Criticism Is Purification In Democracy, Modi Tells Students

Opportunity India Desk
Opportunity India Desk Jan 27 2023 - 5 min read
Criticism Is Purification In Democracy, Modi Tells Students
Prime Minister asked students to refrain from wasting time in finding ways and preparing cheating material and spend that time in learning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today termed criticism as purification in a democracy at 6th edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha at Talkatora Stadium. He had a witty response when a student asked the criticism he faces by the members of various opposition parties.

“The question is out of the syllabus. I have a conviction that criticism is an absolute condition and a Shuddhi Yagna for a prosperous democracy,” PM Modi said.

He interacted with lakhs of students and addressed their queries at the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ - an annual interaction he has with students ahead of board examinations. Underlining the difference between positive criticism and "unnecessary interruption", PM Modi advised parents against putting undue pressure on children over marks.

Pariksha Pe Charcha is a part of ‘Exam Warriors’ led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a stress-free atomosphere for youngsters. This event brings together students, parents and teachers and the society to foster an environment where the unique individuality of each child is celebrated, encouraged and allowed to express itself fully.

More than 38 lakh students registered this year for participation in ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha,’ out of which over 16 lakh were from state boards in the sixth edition of the interaction. Modi also witnessed the exhibits of students showcased at the venue before the interaction. The registration process for participation in the annual event was open from November 25 to December 30.

The first edition of the Prime Minister's interactive programme with school and college students was held at the stadium on February 16, 2018.

Addressing the gathering, he pointed out the millions of questions that are posed as part of the programme and said that it gives him insight into the minds of the young generations of India. “These questions are like a treasure trove for me”, he said. He pointed out that he would like the compilation of all these questions which can be analysed by social scientists in the coming years giving us a detailed thesis about the minds of young students at such a dynamic time.

Handling Disappointment

Addressing a question regarding family disappointment in the case of poor marks, he said that there is nothing wrong with family expectations. However if these expectations, he said, are due to social status-related expectations then it is concerning. Modi also talked about ever-increasing standards of performance and growing expectations with every success.

Drawing the link between the focus of a batsman on a cricket field and the minds of students, the Prime Minister said that the pressure of expectations can be obliterated if you remain focused. He urged the parents to not burden their kids with expectations and asked the students to always evaluate themselves according to their potential. However, he told the students to analyse the pressures and see if they are doing justice to their own potential. In such a situation these expectations may spur better performance.

Unfair Means In Exams

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that students had raised the topic of finding ways to deal with malpractices during the exam and pointed out the negative change in the morals where a student takes pride in fooling the supervisor while cheating in an exam. “This is a very dangerous trend”, he said as he asked the society as a whole to ponder about it. He also noted that some schools or teachers who run tuition classes strive for unfair means so that their students excel in the exams. He also asked students to refrain from wasting time in finding ways and preparing cheating material and spend that time in learning.

Handling Criticism

On the question of how to handle negative views and opinions towards oneself, he stressed that he believes in the principle that criticism is a purification yajna and the root condition of a prospering democracy. Emphasising the need for feedback, he gave examples of a programmer who puts up his code on open source for improvements, and companies that put up their products for sale in the market asking the customers to find the flaws in the products.

Gaming And Online Addiction

On questions about the addiction to online games and social media and resulting distractions, the Prime Minister said that the first decision is to decide whether you are smart or your gadget is smart. The problem starts when you start to consider the gadget as smarter than you. One’s smartness enables one to utilise the smart gadget smartly and treat them as instruments that help in productivity.  He expressed concern that, as per a study, the average screen time for an Indian is up to six hours. In such a situation gadget enslaves us, he said.

Behaviour Of Students

Addressing the question from a parent from New Delhi about the behaviour of students in society, the Prime Minister remarked that parents should not limit the scope of the behaviour of students in society. “Let there be a holistic approach to the student’s development in society. he advised against restricting students to a narrow sphere and encouraged an expanded circle for the students. He recalled his own advice that the students should be encouraged to travel outside after their exams and record their experiences. Setting them free like this will enable them to learn a lot.

Expenditure on PPC

The spending for the Pariksha Pe Charcha event has doubled since 2019 when the government spent INR 4. 92 crore. According to the data, the expenditure for 2022 was INR 8.16 crore. According to the Ministry of Education, it has been noted that the amount spent on holding each of the Pariksha Pe Charcha events between 2019 and 2022 was higher than the average amount spent to maintain a government run Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) and a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) for a year.

The expenditure data includes spendings for events including advertisement, publicity, accommodation, PPC kits and booking of Talkatora Stadium.

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