Delhi University professor Abha Mittal, as a teacher, wants to contribute towards making a better society.

Mittal, also a first time candidate during Sunday’s municipal corporation elections, said she would want the same thing as a politician — a better society.

On Sunday, Mittal will be one of only five candidates to hold a PhD degree and contest the civic body polls. Around 2,537 candidates are in fray for the elections.

A Swaraj India candidate, Mittal on Sunday will have company from Aam Aadmi Party’s Rakesh Kumar Garg, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Suman and two independent candidates, all PhD holders, who will contest Sunday’s poll from different wards.

According to data released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), out of 2,315 candidates, only 0.21% have a doctorate degree.

As per HT’s analysis of recently concluded Assembly elections in five states, the education of a candidate contributed majorly to his/her chances of winning. Candidates with a doctorate degree, for example, won nearly one fifth of their races, while the poorly educated fared much worse in the Assembly elections in Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

“As an economist I have worked on issues, but only on paper. Now, if elected, I will be able to put my knowledge to practical use that will directly impact people. I think academics and politicians have similar jobs, to solve the problems of people,” Mittal said.

AAP’s Garg, on the other hand, said he wanted to change the perception that politics is only for those with money and muscle power. Garg, who holds a PhD in Chemistry, left his job as a school teacher to become a full time social activist during Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption and then became a founder member of AAP.

“People think only those with connections, money and muscle power come into politics. But we need more educated people,” he said.

BSP’s Sonam, who completed her PhD in ‘Ambedkar, Gandhi and Premchand’, said her inspiration was BR Ambedkar. “I worked as a researcher for a decade, but found politics as my true calling. Educated people need to come to politics if they want to change things. Baba Saheb was highly educated and so were many other politicians,” she said. She has previously contested the Delhi 2015 Assembly elections.

BJP, which is eyeing a consecutive third term to rule the civic bodies, has the fielded the most number of candidates with a graduate degree and above.

Out of the 260 candidates fielded by the party, 101 (38.8%) hold a graduate degree and above. BJP has fielded 53 graduates, 29 postgraduates and 19 graduate professionals, as per data from ADR.

AAP comes a close second with 38.4% of its candidates holding at least a graduate degree.

AAP, which won the 2015 Delhi assembly elections with a landslide majority, has fielded 60 graduates, 22 postgraduates, 13 graduate professionals and one doctorate. The data is based on 250 AAP candidates.

Congress has 33.9 % candidates holding at least a graduate degree. The party has fielded 53 graduates, 11 graduate professionals, 22 postgraduates and one doctorate.

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