HRD Minister Smriti Irani elucidate on Yale degree row: It’s a certificate

Being mocked for saying at India Today Woman Summit that she received a degree from Yale University for a short leadership course for MPs, HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Monday said she was misunderstood.

“Unfortunate that statement re my participation in a leadership program & certificate thereafter was misconstrued,” she tweeted.

Answering a query at the event on August 9, Irani quipped that though people think her as illiterate, she does have a degree from Yale, which she can bring out and show how “Yale celebrated” her “leadership qualities.”

The remark drew criticism from Opposition parties, who said a six-day course at a university does not lead to a degree.

She was also mocked at on Twitter, Yale being most trending topic on August 11.


Madhu Kishwar, editor of women’s magazine Manushi and a fierce critic of Irani, had said on Twitter on Sunday that novices, not leaders, are invited for leadership training.

“What d’you do with HRD Minister who doesn’t know difference between univ degree & certificate issued to student for titsy-bitsy 6 day course. If u are seen as serious leader u r invited to US universities to lecture. But if u are seen as novice, they invite u to leadership training!” she tweeted.

“If Govt thinks its MPs or IAS not well trained, it shd invite faculty to lecture them in India–not let MPs/IAS go to US univs at US expense. “Study” trips at foreign govts/donor agencies expense-standard tecnique thru which US/ EU govts enroll our MPs,NGOs to serve their interests,” she tweeted.



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