Smriti as HRD Minister divides academics

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Smriti Irani
New Delhi, June 6: Now that the newly appointed Smriti Irani is taking baby steps toward development in education, Ajay Maken from the opposition and many like him may give themselves some rest.

Well, that is not the end yet. The controversy did divide the nation and the elite academicians over the issue and the debate refuses to die down. True that the Indian government has no specific educational eligibility for a person to become the Member of the Parliament and there is nothing to stop one from becoming a minister, Smriti's appointment can be seen as a bantering of an insecured 'opposition'.

However, its not just them, but also acedemicians who see this with mixed feelings. While there are many who believe HRD should be headed by someone who is academically sound, there are others who still agree that its the work that matters the most.

Here are some views (courtesy merinews):

Devashish Sarkar, General Secretary of West Bengal Government Teachers Association: "Theoretically it is true that, you can elect any person as a minister, but technically if you pursue into it, an education minister has to deal with the IIT's, IIM's and Universities where the faculty holds a post graduate degree, so where will she stand amidst them. The HRD minister is one who needs to pull the Human Resources and should have the ability to develop it. If incidentally you are not a benchmark, then how are you going to pull the ministry forward."

Deputy Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan: "if an education minister is not well educated then how can he/she guide the directors of IIT's and IIM's and Vice Chancellors of University and the IAS and IPS who are associated with the ministry. She might even feel inferior, while sitting amidst the educated lot"

Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Chemistry professor at Kolkata's Jadavpur University: Saying Smriti is not the right choice of the new government, he said,"Regarding Education System, she is not the right choice. Primary education, secondary education, universities, IIT's and IIM's everything comes under the similar umbrella that is HRD ministry. And a person who is not even a graduate, is not really fit for this post."

Dr Acharya, an ex Kendriya Vidyalaya principal: "In view of her performance in Miss India and soap operas, I feel she is a very intelligent and creative lady, for taking up charge as a education minister, it is not necessary to have paper degree."

Dr Lalit Kishore, ex Kendriya Vidyalaya principal: He came up with a unique logic to support Smriti,"A person who is not well educated can be a good critic, so Smriti Irani is the best person for this portfolio. Smriti Irani, may not be a graduate, but I feel that such people are more unconditioned and creative and have a different and a better view."

Advocate Ashok Agarwal: Champion in filing and fighting cases related to violation of right to Education norms, he supported Smriti as the HRD minister, saying,"a minister's job is to give direction and ideas and there are designated officials who implement the ideas. I don't agree with the comments of Madhu Kishwar and Ajay Maken. People can learn with time. A good judge may not be a good lawyer, a good lawyer may not be a good judge. Smriti Irani can manage her portfolio efficiently."

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