With every profession becoming more and more competitive, educational qualification has become vital in shaping the career of most people, except politicians.
Politics is one area where educational qualifications don’t seem to matter much, until recently when questions regarding the Prime Minister’s educational qualification, among various other leaders, made headlines.
While there are numerous debates on what should be the minimum education level of a politician, the India Today Data Intelligence Unit has analysed the educational qualification of candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha election (till phase six) and found out that this time around 48 per cent candidates have at least a graduate degree.
For the analysis, we divided educational qualifications into two parts, candidates with higher education (graduate and above) and literate candidates who have completed schooling. Here is how political parties have fared.
MOST ‘PADHI LIKHI PARTY’ IS
Most of the political parties that made it to the top of our list are regional parties, with the first five spots going to parties from southern India.
With 88% candidates having a graduate degree at least, YSR Congress Party of Andhra Pradesh is the party with the most educated contestants in the current Lok Sabha elections.
The Tamil Nadu-based Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam stood at number two with 87.5 percent candidates attaining higher education, followed by its rival the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with 86.4 percent, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) of Telangana with 82.4 per cent and Naam Tamilar Katchi of Tamil Nadu with 80 per cent.
Among the big parties contesting this time, the Indian National Congress has 75.7 percent candidates who have attained higher education followed by the Trinamool Congress (74.5%), Biju Janata Dal (71.4%), Aam Aadmi Party (71.4%) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (70.8%).
Hardly 52.5% of the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj party have attained higher education, while only 38 % independent candidates are graduates.
BEST & WORST CONSTITUENCIES
While the national average of candidates who have graduated from college is 48 percent, the DIU has found five such constituencies where all the contestants have attained higher education –Srikakulam (Andhra Pradesh), Balangir (Odisha), South Goa (Goa), Nabarangpur (Odisha) and Nagaland (Nagaland).
The seat with the least percentage of graduate candidates is Maharashtra’s Raigad. Of the 15 contestants fighting for this seat, only one — Prakash Sakharam Kalke of Bhartiya Kisan Party – has a Postgraduate degree while the majority of them have only studied till class 10.
Following Raigad are two constituencies from Gujarat, Bharuch and Surendranagar with 12% and 13% candidates, respectively. Darbhanga in Bihar (13%), Sundargarh( 13) in Odisha and Kheda of Gujarat also appear at the bottom.
Around 46 percent of the total candidates were literate or had attended school. With 11 such candidates, BSP had the highest number of people who had attended school till class five only, followed by BJP whose 5 candidates (1 per cent) had studied till class five only. The INC had 2 such candidates.
ILLITERACY A MINUTE NUMBER
The DIU also found that the number of illiterate candidates contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is low. Hardly 2 per cent of the candidates (till the sixth phase) were illiterate.
There are 139 illiterate candidates contesting the election till the sixth phase, out of which 111 are independent, with BJP, BSP, AAP and DMK having one illiterate candidate each.
The illiterate candidates launched by these parties are Sofi Yousof from Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir (BJP), Mustukim from Sambalpur, Odisha (BSP), Velusamy P from Dindigul, Tamil Nadu (DMK), and Bhawani Singh from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (AAP).