Degree row: Pb set to recommend relaxation in educational qualifications for sportspersons

The Punjab sports ministry is set to recommend relaxations in the educational qualification for granting government jobs to sports personalities in its new policy, in the wake of questions being raised over the graduation degree of Indian women’s team cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur.

Coming out in support of the Indian Women’s T-20 Captain, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said the state government would take a sympathetic view of her and stressed that she got the job of the Deputy Superintendent of Police on the basis of her achievements in sports and not her educational qualification.

“I am going to recommend relaxations in the educational qualification for giving various jobs to sportspersons in the new sports policy,” Sodhi told PTI today.

After Kaur’s graduation degree was found to be “fake”, she faced demotion to the rank of constable as a candidate, according to service rules, has to be a graduate to hold the post of DSP in Punjab.

However, the Amarinder Singh-led government is likely to give Kaur three years to complete her graduation, official sources said.

The government is also considering giving her the post of honorary DSP instead of demoting her. But a decision is yet to be taken, they further said.

Sodhi said there was no bad intention on the part of Kaur as far as her graduation degree was concerned.

“She was offered the job on the basis of her performance in cricket,” he said.

Punjab police, during verification of Kaur’s testimonials, had found her graduation degree from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, to be “fake”.

Kaur who had come to Mohali on July 3 for an event had told media, “I am aware of it (controversy), government is taking care of that. I am hoping for a positive response.”

She was appointed as a DSP in March this year.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had offered her the post in July last year, following her scintillating performance in the Women’s World Cup 2017.

Kaur was earlier employed with the Indian Railways but was relieved of her duties this year after she put in a request to join Punjab Police.

The state government had also taken up the matter with the Railway Ministry to waive the bond condition and allow Kaur, who is a native of Moga, to join as a DSP in Punjab Police from March 1.