02 Jun 2019
Smriti Irani 2.0: New HRD Minister Pokhriyal's degrees also fake?
After the infamous web of lies that was BJP MP Smriti Irani's fake degree row- who also once held the position of HRD Minister- it seems Pokhriyal's honorary doctorates and D.Litts are also not as legit as you think.
University that awarded Pokhriyal honorary doctorates not registered
However, as an India Today report has revealed, the Open International University (OIU) of Colombo is not registered as a foreign university, and is not even a registered domestic university in Sri Lanka, as per the University Grants Commission of the country.
The report adds that an RTI was filed last year about Pokhriyal's educational qualifications, however, the response had incomplete information.
Two fake degrees and two dates of birth?
That's not all! Apparently, Pokhriyal's date of birth is also questionable as the one listed on his CV doesn't match the one on his passport.
The report revealed that, as per Pokhriyal's CV, he was born on August 15, 1959, however, his passport lists his date of birth as July 15, 1959.
The inconsistency is backed by the Uttarakhand state website, the report added.
Here's the explanation that Pokhriyal offered
Addressing the new discoveries, the Minister's office, released a statement on Saturday, denying the claims. It was said that the discrepancy is the result of different dates on school certificates, and as per Hindu horoscopes.
"As far as my two different dates of birth are concerned, they are different in my Hindu horoscope and school certificate," Pokhriyal told India Today.
Pokhriyal has also made unscientific claims in the past
Ever since Pokhriyal's appointment, his old controversial statements, where he made unscientific claims have once again come to the fore. He had reportedly claimed that astrology takes precedence over science.
In 2014, he had said, "Lakhs of years ago, Sage Kanad had conducted a nuclear test."
He had also supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's views on Hindu God Ganesha's "plastic surgery."
Pokhriyal not the first HRD Minister with fake degree controversy
Notably, Smriti Irani- who holds the Ministries of Women and Child Development, and Textiles- had earlier claimed she had a Yale degree, which was later revealed to be a 6-day training program.
She had also submitted contradictory documents while filing nomination from Amethi; one claiming she was a graduate, another listing her as 12th pass.
Irani served as HRD Minister from 2014 to 2016.
These are the degrees Pokhriyal claims to have
Pokhriyal has been awarded two honorary doctorates by the Sri Lanka-based International Open University in Colombo. Back in the 90s, he received a D.Litt. for his contribution in Literature and reportedly was awarded another D.Litt a few years ago in Science.
'Never taken wrongful benefit of different dates of birth'
"This is generally the case with almost with everyone who has a Hindu horoscope where the date of birth is based on the Hindu calendar. I've never bothered about it as I've never taken any undue or wrongful benefit of these different dates of birth."