AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi had to live under a false name while completing his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in the USA. The move followed the tragic assassination of father Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Rahul was then studying in Harvard but had to move out with the full knowledge and assistance of the university authorities and security agencies.
The revelations form a part of a legal notice served by Rahul on a newspaper for alleging that he did not complete his degree in developmental economics from Trinity College University of Cambridge. Rahul has furnished a letter from the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof Alison Richard, confirming that he was a student of Cambridge University as member of Trinity College from October 1994 to July 1995 and was awarded an M Phil in development studies in 1995.
In her letter addressed to Rahul, Prof Richard said she regretted the recent controversy in India. "It is extremely unfortunate that a controversy has arisen regarding your degree and we would like to set the controversy at rest immediately," she wrote. She said Gandhi's conduct during his time at the university was "exemplary".
According to the educational details made available by Rahul, he joined St Stephens College in Delhi in 1989 and after passing the first year exam, moved to Harvard.
Following his father's assassination in 1991, he had to move to the University of Florida and live under a false name (but with the knowledge of security agencies) to complete his degree.
This is not the first time that a member of the Gandhi family has been involved in a controversy regarding his/her educational qualifications. In his appeal before the Allahabad high court to quash a criminal case filed against him for making hate speeches, Varun Gandhi had claimed that he had graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE). It later turned out that the degree was earned through a distance-learning provision.
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