Students can speak to me openly, says PM Modi during ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Citizen’s rights dependent on duties; students rights cannot be guaranteed unless teachers carry out duties, says PM

At a time when young people across the country are fighting for the rights of citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the duties of citizens during an interaction with high school students on Monday. "Our rights are directly dependent on the duties performed by others," he said, using the example of students, whose rights cannot be guaranteed unless teachers carry out their duties.

In the recent agitation against attacks on students and teachers at Jawaharlal Nehru University, a section of faculty have vowed an academic boycott, refusing to teach classes as a form of protest.

The Prime Minister was answering questions during the third edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha, an annual event organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on the issue of examination stress. About 2.6 lakh students from Class 9 to Class 12 participated in an essay competition, out of which 2,000 were selected to attend the event in Delhi.

In response to questions on the rights and duties of citizens by students from Arunachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister said that there's a connection between rights and duties, invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s words on the importance of fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution.

He pointed out that today's high-schoolers are likely to be leaders of the country by 2047, 100 years after independence. "If you get a broken and dilapidated country when you become a leader, would you be able to lead well?" he asked.

Mr. Modi encouraged students to learn their own mother tongues, English, Hindi and other regional languages as a way to celebrate the unity and diversity of the country. He exhorted them to buy products made in India, and go on holidays to Indian, rather than foreign locations. Small steps, such as cleanliness, saving electricity and water, buying tickets for train travel are all important ways to carry out their duties as citizens, he said.

While the PM introduced the 90-minute interaction as a “hashtag without filter” conversation, it was clear that the students’ questions were pre-planned and well practiced. Mr. Modi referenced the Chandrayaan moon landing and cricket matches as examples of his motivational mantra that failure was only a step to success. He also encouraged students to participate in extra-curricular activities apart from academics, so that they would not end up as “robots”, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 9:09:42 AM |

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