Pune: The tall claims made by Human Resource Development (MHRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar that there are 80,000 bogus teachers in higher education based on Aadhaar details across the country have fallen flat after a Right to Information (RTI) application revealed that MHRD does not have any consolidated data about the teachers.
The RTI query was filed by Delhi-based activist Anjali Bharadwaj in February this year, after the release of the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) 2017-18. The MHRD had claimed that 80,000 teachers in higher education are bogus.
Interestingly, Javadekar had also stated that this data received by MHRD is 99.9 per cent correct.
Bharadwaj had filed her first RTI application to MHRD demanding names of such teachers, and the names of these colleges/universities where the teachers were employed based on the information provided earlier on January 10. However, MHRD failed to provide the names of bogus teachers or details of institutions where they were employed.
On February 12, MHRD replied to the RTI query stating that the ministry has for the first time collected details of individual teachers of institutions of higher education through the recently concluded AISHE 2016-17 for the Gurujan Portal.
Data of teachers with Aadhaar numbers has been collected in AISHE 2016-17. As per Gurujan (gurujan.gov.in) portal, 85,708 Aadhaar numbers are found to be either duplicate or invalid. These cases would be further verified with UIDAI and the concerned institution before finalising the action to be taken in each case.
While replying to queries regarding names and details of teachers and institutions, MHRD stated that this division has no information to furnish in this regards. Another RTI application was filed by one Amrita Johri, to know about details of an inquiry set up against the bogus teachers and also details of disciplinary action (if any) taken against officials involved in this fraud.
She received the reply on January 18 stating that information sought as per RTI application is not available with the division.
“So far, the MHRD had been claiming that bogus teachers were detected on the basis of Aadhaar details availed from educational institutions during AISHE. However, when asked whether the ministry could provide details of these fake teachers along with their names and institutions, it couldn’t provide any evidence to support the claim,” said Bharadwaj.
“Nevertheless, ministry later stated that there was an error in data entry and Aadhaar numbers entered in the portal were incorrect,” she said. After several questions were raised on what action was taken on the issue of bogus teachers, MHRD had released a clarification denying the fact that no action was taken. ‘All the 80,000 names have been shared with both AICTE and UGC -- the regulators for taking up with the respective institutions and to verify the reasons for incorrect entries. Both the regulators are still on the job since the number of cases is very high. It has also clarified that in this case, an opportunity has been given to institutions to rectify mistakes if any in showing Aadhaar entries and make the correction of AISHE portal.
“The government is misleading us. It first stated that Aadhaar was needed to prevent corruption and act as an identity card for those who did not have any identity document. But to obtain an Aadhaar, the person needs to furnish some identification document. The ministers are simply making statements for the sake of appealing citizens that Aadhaar is relevant for preventing corruption and finding out duplicate people and to promote Aadhaar linking. However, it has no relevance,” said Bharadwaj.