Monday, December 15, 2008

Does Educational Qualification Matter in the Mizoram Assembly Elections?

It has always fascinated me and aroused a curiosity in me wheather educational qualifications of Legislators and leaders of a country directly corelates to the development of a state or a Country as a whole, in my previous blog post which is just below this, you would see a small analysis done on educaitonal qualification of candidates and their party afflications. Mizoram State Govt has gone through a rough phase during the past 2 terms of it's governancem, It's a sad finding that the MNF party which has been ruling the state for the past two terms has again fielded the most uneducated politicians among other candidates. This does not necessarily mean that those who are not graduate are not wise, but to a certain extent, the level of education of politicians does affect the development of a state as a state develops only upto the vision and expectation level of the Politicians. Even with all the best intentions, the plan, vision of a post graduate politician and a matriculate are hardly ever going to be the same. Take for illustration, Famous men who lead their country with vision are usually very educated Men, right from the Top in India, Dr. Manmohan Singh is Phd Graduate from Cambridge, Chidambaram an MBA Graduate from Harvard, Montek, the Deput Planning Commisonner, another Phd from Oxford. Even in the US, the President usually selects his cabinet member from the Best Brains in the Country, examples include Condolezza Rice, Phd in Political Sciensce from Stanford in the Bush Administration and Lawrence Summers Phd in Economics from Harvard. Also, as most of us maybe well aware of, most of the American Presidents have graduated from the Best Institution in the Nation- Harvard University where the best brains in America are baked, just to list out a few Presidents, F D Roosevelet, John F Kennedy, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama. Even if we were to look to the East, China has developed at such a rapid pace but not without it's benolevent beaurecratic leaders moulded and selected from the toughest university in their Country, Tsinghua University. Just have a look at the Profile of the last 3 Presidents or Prime Ministers of China, most of them are graduates in Engineering from the toughest Institution in the Country, let me list again a few of them again, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Zhu Rhongi, Li Peng, Wen Jei Bao, all of them Engineers from the best institues selected on the base of Meritocracy. If Mizoram is going to make any progress, it would be very difficult to do so with the half educated elderly candidates, regardless of whether they are respected Elders or their accumulated wealth, so let's hope that 2008 brings out educated and qualified Legislators committed to development of Mizoram.

Below are three tables and we can judge for ourself how the respective Governments perform. You can have a look at the dismissal performance of the MNF Government and some of the qualification of their Minister, the Cabinet led by Obama and their qualified Ministers and the Technocrats led by Hu Jintao in China, again a group of smart intellectuals.

It would be interesting for a casual observer to notice that in the MNF Government, they have 2 minister who have not completed even their Matriculations, the Obama Government has lots of Lawyers whereas the Chinese Government has lots of Engineers. Interesting Indeed. I will keep on updating my finding on this issue.

Some interesting facts about the candidates as per PRISM:

Number of Church Elders : 8

Medical Doctors: 2

Phd : 5

Masters: 23

Bachelors: 43

Matric: 10

Under Matric: 2

Age: 52

The Prism survey  covers only 118 candidates of the three big parties namely MNF, UDA  and Congress and even among those candidates, the data provided is uneven as some data for some candidates were missing, nevertheless, some analysis for those curious. 

Regarding age, Even though the UDA coalition has the oldest candidate with Brig Thenphunga as CM Candidate, it still has the youngest average age of candidate at 49, Congress at 54 and MNF slightly higher at 54.3.

With regards to Education of candidates, one of the crucial parameters. Both MNF and UDA has two Phd Candidates, while congress has one, also a doctor each from MNF and Congress. 

The Congress Party has the highest number of Graduates with 19 candidates having finished Bachelors and 11 having finished their Post Graduates, the corresponding figures for UDA were 17 Graduates and 3 Post Graduates, while the MNF has 12 Graduates and 10 Post Graduates.

On the lower level, MNF has the distinction of having the most number of matriculates, 8 and the only party with under matriculates with 2 candidates and two candidates with PU, the corresponding candidates for UDA were one matriculate and 4 PU while Congress one matriculate and 3 PU.

Mizoram MNF Cabinet
The First table shows the MNF Govt - The Govt has not done very well in meeting people's expectations even though some of the Ministers  did a good job, the performance by some of the other ministers were almost negligent and shows that they were appointed more out of Seniority rather than capability and meritocracy.

Sl. No.








