With 66% of candidates claiming to possess a minimum educational qualification of higher secondary schooling, voters can draw solace that candidates contesting the state assembly elections are more likely to be well read.

"What is dangerous is the slow rise in the number of candidates with criminal background entering politics. Earlier we had more teachers, doctors and professionals," Association of Democratic Reforms representative Bhaskar Assoldekar said.

Out of the 251 candidates in the running , 58 are graduates, while 23 have post graduate degrees. 21 candidates have completed professional graduate courses.

Just one candidate, Miguel Rodrigues who is contesting as an independent from Cortalim, claimed to be illiterate. Nine other candidates, including two sitting MLAs, Francisco 'Mickey' Pacheco and Caetano Silva and ex-MLA Joaquim Alemao, declared they had studied till Class 5.

Despite several calls for younger faces in electoral politics, just 56 candidates contesting the polls fell in the age group of 25-40 years. Meanwhile, 167 candidates fell in the 41-60 years bracket.

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