Published: 09th October 2020
Do politicians really need to be graduates to run a government efficiently?
How would you like your mantri to be? Well-educated or even half-literate will do? Because this has been a topic of discussion for some time now. Does one need to have been to college to be a good MP?
It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.
George E MacDonald, Scottish author, poet and minister
Blind leading the blind, is an old saying. So, there are safeguards. Teachers have to have their specialised degrees and higher qualifications, up to completing their doctorate. Yet, in politics, some lead without proper educational qualifications. Also, it happens that constitutional or legal qualifications are not prescribed for netas and mantris. But first, the facts as reported by Pushkar Bhaskar in The New Indian Express (17/9/20) and excerpted here.
An analysis of the academic credentials of ministers throws up some surprising numbers. It shows that 40 per cent of all ministers are educated only up to school level and throws up some surprising numbers. Kerala, which has the highest literacy rate in India, has over 30 per cent of its Cabinet comprising ministers who have discontinued education after school while 42 per cent of them are graduates and only two per cent hold a doctorate.
In contrast, Uttar Pradesh, whose literacy rate hovers around 70%, lesser than the national average of 74%, has nine per cent of its 44-member Cabinet who hold doctorates, while only 15 per cent of the ministers have listed schooling alone as their education. The percentage of graduate ministers, about 46%, is also higher than that of Kerala. States like Delhi and Uttarakhand have highly educated ministers. Of the Cabinet of the Kejriwal-led government, 71% ministers are graduates and the remaining are postgraduates. Uttarakhand, on the other hand, has 90 per cent of its Cabinet comprising graduates and the remaining 10 per cent are postgraduates.
The Union Cabinet, with a strength of 56, has 14.2% of ministers who have just completed their schooling while more than half have listed their highest level of education as graduate. Around 27% of the ministers are post-graduates while 8% are doctorates.
The bottom line is: Should we be ruled by illiterate or half-literate mantris?