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How qualified is Goa education minister?

Goa's lawmakers were caught faking educational details in their affidavits filed before the Election Commission, reports Mayabhushan Nagvenkar.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2008 23:39 IST
Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

On the verge of announcing its new 'holistic' state education policy, the Goa government has come in for a major embarrassment.

Its lawmakers were caught faking educational details in their affidavits filed before the Election Commission.

A vigilante group in the state brought to light Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte's misinformation while taking oath, Dilip Parulekar, the BJP MLA from Saligao has allegedly furnished fake details on oath.

Nationalist Congress Party state president Wilfred De Souza has demanded Parulekar's resignation for furnishing the fake details.

De Souza claimed that documents sourced by him under the Right to Information (RTI) Act prove that Parulekar could not have secured a B.Com degree from Goa University (GU) in 1988, as stated in his affidavit.

De Souza told the media that GU "did not conduct Third Year B.Com examinations in 1988. In fact, GU's first batch passed out in 1989."

Quoting RTI documents, he said Parulekar did appear for a First Year B.Com course in 1985-86 but failed twice.

De Souza, who was defeated by Parulekar in the last assembly polls, claims his next pit stop is the Election Commission of India, where he would file an official complaint.

When contacted, Parulekar feigned ignorance. "I do not know anything. I have not received any intimation from any authority," he told HT recently.

Earlier, Utt Goenkara, a vigilant group had with the help of documents from Bandra's St Thereza School shown how Monserrate had 'upgraded' his educational qualification in the affidavit filed before the Election Commission to Secondary School Certificate when in effect he had only cleared STD VIII at that school.

Aires Roderigues, spokesperson for Utt Goenkara, claims that these two legislators were not the end of the story. "There is a discrepancy in the information given by two other ministers on the Goa government's official website and in the affidavits filed by them. We are looking it up," he said.