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Information Commissioner, Who Allowed Inspection Of Modi's DU Degree Records, Loses His HRD Portfolio

Something's fishy.

12/01/2017 12:51 PM IST | Updated 12/01/2017 2:12 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
File photo of students at the Delhi University College in the North Campus.

Correction: The earlier headline erroneously suggested that M S Acharyulu is an HRD official. The error is regretted.

M S Acharyulu, the Information Commissioner who allowed the inspection of the Delhi University's 1978 BA degree records, has lost his portfolio in the Human Resources Development Ministry.

According to Indian Express report, two days after Acharyulu's order was made public, the position was taken away from him. Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the university, had got his degree in that same year.

Reports suggest that another Information Commissioner Manjula Parashar will take the position that was being held by Acharyulu. All complaints and appeals related to HRD Ministry will now be looked into by Parashar.

Last year, the Delhi university had denied these records to an RTI applicant, saying that it was the "personal information of the students concerned, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest".

The RTI applicant Neeraj had sought to know from the University the total number of students who appeared in Bachelor of Arts, Year 1978, besides result of all students who appeared in the examination along with their roll number, name of the students with father's name, marks and result pass or failed.

On December 21, Acharyulu had ordered inspection of DU degree records of 1978.

Acharyulu said, "With regard to question whether disclosure of such identification related information causes invasion of privacy, or is that unwarranted invasion of privacy, the PIO has not put forward any evidence or explained possibility to show that disclosure of degree related information infringes the privacy or causes unwarranted invasion of privacy".

The issue of 1978's DU degree records cropped up after Aam Aadmi Party had raised questions about the degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering a controversy.

Following the row, Delhi University Registrar Tarun Das had clarified that Modi's degree is authentic. "We have checked our records and it has been authenticated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's degree is authentic. He cleared the examination in 1978 and was awarded the degree in 1979," he said.

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