Mumbai, June 23: After some members of the Aam Aadmi Party were embroiled into the controversy of possessing fake education degrees, now, Maharashtra'a education minister Vinod Tawde is facing the heat, over the same issue.
According to reports, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam on Monday, June 22, accused Tawde of possessing fake engineering degree from an unrecognised university, that is not affiliated to the UGC or AICTE.
Nirupam also demanded Tawde's resignation on moral grounds.
However, Tawde, on Monday, had clarified that he obtained engineering degree from a Pune institute in 1984 and his degree is not bogus.
"I am a student of Pune's Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth and I am proud of it. I have never hidden the degree I obtained from that university," Tawde told reporters.
"A bridge course was started at the Vidyapeeth with the objective of imparting practical experience to students along with theoretical knowledge. I took admission to the course in 1980 and passed out in 1984. The course comprised part-time education and part-time internship," Tawde said.
"Students were told while seeking admission that the course is not recognised by the government. I knew it and accepted it," the minister said.
After Manohar Joshi became the Vidyapeeth's chancellor, his rival went to court and the court banned the course, he said.
"I have never enrolled as member of the graduates constituency (in state elections). Other than this course, I have studied till 12th class and I have never hidden that. Even in my poll affidavit, I have mentioned all aspects of my education and places where I studied," Tawde said.
"Had I mentioned that I did a course from Mumbai University, Pune University or Shivaji University, that would have amounted to cheating. But I did not do such a thing," Tawde said.
"The Dyaneshwar Vidyapeeth course had the perfect balance of education and (work) experience. Today, everyone favours that concept, which Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth implemented in 1980," the minister said. [Shopkeepers should speak in Marathi, says Maha Minister Vinod Tawde]
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, has demanded Tawde's resignation over his "fake" degree.
While talking to Mumbai Mirror, Arun Kudale, who runs the institute, said, "Dyaneshwar Vidyapeeth was instituted in the year 1980, Tawde was a student of the first batch of this institute and passed out in the year 1984.
"The then CM Manohar Joshi had tried to unsuccessfully to approve the institute. After the high court decision, the institute had stopped giving admissions in 2008. There was no duping of any sort."
Few days back, Maharashtra minister Babanrao Lonikar was also accused of holding a fake degree. [AAP dares govt to arrest Maha minister on fake degree charge]
(With PTI inputs)