New Delhi: Exam Warriors, a book penned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for students, will be released on Saturday in the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
The book is the fifth one to be written by the Prime Minister and the first on the need to develop stress-free attitude to exams. Catered for young minds, the books also incorporates interactive elements such as bar codes for e-reading.
It compiles nuggets from his radio addresses and anecdotes from his own life on how he coped with stress during exams. It inspires students to take up creative and physical activities to deal with stress.
In one of the chapters, Modi shared an anecdote about the time he was participating in a school play.
“I had to deliver a particular dialogue which, for some reason, I was struggling with. The director of the play got impatient and said he would be unable to direct me if I kept saying the dialogue in that manner. Naturally, I thought I was doing it perfectly, so I found it perplexing that the director would say this about me. The next day, I asked him to act like me and show me what I was doing wrong. In a matter of seconds, I realised where I was going wrong and was able to improve myself,” said Modi.
The PM has also reached out to teachers and parents through the book, a source familiar with the book’s content said.
“Keep doing everything that you can to support your children. This includes lightening the child’s mood and ensuring he or she appears for the exam in a happy and stress-free manner,” the PM advised parents in the book.
Addressing teachers, Modi said they should enable their students “to be original and rooted thinkers who are blessed with a thirst for knowledge, a spirit of inquiry and a zeal for innovation.”
Saturday’s book launch will be followed by a ‘town hall gathering’ on February 16 where the PM will interact with students from across the country. At the event, which is likely to be held in Delhi’s Talkatora stadium or the Indira Gandhi arena, the PM will also take questions from students via social media and videoconferencing.
This is not the first time Modi is addressing the issue of exam stress. Last year, Modi, to the surprise of many, made exam stress the topic of his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address to the nation. In the past, the PM has exhorted students not to treat examinations as a matter of life and death.
According to a national study, a student commits suicide in India every hour. A 2012 report by Britain’s Lancet magazine said that India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29.
Experts have repeatedly highlighted the need to tackle this issue, and the PM has tried to weigh in by speaking to students before the exam season every year. In 2017’s first ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he had asked students to “treat exams like festivals” and urged them not to take too much stress. “A happy mind is the secret of a good mark sheet,” he had said.
He also cited the example of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who had once revealed that he had tried to join the Air Force and failed, but that did not stop him from becoming a brilliant scientist.