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Trinity fellow clears air over Rahul's academic credentials

London, Feb 18, 2014 (PTI): 23:04 IST
Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi. AP photo
A UK-based academician has sought to dispel speculation over Rahul Gandhi's credentials as a Cambridge graduate, saying he had a hand in the Congress vice-president's admission to the prestigious university.

"Yes, I had a hand in getting Rahul when he came incognito to Trinity under the name of Da Vinci some years back, but I didn't actually teach development studies," said Dr Anil Seal, a Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

The half-Indian scholar was responding to being introduced as the "personal tutor" of Rahul and before him his father Rajiv, who he described as "not perhaps our star pupil".

The remarks were made at an education panel at the India Summit organised by 'Plus 91' in central London last November.

The seemingly off-hand remark made before hundreds of keen India-watchers has assumed significance now as the controversy surrounding 43-year-old Rahul's academic achievements takes centre-stage in India.

Cambridge University vice-chancellor Professor Alison Richard had recently confirmed in a letter that Rahul was indeed awarded an M Phil in Development Studies in 1995 under the name of Raul Vinci.

"It is extremely unfortunate that a controversy has arisen regarding your degree and we would like to set the controversy at rest immediately," she was quoted as saying.

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