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Literacy shocks
Education needed in Lok Sabha

Education is a universal right, an invaluable lifelong asset; but the same does not apparently apply to those who are responsible for its spread across India. In the Lok Sabha, education appears to be inversely proportional to money and muscle power. There are 132 MPs who could not attain their first degree, but are better off than the degree holders, with average assets of Rs.20 million as against Rs.14 million for the latter. They even surpass graduates in their past endeavours – around 30% of the semi-educated MPs (undergraduates or even less than that) are involved in criminal cases as against 21% educated ones. (It is worth mentioning that the top 5 MPs with highest asset values do not have any criminal cases against them. N. Nageswara Rao from Khammam leads with an asset value of Rs.1.73 billion, followed by Navin Jindal from Kurukshetra with Rs.1.31 billion and L. Rajagopal from Vijaywada with Rs.1.22 billion).

The total assets of all MPs combined is valued at Rs.8.78 billion, excluding the value of cars they posses. The average net worth of our MPs is valued at Rs.16.4 million while in the non SC/ST category, it rises up to Rs.20 million. Over 27% of them have assets more than Rs.10 million, and an enormous 50% have more than Rs.5 million. Quite understandably, the ruling Congress Party has the highest percentage of MPs exceeding Rs.10 million of assets (45% of the crorepati MPs come from Congress; their representation in the Lok Sabha is 30%), and 52% of the total assets combined are owned by them. The per capita assets of the less educated MPs sums up to Rs.19.3 million compared to Rs.13.7 million for MPs with better educational qualifications. Coming back to education, the literacy level of our MPs has improved over time as now 75% of our MPs are graduates, but there are 6% still who are not even matriculates.

This is not to say that the uneducated should not be allowed into Parliament. But to say that the education system was supposed to make better individuals out of human beings; and if MPs are supposed to run this country, it would not be a bad idea to force uneducated MPs to undertake open school education.

By:- Sayan Ghosh

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