Following recent developments, particularly Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s statement suggesting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be disclosing his degree details due to ego or the possibility of a fake degree, discussions surrounding Modi’s Master of Arts certificate from Gujarat University, issued in 1983, have intensified. In this fact-check article, we address and debunk specific claims made about the certificate without delving into the overall authenticity of the degree itself.
Claims: Prior to 1983, academic certificates were exclusively issued in handwritten format. The font utilized in Modi’s M.A certificate ‘Old English Text MT’ was invented and patented only in 1992. Additionally, the word “University” is misspelled as “Unibersity” on the certificate.
Facts: No evidence to prove that academic certificates were exclusively issued in handwritten format before 1983. There is evidence that the Academic certificates were issued in Printed format as early as 1920’s. The font used in Modi’s certificate is not Old English Text MT. The Spelling of the word ‘University’ in the certificate is correct. The letter ‘v’ in fonts like Lincoln Text Pro closely resembles the letter ‘b’. While we couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of Modi’s M.A certificate, the aforementioned claims have been proven false, and they cannot be used as a basis for labelling the certificate as fake. Hence the post is MISLEADING.
Font patented in 1992?
The post claims that the text used in the certificate is “Old English Text MT.” We compared the text in the certificate with the same text written using the “Old English Text MT” typeface. However, the typeface’s design does not match.
Some posts claim that the font used in the certificate is ‘Marriage,‘ which was created in 1992. At first glance, the font in the certificate may resemble the Marriage font, but upon closer inspection, subtle differences can be observed. For instance, comparing the letters ‘M,’ ‘A,’ and ‘v’ in the certificate to those in the Marriage typeface reveals that they are not identical.
Additionally, we generated the text using various text-generating software for “Old English Text MT,” including the website of the font’s copyright holder, Monotype Corporation. However, these attempts also did not produce a matching typography.
Therefore, this evidence eliminates the possibility that the text used in the certificate is “Old English Text MT,” which was copyrighted by Monotype Corporation in the 1990s and then licensed to Microsoft Corporation in 1992.
Before 1983, were certificates exclusively handwritten?
In order to ascertain the truth regarding this matter, we examined the academic certificates of prominent figures such as B.R. Ambedkar, M.K. Gandhi, Jagdish Chandra Bose, and Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling. We discovered that the majority of their academic certificates are printed, with only a few being hand-calligraphed. This disproves the claim that only handwritten academic certificates were issued before 1983.
It is important to note that the printing press was invented in the mid-15th century, and typewriters were developed in the 19th century. As a result, the printing of certificates in the 1980s should not have been a significant challenge, given the advancements in technology at the time.
‘University’ misspelt as ‘Unibersity’ in the Certificate?
To investigate this matter, we uploaded the font from the certificate to a font detection website. The fonts found to be similar to the one in the certificate include Mariage Pro Regular, Lincoln Text Pro, Wedding Text Standard Regular, and other Black Letter fonts. Notably, the letter ‘v’ in the Lincoln Text Pro font closely resembles the ‘b.’ However, there is a distinction between the two: the ascender (or stem) of the letter ‘b’ is straight and elongated, while the left leg (or left stroke) of the letter ‘V’ is curved.
Although the font appears to be a close match, it is important to recognize that many fonts may look similar to the casual observer but have subtle differences upon closer inspection. However, it is evident that the spelling of the word “University” in the certificate is indeed correct, as the letter ‘v’ in fonts like Lincoln Text Pro closely resembles the letter ‘b’. A similar observation can be made in the case of Ambedkar’s certificate mentioned earlier.
Did the University’s Vice-Chancellor who signed Modi’s M.A. certificate resign in 1981?
K.S. Shastri, the Vice-Chancellor who signed Modi’s certificate, first served in that capacity at ‘Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU)’ from 22 August 1980 to 13 July 1981, as per the university’s website. Following his tenure at VNSGU, Shastri then became the Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat University.
The website of Gujarat University confirms that Shastri held this position from 1981 to 1987. It was during his time at Gujarat University that Modi’s M.A. degree was issued.
To sum it up, while we couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of Modi’s M.A. certificate, the aforementioned claims have been proven false, and they cannot be used as a basis for labelling the certificate as fake.
Update (07 April 2023): This article has been updated to include claims about ‘Marriage’ font, and that K.S. Shastri, the Vice-Chancellor who signed Modi’s certificate in 1983 had actually completed his tenure as Gujarat University’s Vice Chancellor in 1981.