16/06/2016 3:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

Maharashtra Education Minister Puts His Photo On Class X Certificates

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
MUMBAI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 23: (R- L) BJP Leader Vinod Tawde and Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut addressing press after the BJP-Sena executive committee meeting at Dadar on September 23, 2014 in Mumbai, India. Both parties said that they were firm on continuing the alliance as they resumed the deadlocked seat-sharing talks for Maharashtra Assembly polls. (Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Class X students in Maharashtra, along with their parents and teachers, were taken aback when they received a separate certificate for having passed their Kalchachni or the recently-introduced vocational guidance and selection test, which bore a photo of the Maharashtra Education Minister, Vinod Tawde, along with a brief message by him.

The certificates were distributed along with the original SSC mark sheets.

According to Mid-Day, with this novel idea of his, BJP's Tawde managed to reach out to over 13 lakh households across Maharashtra.

Teachers and other professionals associated with educational institutions in Maharashtra called the move a "publicity gimmick".

A school's trustee told The Times of India, "The Kalchachni certificate mentions the student's name, roll number and suggests a field suitable to his/her aptitude. What is the need for Tawde's photograph there? This is completely unacceptable and it seems to be a self-promotion campaign."

My photo has been printed with my quote and this is called direct and effective communication with students.

Bunty Shelke, Nagpur's Youth Congress leader, said, "If a photo had to be there on the certificate then it should be of the student. We will demand answers from the education board on how such a thing has been allowed."

However, an unrepentant Tawde said: "First of all, it is not a mark sheet, it's a certificate. My photo has been printed with my quote and this is called direct and effective communication with students. The aptitude test is a good initiative which is helping the kids and the Congress could never think of anything like this for years. It is sad that rather than appreciating something positive, they are making an issue out of it."

The Kalchchni certificate does not need to be presented during admission to colleges. It is meant as a guide for the students which they may or may not consider in their final decision when deciding on a stream for junior college, reported TOI.