Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde today said the engineering "degree" he obtained from a Pune institute in 1984 is not bogus as claimed by a television news channel.
The minister's clarification came after media reports that his BE Electronics "degree" was fake.
The Congress on Monday demanded the resignation of Maharashtra's education minister Vinod Tawde for declaring himself an engineering graduate, even though the university from which he got his degree is unrecognised.
Taking note of a story by a Marathi news channel, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam called for Tawde’s arrest for submitting a false affidavit to the Election Commission.
“Tawde’s degree is false and the institution he went to was not recognised. What example will he set for students,” Nirupam asked. Tawde’s affidavit stated that he received his BE (Electronics) degree from the Sant Dnyaneshwar University, Pune. He admitted that the institution is not affiliated to the University Grant Commission or the All India Council for Technical Education.
Also, the Bombay high court had in 2005 ruled the university did not have the right to award degrees.
According to Tawde, he was aware that the course was unrecognised. “It was more of a practical-based course, where we had 15 days of theory and 15 days of internship,” Tawde had said. “I have not hidden anything. I have never availed of benefits for graduates or enrolled myself as a voter in the graduates’ constituency,” 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.
(With PTI inputs)