Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, who had earlier this week ordered the Delhi University to allow inspection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualifications, has lost his responsibility for the ministry of HRD.
According to a report by Indian Express, the order issued on Tuesday evening said that all complaints and appeals related to HRD Ministry will now be looked into by another Information Commissioner Manjula Parashar.
Modi’s degree has been an enigma for quite some time. While his party said that the prime minister had passed his BA exams in 1978 from the Delhi University, they failed to produce credible evidence to substantiate their claims.
The Central Information Commission on 8 January had directed Delhi University to allow inspection of records related to all the students who had passed BA degree in 1978, the year in which, according to the University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cleared the examination.
The Commission rejected the contention of the Central Public Information Officer of the University that it was a third party personal information, saying it finds “neither merit nor legality” in it.
It directed the university “to facilitate inspection of relevant register where complete information about result of all students who passed in Bachelor of Arts, 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, free of cost….”
RTI applicant Neeraj had sought to know from the University the total number of students who appeared in Bachelor of Arts, Year 1978, besides result of all students who appeared in the examination along with their roll number, name of the students with father’s name, marks and result pass or failed.
Last year, Acharyulu had directed the Prime Minister’s Office to provide “specific number and year” of the degrees of Prime Minister to his alma mater– Delhi University and Gujarat University– to make it easy for them to locate these records.
He had said, “The educational qualifications related information about public authority or public servant or political leader occupying constitutional position is not hit by any exception under Section 8 of RTI Act. It cannot be stated as personal or private information.”
Aam Aadmi Party in particular has consistently been pressing for Modi’s degrees to be made public.
Faced with widespread embarrassment, the BJP had taken an extraordinary step last year when both the party president, Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had held a press conference to flash what they claimed were copies of Modi’s degress.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had described the copies of the prime minister’s degrees published in newspapers forged.