In the 5th edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha (PPC), the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, interacted with students, teachers and parents today at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. He inspected the exhibits of the students showcased at the venue before the interaction. Union Ministers Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Smt. Annpurna Devi, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh and Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar along with virtual participation of Governors and Chief Ministers, teachers, students and parents, were present on the occasion. The Prime Minister maintained an interactive, jovial and conversational tone throughout the interaction.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed his happiness for addressing his young friends after the virtual interaction last year. He said that PPC is his favourite programme. He noted the start of Vikram Samvat new year tomorrow and also greeted the students for many upcoming festivals. The Prime Minister introduced a new practice in the 5th edition of PPC. He said that questions that could not be taken by him will be addressed through video, audio or text message on the Namo App.
The First question came from Khushi Jain of Delhi. From Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, Kini Patel of Vadodara also asked about the tensions and stress pertaining to examinations. The Prime Minister asked them not to be stressed as this is not the first examination given by them. “In a way you are exam-proof”, he said. The experience they got from previous examinations would help them overcome the upcoming examinations. He said that some portion of the study might be missed but asked them not to be stressed over that. He suggested that they should focus on the strength of their preparation and stay relaxed and natural in their day to day routine. There is no point in trying anything as imitation of others but stay with their routine and work in a festive relaxed manner.
The next question was from Tarun of Mysuru, Karnataka. He asked how to pursue an online mode of study despite many online distractions like YouTube, etc. Shahid Ali of Delhi, Keerthana of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and a teacher Chandrachudeshwaran of Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu also had the same question in their minds. The Prime Minister said that the problem is not with the online or offline modes of study. Even in the offline mode of study, the mind could be very distracted. “It is not the medium but the mind that is the problem”, he said. He said whether it is online or offline when the mind is in the study, distractions won’t bother the students. He said the technology would evolve and the students should embrace the new technologies in education. New modes of learning should be taken as an opportunity, not as a challenge. Online can augment your offline learning. He said online is for collection and offline is for nurturing and doing. He gave an example of preparing dosa. One can learn to make dosa online but preparation and consumption will happen offline. He said there is so much happiness in thinking about oneself and staying with one’s own self as compared to living in the virtual world.
Suman Rani, a teacher from Panipat, Haryana asked how provisions of the New Education Policy will empower students’ lives in particular and society, in general, and how would it pave the way for Naya Bharat. Shila of East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya also asked on similar lines. The Prime Minister said that it is a ‘National’ Education Policy and not a ‘New’ Education Policy. He said the policy was drafted after a lot of brainstorming with various stakeholders. That would be a record in itself. “Consultation for National Education Policy has been exhaustive. People across India were consulted on this” he said. He continued, this policy was made not by the Government but by the citizens, the students, and its teachers for the development of the country. He said previously, Physical Education & Training were extracurricular activities. But now they are made a part of education and are gaining new prestige. He said that the 20th century education system and ideas can not determine our development trajectory in the 21st century. He said that we would be left out and go back if we don’t evolve with the changing systems. He said that National Education Policy gives the opportunity to follow one’s passion. He stressed the importance of skill along with knowledge. He said that’s the reason to include skills as part of the National Education Policy. He also underlined the flexibility provided by NEP in the choice of subjects. He said proper implementation of NEP will open new venues. He urged schools all over the country to find new ways to implement the new technologies invented by the students.
Roshini of Ghaziabad, UP asked how to deal with the expectations of her family about the results and whether to take the education seriously as felt by the parents or to enjoy it as a festival. Kiran Preet Kaur of Bhatinda, Punjab asked the question along similar lines. The Prime Minister asked the parents and teachers not to force their dreams on the students. “Unfulfilled dreams of teachers and parents can not be forced on students. It is important for every child to follow their own dreams” said the Prime Minister. He urged the parents and teachers to accept that every student has some special ability and to discover that. He told the student to recognize their strength and move ahead with confidence.
