With the exam season round the corner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged students and their families to treat exams as a festival and not as a source of stress, saying they should "smile more to score more" and not take it as "test of life".
In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' broadcast, he underlined the need for students to relax by taking breaks from studies and rest properly and said that the memory's recall power is at its best when the mind is relaxed.
The Prime Minister exhorted parents to not to burden their wards with expectations.
"There is a lot of discussion about the weight of students' school bag. It seem that the weight of parents' expectations is more.
Expectation is at the root of problems while acceptance gives you an opportunity to improve things and look for new ways," he said, asking them to spend quality time with their children.
He said that parents should accept their children’s performance rather than expect.
"For some, exam is a pleasure but for most it is a pressure. It is for you to chose between pleasure and pressure."
"Those who will take it as pleasure will get more (marks) and those who take it as pressure will repent," said the Prime Minister, calling upon parents and guardians to create an environment of festivity during examinations.
Underlining the need to avoid competing with others, he said it leads to jealousy, disappointment and complacency while if one competes with oneself it leads to stronger resolve, introspection and inspiration.
He also asked students to chose 'anuspardha' (competing with self) over 'pratispardha' (competing with others) and cited the example of legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar who kept challenging himself and bettered his records.
Students, parents and teachers were the focus of Modi's 40-minute address as he noted that he found exams a source of concern for them wherever he went all these years and he always felt that they should come out of this "strange psychological pressure".
"Examination should be a source of happiness. It should be seen as an opportunity to highlight all the hard work you have done in a year. There should be enthusiasm and zest. It is your decision to treat as a pleasure or pressure. Those who treat it as a pleasure will gain and those who treat it as pressure will repent.
"My view is that examination is a celebration. Take it as if it is a festival. And when there is a festival or celebration, then the best comes out of us. We feel the society's strength during celebrations. Whatever is the best comes out... Smile more to score more," he said.
He gave the example of discipline seen among masses in 'kumbh' fair even though it is generally felt that there is a lot of indiscipline among people. "This is the strength ofcelebration."
During examination, there should be a festive atmosphere among students, families and neighbours and it will convert this pressure into pleasure.
He also asked people to put examination in perspective and not treat it as "a question of life and death or as a test of life but merely of the study students have put in during the year".
He urged students not to chase marks but gain knowledge. "Only studying for marks will lead to shortcuts and one will limit himself or herself. It is important to study for knowledge. Marks and marksheetd have a limited use. Knowledge, skill, self-confidence and commitment will be of use to you during life," Modi said.
He have the example of late President A P J Abdul Kalam's failure in an air force recruitment examination and said had he accepted it as a defeat, then India would not have got such a great scientist and President.
He also asked students to desist from resorting to shortcuts and cheating to score more.
"To cheat is to be cheap. It makes you a bad person. If you form a habit of cheating, there will be no desire to learn. Trying to cheat involves one's time to find ways. Use it for better purposes. People have told you often but I am saying again -- do not cheat. Even if no one catches you, you know that you have cheated in exams," he said.
Highlighting the need to play sports even as they prepare for exams, he said, "Letter 'P' is for preparation and 'P' is also for play. The person who plays shines. Proper rest, adequate sleep and physical exercise should be there...
"A happy mind is the secret for a good marksheet. When you are tense, knowledge takes a back seat. Do not let that happen."
He asked students to strike a balance between their mission and ambition, saying if they do it, good marks will follow them.
The burden of scoring good marks at times prevents them from taking the right path, he said, noting that people never inquire about how much marks a doctor or a lawyer has scored when they go to them.
In a lighter vein, Modi said parents and teachers may not like his emphasis on the need for relaxing and playing. "Whatever I say, it does not mean that you keep sleeping or your family will blame me when the marksheet comes... You should not allow whatever I have said to become a burden. Do it if possible or leave it."
Modi also lamented the lack of debates on citizens' rights and duties.
"Rights and duties of the citizens are not being debated and discussed as they should be. I hope the focus will be as much on duties as on rights," he said.
Modi asked the youths to take to social media to spread awareness about bravery of the soldiers who were honoured with gallantry awards on the Republic Day this year.
He hailed the Indian Coast Guard -- which will complete its 40 years of existence on February 1 -- for ensuring coastal security as well as coastal cleanliness.
