Jharkhand HRD minister applies for admission to Class 11
The 53-year-old minister is resuming his education after almost 25 years.
Jharkhand human resource development (HRD) minister Jagarnath Mahto applied for admission to Class 11 at Devi Mahto Inter College, Nawadih, a government affiliated inter college, in Bokaro district on Monday.
Fifty three-year-old Mahto is resuming his education after almost 25 years. He had passed matriculation (Class 10) examinations in 1995.
The minister has been facing criticism, not only from the common people but also from a section of elected members, for his educational qualification ever since he was elevated to the post of the HRD minister of Jharkhand.
“Constant criticism inspired me to restart my pending education. Ever since I was made the education minister of Jharkhand, a section of people has been critical of my educational qualification. Therefore, I decided to begin my studies again,” the minister said.
A legislator from Dumri assembly constituency in Giridih district, Mahto said, “I will now carry on my education while continuing my work in the education department.”
The minister will pursue Arts stream. Talking about his subjects, he said, “I am a politician. So, the subject of political science will be there for sure. I will choose rest of the subjects soon.”
When asked how will he strike a balance between the ministry work and regular classes, “Let me get the admission first. I have just applied for admission on Monday. Thereafter, I will think about striking a balance,” he said.
The minister said he had wished to pursue higher education and he was going to fulfil it. When asked if he also wishes to graduate in the future, he replied, “My first target is to clear the intermediate examinations. Then, I will think about graduation,” he said.
Mahto is not the only minister in Jharkhand who has a qualification of matriculation. Four more ministers in the state Cabinet- Banna Gupta, health minister, Champai Soren, transport minister, Joba Manjhi, social welfare minister and Satyanand Bhokta, labour minister- have declared their education qualification to be Class 10 pass in their affidavits for the 2019 Jharkhand Assembly polls, according to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Of the 11 ministers in the current JMM+Congress-led government, eight ministers, including chief minister Hemant Soren, have declared their educational qualification to be between eighth and 12th pass, while three have declared being graduates and above, according to the ADR.
As per the ADR report, out of 81 legislators elected to the Jharkhand Assembly in past elections, 30 MLAs have declared their qualification between eighth and 12th pass, while 49 legislators have claimed of being graduates and above.
One MLA has declared himself to be literate, while one legislator is a diploma holder.