Vaibhav Kannaujia of Delhi asked how to stay motivated and succeed when we have more backlog. Sujit Kumar Pradhan, a parent from Odisha, Komal Sharma of Jaipur and Aron Eben of Doha also asked the question on a similar theme. The Prime Minister said “there is no injection or formula for motivation. Instead, discover yourself better and find out what makes you happy and work on that.” He asked the students to identify things that motivate them naturally, he emphasized autonomy in this process and asked the students not try to get sympathy for their woes. He also advised the students to observe the surrounding how children, divyangs and nature try to achieve their goals. “We should observe the efforts and strengths of our surroundings and draw inspiration from them”, he said. He also recalled from his book Exam Warrior how one can feel motivated by writing a letter to the ‘exam’ itself and challenging the exam with one’s strength and preparation.
Anusha of Khammam, Telangana said that she understands the topics when teachers teach them but forgets after a while and how to deal with it. Gayatri Saxena, via the Namo App, also asked a question about memory and understanding. The Prime Minister said if things are learnt with full attention nothing will be forgotten. He asked the student to be fully present in the present. This mindfulness about the present will help them to learn and remember better. He said the present is the biggest ‘present’ and the one who lives in the present and understands it fully gets the maximum out of life. He asked them to treasure the power of memory and keep expanding it. He also said a stable mind is best suited for recalling things.
Shweta Kumari of Jharkhand said that she prefers to study at night but is asked to study during the daytime. Raghav Joshi also asked via the Namo app about the proper timetable for studies. The Prime Minister said that it is good to evaluate the outcome of one’s effort and how the time is being spent. He said that this habit of analyzing the output and outcome is an important part of education. He said often we devote more time to subjects that are easy and of interest to us. This requires deliberate effort to overcome the ‘cheating of mind, heart and body’ he said. “Do things that you enjoy and that is when you will get the maximum outcome”, he added.
Erica George of Udhampur, Jammu & Kashmir asked what can be done for those people who are knowledgeable but could not able to appear for the right exams for some reasons. Hair Om Mishra of Gautam Budh Nagar asked how they should handle the demands of competitive exams and studying for the Board exam. The Prime Minister said it is wrong to study for exams. He said that if one studies the syllabus with a full mind, different exams don’t matter. He said one should aim to master the subject rather than for clearing exams. He further said athletes train for sports and not for competition. “You belong to a special generation. Yes, there is more competition but there are more opportunities too”, he said. He asked the student to treat competition as the greatest gift of their time.
A parent. Seema Chetan Desai of Navsari, Gujarat asked the Prime Minister about how society can contribute towards the upliftment of rural girls. Shri Modi said that the situation has changed a lot over the years from the time when the education of girls was ignored. He stressed that no society can improve without ensuring proper education of the girls. He said that the opportunities and empowerment of daughters should be institutionalized. Girls are becoming a more valued asset and this change is welcome. He said in the year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, India has the maximum number of Members of Parliament in the history of independent India. “Daughter is the strength of the family. What can be better than seeing our Nari shakti excel in different sectors of life”, The Prime Minister asked.
Pavitra Rao of Delhi asked what should the new generation do to contribute to the protection of the environment? Chaitanya asked how to make his class and environment clean and green. The Prime Minister thanked the students and credited them for making this country clean and green. Children defied the naysayers and truly understood the Prime Minister’s pledge of Swachata. He said the environment that we are enjoying is because of the contribution of our ancestors. Similarly, we should also leave a better environment for the future generation. He said that this can only be possible with the contribution of the citizens. He stressed the importance of the “P3 movement” – Pro Planet People and LifeStyle for the Environment- LIFE. We will have to get away from the ‘use and throw’ culture and move towards a lifestyle of circular economy, he said. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the Amrit Kaal which coincides with the best years of the student in the development of the country. He also stressed the importance of doing one’s duty. He praised the students for doing their duty in getting vaccinated.
In the end, the Prime Minister called the students who conducted the programme and lauded them for their skills and confidence. He reiterated the need to develop the capability to appreciate qualities in others and learn from them. We should have a tendency to learn instead of jealousy. This capability is important for success in life.
He concluded on a personal note by acknowledging the importance of PPC for him. He said that he feels 50 years younger when he is interacting with young students. “I try to learn from you by associating with your generation. As I connect with you I get the glimpse of your aspirations and dreams and try to mould my life accordingly. Therefore this programme is helping me grow. I thank you all for giving me time to help myself and grow”, concluded a visibly elated Prime Minister.