The government had approached the Commission seeking clearance for the regular radio programme as Model Code of Conduct is in force in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur which are going for Assembly polls between February 4 and March 8.
The Commission has now cleared the programme, saying it has "no objection" to it from the point of view of the model code that is in force.
The poll body said the clearance is "subject to the condition that nothing be said therein that may be construed as inducement to voters or as having any impact in the election-bound states."
(With PTI inputs)
Here are the highlights:
* 1 Feb is Basant Panchami; In India, it's a festival to worship Goddess Saraswati & knowledge;It also inspires brave ppl: PM Modi
* Be confident, do well. My best wishes are with you. Make the best of it: PM Modi to students
* Not many know that our Coast Guard has women personnel also and they work at par with their counterparts: PM Modi
* They not only look after coastal vigilance but also coastal cleanliness, as they under took a cleanliness drive last year: PM
* Indian Coast Guards completing 40 years on Feb 1, 2017; I thank all jawans and officials for serving the nation: PM
* 1 Feb 2017 marks 40 years of Indian Coast Guard , I congratulate them for it. They are always vigilant: PM Modi
* Deep breathing is beneficial during exams, it'll keep you feeling fresh; Proper sleep will increase your concentration: PM Modi
* P for prepare and P for play, the person who plays, shines: PM Modi in
* Take small breaks, return to books feeling fresh. Try deep breathing it is very relaxing: PM Modi
* Cheating is never beneficial, no one must resort to it. If you do it what will you tell your children? : PM Modi
* Parents' expectations are much heavier than the school bags of students: PM
* I urge parents to accept rather than expect; Our expectations from our children should not get heavy: PM
* Competing with others can make you unhappy&jealous. Compete with yourself&you will be energised & more determined to excel: PM
* Root of problems are expectations, it is acceptance that makes things easy: PM
* Competing with others can make you unhappy and jealous. Complete with yourself and you will be energised & more determined to excel: PM
* Look at the life of Sachin Tendulkar; he kept challenging himself and bettered his own records, which is what is inspiring: PM Modi
* Example of Sachin Tendulkar is before you, for 20 years he kept breaking his own records hence getting better everytime: PM Modi
* Only studying for marks will lead to shortcuts and one will limit himself or herself; It's important to study for knowledge: PM
* You should compete with yourself to see how can tomorrow be made better than yesterday: PM Modi
* If your mission and ambition are in sync, marks will follow: PM Narendra Modi
*See exmp of Pres Kalam,he wasn't able to get into the forces,if he would've let it hamper him,we wouldn't have had a great man like him: PM
*We sometimes do not see exams in the right perspective; Exams are not a benchmark of your success in life: PM Modi
* The exams that you'll give are a test of this year not of a lifetime: PM Modi
* A happy mind is the secret of a good mark sheet: PM Narendra Modi
* When you are relaxed, the recall value will be more; Relaxation is the best tonic for memory: PM Modi
*During exams there should be an environment of festivity, it will turn P for pressure into P for pleasure: PM Modi
*I will tell all students smile more and score more: PM
* Do not think about exams as pressure; they should be celebrated as festivals: PM Modi
* Why should exam time be a time of stress or sadness? Want to talk about exams & what so many people have written to me: PM Modi
* 30 Jan is the punya-tithi of our respected Baapu: PM
* In the light of recent Republic day celebrations I'd say the stress laid on rights must also be laid on duties: PM
* My condolence to the brave jawans who lost their lives due to avalanche in Jammu and Kashmir: PM
* Congratulate families&personnel who won gallantry awards on R-Day. I urge youth to reserch on them by using internet&spread the word: PM
* We will observe a silence of 2 minutes on morning of 30 Jan to pay respect to martyrs who gave their lives for the nation: PM
* PM Modi begins #MannKiBaat, his monthly radio address to the nation.
In a series of weeks last week, Modi urged students, parents and teachers to share their experiences with him.
"The #MannKiBaat episode on 29th January will primarily be on the various board exams coming up. It will be a programme for my young friends," he said on Twitter
“Urging students, parents & teachers to share their thoughts & exam season experiences. Their views will surely inspire so many others,” Modi said.