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Smriti Irani's educational qualification row: Does a superior degree necessitate better performance?
Many people were bewildered when Smriti Irani was handed such a crucial portfolio - HRD Minister in the newly formed NDA government. And when Madhu Kishwar a journalist and an women rights activist, self proclaimed stern supporter of Modi in recent past tweeted against the selection along with veteran Congress leader Ajay Maken’s jibe, it was bound to storm a controversy.

But, is it fair to target Ms. Irani and single out only one department (HRD) especially when India houses a number of undergraduate ministers in our parliament. In fact our constitution also doesn't assign any academic background for a person to become a public representative. So, any person can become a Member of Parliament. In this way, any one can become a prime minister or a minister. So nothing stops Ms. Irani to become a minister of an important portfolio irrespective of her educational background.

Competence, expertise and intent with flair of vision and imagination are what we look for in a person to head a vital position such as HRD ministry. Smriti Irani is an astute selection for the same because she is young, well articulate with excellent leadership skill with dynamic personality. 

Does a superior degree necessitate better performance? Then how come Kapil Sibal was a disaster as the HRD minister. Let’s not mention our last PM, Man Mohan Singh who was literally lethal to the country, irrespective of high degrees and honesty, which couldn’t assign some courage to himself to voice against the wrong policies of UPA-II. Furthermore given the condition of primary education in our country at present, we can better understand what good a Ph. D person can do when it comes to ground level.

Moreover to criticize any person only on the basis of his/her education is what I feel against the basic tenets of education itself. Competency and an honest intention does not come up with a paper degree. We must not forget that history has enough testimony of personalities who without any paper degree have done wonders be it in any field - from science to political science.

However, I must say it has not gone very well with some part of civil society also. As we have already seen academicians, who opinions are also divided on this issue in an article titled “Academicians' divided opinion on Smriti Irani's appointment as HRD minister” published on this platform yesterday.

Frankly speaking many of my friends have also expressed apprehensions on this issue and I think there is some merit in their apprehensions. It is the typical mindset that prevails in Indian households that without a paper degree nothing can be achieved. Without an educational certificate our resumes are not even considered, then how can one prove his/her ability when there is no scope for the same? I expect that there will be a change in this kind of stance.

As of now, education is thought to be what we learn in institutions such as schools, colleges or Universities, which is proved by paper. But what about the institution called life? Life teaches the most essential things that we need to explore our potentials.

When her friends and peers were getting educated in colleges, Smriti Irani was toiling on the ground and learning with experience.

Let’s not forget that when Ekta Kapoor spotted her for the role of Tulsi for her project ''Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, she was not an actor at all nor had any degree of acting. But soon she became a name in every household in India with her acting talent. Let’s expect the same from her as she will surely explore herself with the given opportunity as history has a typical tendency of repeating itself.

However, one needs to take note as it must be for the first time that Indian politicians are discussing about the educational qualification of the ministers. Indians are asserting their opinions on the same thanks to social media. Had we pondered over it earlier, we could have had a better India. Well better late than never. Are these are the things to surface in the future?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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