Dr. Shrikant Jichkar: a man with unparalleled education and Career

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Most of us want to acquire educational degrees for a career and feel just over satisfied if we land with one or two educational degrees leading to any career to live. Though, the interlinking of education and knowledge is always debated since times immortal. According to a story, some disciples after completion of their gurukul education were asked by the great Guru for final test to get a hen killed with a condition that no one should see them while doing this (killing hen).

All disciples except one came with dead hen by making one or the other explanation of not being noticed by anybody but one disciple came without killing. On the asking of his Guru, why he did not kill or could not find any place   to kill, the disciple answered that there is no place, where GOD cannot see us.  The Guru was very pleased with his wisdom and said that he has acquired the true knowledge along with education. According to Socrates (great Greek scholar and philosopher),  “to know, is to know that you know nothing, that is the meaning of true knowledge”

However, in the present era of civilization full of competition and materialism, people always go for educational degrees with great difficulties only in order to make a successful career, place and respect in the society. We do have various examples also of great career achievers and child prodigies who have made tremendous impact on the society with their extra ordinary achievements. When students generally find it difficult, hardworking and worthless to acquire more than 1 or 2 educational qualifications and just impossible to clear top level national reputed career examinations like NEET, JEE, IAS, IES, IFS etc., here, we have an example of Dr. Shrikant Jichkar, who not only acquired number of educational degrees & cleared successfully top level national reputed career examinations like IAS but also had a political career like youngest MLA, MP to Upper House (Rajya Sabha) etc.  Dr. Jichkar’s successful pursuits with education and career are the milestones every one cannot dream to imitate but definitely will motivate people for times to come to at least think that such achievements in one’s life are also possible. Dr Shrikant Jichkar was the most inspiring academician-scholar-politician that India ever had and this article is just a humble tribute to such a great soul.

Educational degrees: Dr Shrikant Jichkar from Nagpur (Maharashtra) belonging to humble family background was officially known the most qualified person in India due to his shear dedication and hard work. Jichkar during his entire lifetime had obtained 20 degrees after appearing for 42 university examinations. Jichkar made it to the Limca Book of Records for being the most qualified person in India. Born to a farmer family in Katol near Nagpur in Maharashtra in 1954, Jichkar was barely 19-year-old when he started his journey in the field of education. Jichkar was so much engrossed in studies that between the years 1973-1990, he spent all his summers and winters appearing for 42 university exams. While he stood merit in most of his degrees, he also obtained several gold medals. Jichkar obtained his MBBS, LLB, MBA, DBM, Bachelors in Journalism as well as his MA degrees in Public Administration, Sociology, Economics, History, English Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology and Psychology to name a few. Not just this, he even secured a D Litt in Sanskrit – highest of any degree granted by a university. He even established a Sanskrit University in Maharashtra and served as its Chancellor.

Administrative & Political Career: In 1978, he appeared for the Indian Civil Service examination and was selected for the Indian Police Service (IPS). However, he resigned and reappeared for the exams and got selected for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). After serving as an IAS officer for four months, in early eighties, he contested the assembly elections and became an MLA. At 26, he became the youngest MLA in the country and had 14 portfolios to his credit. Subsequently, he also went on to become an MLC and a Rajya Sabha member in the following years. He’d also served as Minister of State in the Government of Maharashtra. However, Jichkar in 1999 lost the Rajya Sabha elections.

Other activities: Being an avid reader, academician, painter, professional photographer, and stage actor, he had one of the biggest personal libraries in India with more than 52,000 books. He even represented India at the UNESCO and founded Sandipani School at Nagpur in 1992.

Health problem: In September 2000, Jichkar was treated for falciparum malaria and even tuberculosis after he had developed high fever. However, there was no change in his condition. He flew down to the US where he was admitted to the State University of New York Hospital in Brooklyn. That’s when he was diagnosed with an aggressive and a very rare form of cancer, located in his adrenal glands, which was in its last stages. The doctor told him that he had only 15 days left. That’s when he decided to fight cancer. After a long treatment process in the US for several months, he fully recovered.

Last journey: Destiny had some other plans for Jichkar. On 2nd June 2004, Jichkar (49) while diving back his friend Shriram Dhawad home from his farm near Nagpur, died in a car accident, after a bus slammed into his vehicle.

Achievements at a glance:

  • He holds the LIMCA Book of Records for the most qualified person in the country
  • He began his career as a Medical Doctor (MBBS and MD) and then he proceeded to do Law (LL.B.) with Post-graduation in International Law (LL.M.)
  • He also completed his Masters in Business Administration (DBM and MBA) and in Journalism (B. Journalism)
  • He did his Masters in ten subjects as: M.A. (Public Administration ; M.A. (Sociology) ; M.A. (Economics); M.A. (Sanskrit); M.A. (History); M.A.(English Literature); M.A. (Philosophy); M.A. (Political Science) ; M.A. (Ancient Indian History,Culture and Archaeology); M.A (Psychology)
  • He got his D. Litt (Doctor of Literature) in Sanskrit, the highest of any Degree in a University
  • Most of his Degrees are with First Merit and he has obtained several Gold Medals for his degrees
  • Apart from this, Shrikant Jichkar also wrote 42 exams, every winter, and every summer
  • When he turned 25, in the year 1978, Shrikant sat for the IPS (Indian Police Service) examination, nailed it, resigned and started preparing for the prestigious IAS (Indian Administrative Services) examination (1980) and qualified the same
  • At 25, he became the youngest MLA in the country and became a very powerful minister handling 14 portfolios at the same time
  • He was the member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (1982-85)
  • He was the member of Maharashtra Legislative Council (1986-92)
  • He was appointed as the minister of the state of Maharashtra
  • He was also elected as a member of Rajya Sabha (1992-98)

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