Part 2: Congress shares alibi but Cambridge repeats Rahul not visiting fellow

The second reply from Cambridge to the New Indian came on Saturday after the Congress party suggested that the Twitter handle belonging to Judge Business School, a part of Cambridge university, had used the same title for Rahul. Cambridge said that they had to shorten the tweet due to limited characters.

| Updated: 01 April, 2023 11:01 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday responded to The New Indian’s story regarding Rahul Gandhi’s status as just an “honorary non-visiting fellow” at the prestigious Cambridge University, saying that the Cambridge Judge Business School (JBS) had also introduced him with the same position in their February 28, 2023 tweet ahead of the leader’s visit but Cambridge was quick to hint at the deceptive status being used for the MP in public.

In yet another communication, the Cambridge responded to the New Indian’s second query pointing towards the inadvertent error or discrepancy in either the February 28 tweet by their sister Twitter handle (tweet photo below) or the two tweets by the Congress party, dated February 16 and March 2.

(Second reply from Cambridge to the New Indian attached below)

The second reply from Cambridge to the New Indian came on Saturday after the Congress party suggested that the Twitter handle belonging to Judge Business School, a part of Cambridge university, had used the same title for Rahul. Cambridge said that they had to shorten the tweet due to limited characters.

As a response to The New Indian’s story challenging Rahul Gandhi’s status as a visiting fellow at Cambridge, Congress shared this Cambridge Judge tweet where JBS’ official handle used the same position to title to him“I am from the University communications team and have picked this up. Rahul Gandhi (is) an honorary fellow and should be described as such. He does not spend time at the JBS using a workspace etc, hence he is non-visiting. Best wishes Matthew,” the latest reply from Cambridge University to the New Indian reporter said on Saturday.

JBS defines a fellow as “someone who makes a significant contribution to the Business School – whether that be through collaborative research with Cambridge Judge faculty, teaching or an executive education programme”.

It’s still not clear if Rahul after completing his MPhil from Cambridge has completed or submitted any substantive research in finance at the JBS or contributed to its teaching or education programme.

The New Indian on Saturday had disclosed another communication from the Cambridge University in which the top UK academic institution said that Rahul’s presence and address at the JBS was just as an honorary fellow and not a visiting fellow — a more prestigious position often used to address students or faculties from across the world inside the campus.

(Link to the previous story and earlier communication posted below)

EXPOSED | Congress lied that Rahul Gandhi is Cambridge University Visiting Fellow — Documents 

 

The mail was sent on March 31 by The New Indian to Information Compliance Office of Cambridge University

Cambridge, however, did not comment if they would remove the erroneous tweet by the JBS handle or inform the Congress on their stand on the definition of an honorary visiting fellow for Rahul.

“No. That’s the nature of social media. Sometimes you have to shorten things because of limited characters. Please don’t make spurious accusations. Best wishes, Matt,” said the reply from Cambridge.

This explanation, that may be read as inadequate or juvenile by academic puritans, as Twitter in its earlier avatar, even in February, accommodated 280 characters and had already rolled out Twitter Blue subscription that allows longer descriptive posts.

In response to The New Indian’s story challenging Gandhi’s status as a visiting fellow, members of the Congress party shared this tweet JBS also uses the same title for the leader

Earlier in the day, during a press conference, in response to the controversy, Jairam Ramesh, the Congress MP and head of the party’s communication wing, dismissed the revelation as a non-issue.

Congress claimed that Rahul Gandhi is a visiting fellow at Cambridge JBS in two separate tweets – one on Feb 16 and another March 2- the day of his lecture

Senior party leaders in the Congress said it did not matter whether Rahul was a visiting or a honorary non-visiting fellow at the prestigious institution and that he would continue to hold addresses at the UK varsity future.

Questions have also been raised about Rahul’s eligibility as a fellow since the other honorary 16 such fellows with Finance as majors listed alongside him have shown several years of experience of research and submitted/published papers.

 

 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) gives a general right of access to recorded information held by public bodies such as Cambridge University Press & Assessment (’Cambridge’). This information accessed by our UK-based source highlights that Rahul Gandhi is not eligible to be a Visiting Fellow

The New Indian had disclosed this in its previous story, at least four such instances, including another Indian Dr Robin Chatterjee, a Phd in Economics, with his post doctoral work encompassing in the economics faculty.

Sources in the Congress continued to point out to the JBS tweet, saying even if they accept Cambridge’s response that he is an honorary non-visiting fellow, the university’s sister organization had tweeted the same/

The issue however triggered sharp reactions from politicians, with BJP leaders escalating their attack on the Congress for allegedly lying about Rahul’s educational credentials.

“Priyanka Vadra lied about Rahul Gandhi having a Harvard degree. Congress said that Rahul Gandhi was a “visiting fellow” at Cambridge. Now Cambridge University refutes the bogus claim. What is this desperation in the Congress to prove that he is ready?,” tweeted BJP IT-cell chief Amit Malviya while responding to the disclosures in the New Indian story.

“First disqualified for anti OBC remark & now pumping up credentials that don’t exist? Not the first time lies have been peddled by the ecosystem & Congress – They did the same on Rafale, on SC about Chowkidar Chor hai; several other issues !” tBJP national spokesperson Shehzaad Poonawalla said.

There have been doubts raised about Rahul’s academic qualifications over the last two decade even as the Opposition has now begun to mount attack on Prime minister Narendra Modi to prove his bachelor and master’s degrees, that BJP sees as an attempt to buttress the vanity and affluence of Gandhi dynasty by making towering claims of bigger and prestigious degrees to slam the modest qualifications held by the Gujarat strongman.

On March 26, Priyanka Gandhi had, however attacked the BJP said that despite being mocked as Pappu by the BJP, he has degrees from top institutions like Harvard and Cambridge.

Priyanka claimed that her brother has an M.Phil in Economics from Cambridge. However, as per Rahul’s election affidavit, he has an M Phil in Development Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge, and not Economics.

A similar controversy had erupted in late 2000s when Cambridge had sent a letter to Rahul in 2009, from the the then vice-chancellor of Trinity College, Prof Alison Richard, that said that he was a student there from October 1994 to July 1995 and was awarded the MPhil in Development Studies degree in 1995.

Rahul Gandhi visited Cambridge Judge Business School in February-March to deliver a lecture on “The Art of Listening in 21st Century,” during which he claimed that Indian democracy was under attack and the Opposition was being surveilled. His comments led to controversy back home, with the BJP demanding an apology from him for allegedly insulting India on foreign soil.

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