Recently, on Twitter the Punjab Education Minister Sh Pargat Singh and Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia engaged in a Twitter brawl in which Pargat Singh saw Sisodia’s challenge and raised it to one of his own. Sisodia had challenged Singh to compare 10 government schools each in Punjab and Delhi, but Singh upped the comparison to 250 schools.

In this context, I interviewed Sh Pargat Singh for National Herald where he said how a comparison between the two states is laughable since one is a metropolis, the capital of world’s largest democracy and flush with funds, and running only around 2500 government schools while the other is a huge border state with rough terrain running around 19,000 schools. If at all a comparison is to be done, it should on logical and rational parameters like the National Performance Grade Index (NPGI). PGI is a central government index which has 70 parameters to measure the status of school education and catalyse transformational change. According to the latest index released in June 2021 by the education ministry, Punjab has ranked no.1 while Delhi is at no.6. Punjab has also improved its score by 20% whereas Delhi only improved by 5%. Kejriwal should use this index as a parameter, Mr Singh told me. He also said the sample selection should be logical and not just randomly pick 10 schools.

The interview can be read here on National Herald (English), and Navjivan Sunday (Hindi).

This is not the first time AAP has been making noise about how they have transformed the govt schools. Before Delhi elections last year similar tall claims were made. I cannot fully tell how much they have transformed but it bothers me that the party itself cannot explain on what parameters they make the claim. I asked sources in the AAP but they failed to answer.

On Twitter a prominent AAP handle claimed that the list of 250 government schools released by Sisodia were “transformed” by Kejriwal government. When I asked them to explain how is it “transformed” what are the parameters, they just made sarcastic comment and could not given an answer. Instead, they told me I should do my own research to find out. It should be noted that the Punjab education minister have been continuously using his Twitter platform to share solid govt data to show how on so many parameters Punjab has fared better than Delhi.

I tried telling them that it is not the journalist’s job to do independent research only for the sake of finding supporting evidence to a political party’s claim. The party has to provide the proof of their claim. These days, right wing journalists go an extra mile, search heaven and earth to find anything they can to support Modi’s lies. But that’s not real journalism.

Punjab currently has a Congress government with full majority and is going into assembly elections in 2022. Sh Pargat Singh is the former captain of Indian Hockey team and has led India to the Olympics twice. He is awarded the Padma Shree and Arjuna Awards by Union of India.