NEW DELHI: Hitting back at critics, PM Modi on Friday said his government was taunted as being filled with “average” talent, but India is now shining in the world as a beacon of hope in the post-pandemic era.

During his interaction with students, teachers and parents in the sixth edition of ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’ at Talkatora Stadium here, the PM said it is his “firm conviction” and “article of faith” that criticism is a purification exercise for a robust democracy.

He was responding to questions by students Mannat Bajwa (Chandigarh) and Astami Sen Rangit Nagar (South Sikkim) on how to deal with criticism. “Criticism is a nutrient that makes us strong. But you don’t need to take those levelling allegations seriously,” he said.

When Jovita Patra of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (Gurgaon) asked how she could focus on studies being an average student, the PM said, “Two-three years ago, people used to write that this government doesn’t have an economist and the PM has no knowledge of economics. But this very nation, which is said to be average, is now shining in the world… All average people just need to identify something extraordinary in them.”

When another student asked him as to how he sees the opposition’s criticism, the PM said in a lighter vein that the queries are “out of syllabus”.

‘Cheating in exams a sign of erosion of values in society’

Modi while responding to a question on how to address the issue of malpractices during exams said, “we need to address this” and said cheating in modern form is an indication of erosion of values in society. Cautioning students from taking shortcuts in life, Modi also rued the fact that some schools or teachers who run tuition classes strive for unfair means so that their students excel in the exams.

During his interaction with students on Pariksha Pe Charcha on Friday, Modi said that while previously people used to hide such malpractices, now students spend hours in devising creative ways to cheat and take pride in that.

“Students should refrain from wasting time in finding ways and preparing cheating material and spend that time in learning. In these changing times, when life around us is changing, you have to face exams on every step. If such students are guided to spend the same effort and time on studies, they would do well in their academics as well.”

One cannot be successful in life with cheating even if one clears an exam or two by unfair means, Modi said. “Hard-working students should not despair at the temporary success of the cheaters” and “hard work will always benefit them in their lives. Exams come and go but life is to be lived fully.”

Giving the example of people at railway stations who risk their lives by jumping on to the tracks instead of crossing via foot overbridges, the PM pointed out that shortcuts will not take you anywhere and said, “shortcuts will cut you short.”

Asserting that exam results are not the end of life, “Exam toh aate jaate hain, humme zindagi jeeni hain, jeette jeette jinni hain (exams come and go, but we have to live our lives and win).”

A record 38 lakh students registered this year for participation in ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’. The number of registrations is at least 15 lakh more than last year.

By editor

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