BA English

Chief Minister





Home Minister





Health Minister





Transport Minister


R Lalthangliana



School Education Minister


B Lalthlengliana



Revenue Minister


H Vanlalauva


Under Matric

Rural Development Minister


H Ramawi



Agriculture Minister


K Sangthuama



Supplies Minister


ZH Ropuia



 Tourism Minister





Higher Technical Education


K Vanlalauva


Under Matric

Trade & Commerce

Finally, the Congress Cabinet in Mizoram has been formed, here are the portfolios.








Chief Minister

R Lalzirliana



Home Minister

Liansailova Ex IAS



Agriculture Minister

S Hiato BA



Industries Minister

Lalsawta- Ex MCS



Law & Judicial Minister

H Rohhluna



Environment & Forest

Lalrinliana Sailo



Health & Family Welfare




Transport Minister




Communication Technology

JH Rothuama



Land Revenue Minister

NK Chakma




PC Lalthanliana



Social Welfare


Obama US Cabinet

Below is the Cabinet of Hope led by Obama with Super Qualified and Educated and experienced people selected by Barack Obama, Expectations run high from this Cabinet. 





Barack Obama

Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard


Joe Biden

Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law 

Vice President

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Juris Doctor degree from Yale

U.S. Secretary of State.

Timothy F. Geithner

M.A. in International Economics and East Asian Studies

U.S. Secretary of Treasury

Rahm Israel Emanuel

M.A in Speech and Communication Northwestern University

 White House Chief of Staff

Bill Richardson

MA  in international affairs from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 

Commerce Secretary

Tom Daschle

BA Political Sciensce

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Lawrence Summers

Ph.D Harvard University

Head of the White House's National Economic Council

Christina Romer

Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers 

Peter R. Orszag

Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics

Office of Management and Budget Director

Rob Nabors

M.A. from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget 

Eric Himpton Holder, Jr

Law degree from Columbia Law School

 United States Attorney General

Janet Napolitano

Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Virginia School of Law

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

Robert Michael Gates

Ph.D in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University

Secretary of Defense 

James L. Jones

Bachelor of Science degree

National Security Advisor

Steven Chu

Ph.D University of California, Berkeley in 1976

United States Secretary of Energy

Chinese Government

First of all the Chinese Government's performance speaks for itself, they had invented beaurecracy based on Meritocracy after all. Despite all the criticisims for Human rights levelled against it by Media outlets like BBC, its high time that Countries like UK accept that they are no longer a Superpower and would have to adjust to a growing superpower like China where they have crafted their own way of Governance where they choose their smartest.




Hu Jintao

BE degree in hydraulic engineering Tsinghua University


Xi Jinping

BE Chemical Engineering  Tsinghua University

Vice President

Wen Jiabao

BE degree from Beijing Institute of Geology


Li Keqiang

Phd in Economics from Peking University

Vice-Premier of China

Yang Jiechi

Phd degree in Mechanical Engineering

Foreighn Minister

Zhou Ji

Phd University at Buffalo 

Education Minister

Wan Gang

Phd Mechanical Engineering in Clausthal University of Technology 

Minister of Science and Technology

Xie Xuren

BA Zhejiang University

Finance Minister

Li Bin

Phd Jilin University

National Population and Family Planning Commission

Chen Deming

Phd Administration

Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce



  1. I definitely believe education plays a very important role in shaping up the minds of anyone including the political leaders of our state, and we need an educated guys to lead us. There is hope though, we have many candidates highly qualified ones this time around. Let's hope those old folks are not elected again.

    You may want to correct few grammatical mistakes like Weather from whether...

  2. Comparing our humble(?) politicians to the likes of American politicians may be a bit... over the moon types :) but you do bring out a very strong point regarding qualification.

    This of course is quite a controversial topic and it would be interesting to read the discussion this post generates.

    In my opinion, I feel that especially in departments like IT, the Minister needs to be quite tech savvy too. Otherwise he is just a puppet of his advisers. I'm not saying he should have the whole BE B.Tech degree, but at least he should not be in a position where he has absolutely no clue about what he is doing.

  3. Yes, qualifications really matter. However, good brain without good morality can sometimes bring destruction. We need a leader with a broad outlook who is able and willing to learn MORE.

  4. @ Sam - I also do hope that we get qualified candidates and I also believe that quality of governance to a certain extent is proportional to Knowledge and education of Leaders. P.S.- I still make those mistakes, thanks for pointing them out :-)
    @ Illusionaire - I think benchmarking ourselves against the best is what we ought to do and have always looked at background of outstanding people out of curiosity.
    @ Faka - once again, thanks for your feedback, Phd Scholars like Thakshin Shinawatra, former PM of Thailand still has corruption cases against him, given a chance moral leadership would be preferable to knowledgeable leader, but a combination of both the qualities - Valuable :-)