In India, huge controversy was created by some politicians regarding portfolio allocation to Mrs. Smriti Irani, as the Minister of the Human Resources Department in Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s cabinet. This controversy raised an important question of public importance, which is:
“Whether, for the holding of the post of Minister in the Central or State Governments, a person requires a basic minimum educational qualification?”
In this regard, the below-mentioned aspects must be taken into considerations:
- The Constitution of India never imposes any condition regarding any educational qualification for being a Minister in Central or State Government or even a Member of the cabinet. Article 75 of the Constitution only requires that a Minister shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Clause (5) of the Article imposes a condition that a Minister who, for the period of six consecutive months, is not a member of either Houses of the Parliament shall, at the expiration of that period, cease to be Minister.
- In the practical sense, any higher, technical or other specific educational qualification is not required for the holding of post of a Minister. It is because Ministers are not required to do any work which requires any technical specialisation. The Ministers have the team of expert bureaucrats and learned Government advocates in their advisory council. The Ministers are not supposed to be highly qualified in the field of law and legislature. They are the representatives of public. Their decisions must be based on good conscience and in larger public interest. For these abilities, a person is not required to be highly educated.
- In the case of Mrs. Irani, it is well known that she is a TV artist. She has been associated with the field of performing arts, which includes drama and acting in her case. An artist is not debarred or disqualified from holding a post of Minister. Par contra, an artist is highly connected with the society and socio-economic problems of the society.
Accordingly, the question can be answered that the holding of the post of a Minister in the Central or State Governments, a person does not require any specific educational qualification.
Resultantly, the controversy regarding the qualification of Mrs. Irani holding the post of the Minister of the Human Resource Department in the Government of India, was completely uncalled for and malicious; also liable to be discarded.