Guwahati: What should be the minimum qualification for a public representative? The question has been debated many times, particularly in reference to Indian politics. The debate on educational qualification in India has also involved credentials of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union textiles minister Smriti Irani in the past. Controversy over this has also shrouded AICC leader Rahul Gandhi.
As Assam is going to elections in the next two months time, let's take a look at the educational qualification of the members in the outgoing assembly.
According to the analysis of the Assam Election Watch, there are three doctors (MBBS and above) in the outgoing Assam assembly and two PhD degree holders, there is one legislator who has education till class V (5th standard) only.
The doctors included Ranoj Pegu (Dhemaji), Nazrul Islam (Lahorighat) and Numal Momin (Bokajan) while the one with the lowest educational qualification - Class V is Jamal Uddin Ahmed (Badarpur). Those with PhD includes Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (Jalukbari) and Rafiqul Islam (Jania).
There are also two legislators who have educational qualification till Class VIII (8th standard only), which includes Aziz Ahmed Khan (Karimganj South) and Nizam Uddin Choudhury (Algapur).
The Assam Election Watch report further said that there are 38 graduates and 25 postgraduates in the outgoing assembly followed by 20 legislators who had passed Class XII (12th standard) followed by 21, who had completed only Class X (10th standard).
The Assam Election Watch has prepared the report based on the affidavits submitted by the MLAs in the 2016 assembly polls.
Giving the statistics, the report said that 44 (37 per cent) MLAs have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass while 74 (62 per cent) MLAs have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above. There is one MLA who is a Diploma Holder.
Giving the party-wise statistics, the report said that 43 per cent of AIUDF MLAs (6 out of 14), 41 per cent of BJP MLAs (24 out of 59), 35 per cent of Congress MLAs (7 out of 20), 33 per cent of BPF MLAs (4 out of 12) and 15 per cent AGP MLAs (2 out of 13) have qualification between 5th Pass and 12th Pass.