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As Row Over PM’s Degree Resurfaces, Old Hoax Of Delhi CM’s ‘Corporate Quota’ Entrance Into IIT Kharagpur Revived

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim: Arvind Kejriwal did not attend IIT entrance examination, got in through corporate quota

Fact: Reports and RTI responses reveal that Arvind Kejriwal did write the entrance examination for IIT and secured an AIR of 563.

In the wake of a recent Gujarat HC order setting aside an earlier ruling by the CIC asking the Gujarat University to make PM’s degrees public, the controversy over the PM’s educational qualifications has once again resurfaced. While Newschecker has debunked claims regarding the subject, now several users are sharing posts questioning the merit of Delhi CM and AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal. Remember that it was Kejriwal who had earlier moved the Gujarat court seeking clarity on the PM’s educational qualifications in 2016. 

The posts being shared on social media and messenger platforms such as WhatsApp allege that the Delhi CM did not attend the entrance examination mandatory to gain admission into the IIT. It further claims that Kejriwal’s admission in IIT Kharagpur was based on a donation by Jindal group, under the ‘corporate quota’.

Newschecker also received this claim on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044), requesting for it to be fact checked.

As Row Over PM’s Degree Resurfaces, Old Hoax Of Delhi CM’s Corporate Quota Entrance Into IIT Kharagpur Revived

Fact check/Verification

To start with our research, we looked up the keywords “Arvind Kejriwal IIT ranking” on Google and found several reports from 2016 that quoted senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy making similar allegations. 

Redux Of Old Allegations By Subramanian Swamy

An Indian Express report titled “Kejriwal has no IIT rank, he got in through ‘other’ methods: Swamy”, published on June 26, 2016 quoted Swamy citing an RTI reply which said that Kejriwal’s AIR was unavailable, and challenged Kejriwal to explain his entry into the institution.

“According to the RTI reply on Kejriwal’s IIT entrance, it now turns out that Kejriwal did not come through the competitive exams. And you can see from the RTI in the last column that Kejriwal has no rank and that’s a clear sign that he came through some other method,” Swamy was quoted as saying. Swamy further alleged that the institution doled out seats illegally by members of the managing board and that the practice was stopped by 2005.

Other RTIs Present Different Picture

Newschecker then researched further to find more information on Kejriwal’s AIR in IIT entrance exam and found a report on Deccan Herald from July 1, 2016 quoting another RTI response by IIT Kharagpur, revealed that the Delhi CM had secured a ranking of 563. 

“As per available records, Arvind Kumar Kejriwal, Roll Number 8526118 was admitted in B.Tech (H) degree in mechanical engineering through IIT-JEE. All India Rank cards of all admitted candidates for such older session (1985-89) including Arvind Kumar Kejriwal are not traceable…However after in-depth search from admission register, it is found that All India rank of Kejriwal is 563”, the  report quoted the Institute deputy registrar and Public Information Officer Dr. Anathbandhu Patra’s reply. The RTI was reportedly filed by Aishwarya Parashar, a Lucknow based girl, to the Delhi CM’s office, but was redirected to IIT Kharagpur.

Third RTI By Activist Reconfirms Rank

We also found another RTI response by the institution posted on popular discussion forum  Quora, posted by one Abhishek Modak who identified himself as an RTI activist. The RTI response reiterated the same information. We further reached out to Abhishek Modak who confirmed that the RTI request was made by him in 2016 and the response by IIT Kharagpur was genuine. The document posted by Modak also lists out Arvind Kejriwal’s CGPA in the test. 

As Row Over PM’s Degree Resurfaces, Old Hoax Of Delhi CM’s ‘Corporate Quota’ Entrance Into IIT Kharagpur Revived
The RTI response shared on Quora by Abhishek Modak

IIT Kharagpur: There Was No Corporate Quota, Ever

Newschecker further found a fact check published by ABP news on 23 May 2016, quoting the registrar of IIT Kharagpur, clarifying that there was no such quota called ‘corporate quota’ ever in the IIT admission process and that the AAP chief secured a rank of 563. 

Conclusion

The viral claim alleging that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal secured a seat in IIT Kharagpur through a ‘corporate quota’ and that he did not write the entrance test, was found to be false. Reports and RTI responses reveal that Arvind Kejriwal did write the entrance examination for IIT and secured an AIR of 563.

Result: False

Our sources

Report published by Indian Express, dated June 26, 2016
Report published by Deccan Herald, dated July 1, 2016
Report published by ABP news, dated 23 May 2016
RTI response by IIT Kharagpur to Abhishek Modak in August 2016, RTI activist


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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