Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with students, teachers and parents, as part of Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi.
The interaction, which lasted for over ninety minutes, saw students, teachers and parents relax, laugh, and repeatedly applaud the Prime Minister’s observations, which included a touch of humour and wit.
Students from across the country and also Indian students residing abroad, participated in the event.
Setting the tone for the interaction, Modi described the Pariksha Pe Charcha Townhall as a mini-India. He said it also symbolizes the future of India.
He expressed happiness that parents and teachers too are part of this programme.
PM Modi emphasized that parents should not expect their children to fulfil their own unfulfilled dreams. Every child has his or her own potential and strengths, and it is important to understand these positives of every child, he noted.
Modi also said that expectations are essential. We cannot live in an atmosphere of despair and unhappiness, he asserted.
In response to a question on time management and exhaustion, the Prime Minister said that 1.25 billion Indians are all his family. He said that when one thinks and works for his family, how can he feel tired? He said that each new day, he resumes his work with a new energy.
Students sought the Prime Minister’s advice on subject and career choices.
Students spoke to the Prime Minister about the need to encourage children. In response, he said that competition should not be with others, but with one’s own record. He said that when one competes with one’s own past record, then pessimism and negativity can easily be defeated.
Students also mentioned the need to further improve education systems and ensure that exams are not only reduced to rote learning but also showcase what students have learnt.
In response, the Prime Minister said that our learning cannot be reduced to exams only. Our education must equip us to face various challenges of life as well, he added.
Speaking on the subject of depression, the Prime Minister said that in a nation like ours, this issue is worrying. He said Indian culture has mechanisms to deal with this. The more we talk openly about aspects relating to depression and mental health, the better it is, he added.
He said that a person does not get depressed all of a sudden. There are signs that show a person is heading into depression. Ignoring these signs is not a good idea.
On the contrary, we must talk about this, Modi said and adding to it, counselling can be helpful because it helps one talk about one’s problems.