PM Modi Wrong on Claim About Universities in Ahmedabad District
Ministry of Education records contradict Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that Ahmedabad district had only one university two decades ago, around the time he became Gujarat chief minister
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bavla, Ahmedabad on November 24, 2022, during the Gujarat assembly election, incorrectly claimed that around two decades ago, there was only one university in Ahmedabad district. Modi had also said that the district now had 23 universities, the BJP's official Twitter account quoted him as saying.
The central Ministry of Education's records, however, contradict Modi's claim, our fact check found.
Fact-check: Ahmedabad district had three universities by 2002
The first part of the Prime Minister's claim stating that there was only one university before 2002 in Ahmedabad district is incorrect, according to Union government records, our fact check shows. There were already three universities – Gujarat University, Gujarat Vidyapith and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University – in the district two decades earlier, according to University Grants Commission (UGC) records. The UGC, a statutory body under the Ministry of Education, established in 1956, disburses Union government grants and funds to universities.
Gujarat University was established under the Gujarat University Act in 1949, and BAOU was established in 1994. Both are state universities. Gujarat Vidyapith, established by Mahatma Gandhi in October 1920, was deemed to be a university in 1963. Deemed-to-Be Universities are higher education institutions which can be declared as such by the Union government, by virtue of doing work of a high standard in a specific area, under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.
Name of the University
Year of Establishment
Type of University
Additionally, Ahmedabad district had two Institutes of National Importance before 2002 — the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the National Institute of Design, both established in 1961.
The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for the last 27 years (1995-2022), per Election Commission of India records, FactChecker found. Keshubhai Patel, Sureshchandra Mehta, Shankarsinh Vaghela and Dilip Parikh were all BJP chief ministers (CM) of Gujarat before Narendra Modi, who became CM in October 2001. Twenty years back, Modi was in his second year as CM and continued in that position till May 2014. Before the BJP, Gujarat had a Janata Dal-led government from 1990-94, and before 1990, the Congress party formed successive governments in the state.
As for the second part of the PM's claim, UGC records showed that there were 22 universities in Ahmedabad district, as of November 25, 2022,
FactChecker also found that 68 (41%) of the 162 sanctioned teaching posts in the Central University of Gujarat (CUG) in Gandhinagar, the state capital neighboring Ahmedabad district, were vacant, per a Ministry of Education response in the Rajya Sabha on February 2, 2022.
Further, there were 72 vacant posts at CUG in April, 2020, which reduced to 65 in April 2021, but remained virtually static at 64 in April 2022, per this Ministry of Education response given in the Lok Sabha on July 25, 2022.
FactChecker contacted the Prime Minister's Office for comment and clarification on his claim. We also tried contacting S.J. Haider, Principal Secretary, Education Department, Government of Gujarat via phone and email for an update on vacancies in teaching positions in universities across Gujarat, but did not receive a response by the time of publication. We will update the article when we do.
(With inputs from Rwit, an intern with IndiaSpend and FactChecker)