smriti Irani affidavit Lok Sabha Chandni Chowk 2004

After Madhu Kishwar raised the question of Smriti Irani’s educational qualifications, the internet has been busy. It seems she has submitted different details at different times. Notably her affidavit for Lok Sabha Election 2004 from Chandni Chowk said she was a B.A. (1996) [page sc5] from Delhi University (School of Correspondence) in 2004 and for Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani’s 2011 affidavit states B.Com. Part 1 [page 10] and the same in affidavit for Lok Sabha Election 2014 from Amethi.

Basically, it is all very exciting, but I don’t think it amounts to much, as the lie is more likely to be her earlier affidavit from 2004 Chandni Chowk, which if I remember correctly, she lost to Kapil Sibal, so she can hardly get disqualified from that and it is too late anyway. My guess is that she would have the documents for this one ready to give whoever so much as raises an eyebrow, so I think that this is at best a curiosity exercise.

At best it is an embarrassment that the MP no handling education has a history of faking educational qualifications on an election affidavit.

This may not be such a bad thing from my Point of View, which is very interested in people in charge of education actually understanding the plight of alternatively schooled people and homeschoolers who can face professional prejudice over these pieces of paper which rarely return well educated citizens anyway.

Update: Several people have informed me that Section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 says that false affidavit by candidate has 6 months jail punishment. This may be true. I have not verified, but it is unclear who is going to prosecute, and I doubt the government will give permission. Also, unsure if a wrong affidavit can be prosecuted 10 years later or if there is some time frame when it can be challenged. Someone with more legal knowledge is probably better qualified to comment on this than me.

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Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

3 Comments on "What are Smriti Irani’s real educational qualifications?"

  1. I don’t think questions related to Smriti Irani’s education qualification can be compared to others lacking formal education. There is something discomforting with the fact that a relatively young performing artist should be in charge of entire education system, from primary school to the most coveted higher education institutions of the country. Yet, its a bit reassuring that its her and not someone like Uma Bharti and not a highly educated RSS pracharak and revisionist. What needs to be seen if she continues traditions or places right wing zealots as heads of different academies and organisations.

  2. Her profile on the Rajya Sabha website.
    http://www.archive.india.gov.in/govt/rajyasabhampbiodata.php?mpcode=2180

    “Educated at Holy Child Auxilium, Delhi and School of Correspondence and Continuing Education, University of Delhi, Delhi”

    It is unclear from the Rajya Sabha website as to what her educational qualifications are.

    Whether her educational qualifications are relevant to heading the HRD ministry is not really a big issue. Being an honorable member of Rajya Sabha – a law maker, understanding the importance and sanctity of sworn affidavits is a big ethical issue.

  3. Smt. Irani is currently a Member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. What has she declared on her Rajya Sabha affidavit.

    Her losing the 2004 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections is irrelevant. It is the discrepancy between the 2004 and her Rajya Sabha affidavit that can technically lead to her disqualification.

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