September 5, 2014

Indian PM interacts with India's Future

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PM Modi has done it again. This time he has reached a new target audience- lakhs of school students across India. He has inspired them. Such interactions are needed more often. Indeed, the PM has to be a leader, an inspirer so that our nation can surge ahead. Glad that we have a PM who fully realises this.

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Things that I especially liked in the interaction:

a) Sharing his notorious childhood activities. It was unexpected!

b) The Nagpur example: On full moon nights, how to connect with the heavenly environment? Simply switch off the streetlights and let the people enjoy the natural beauty of the romantic night!

c) Read. Read whatever and how much ever you can. Read even from the newspaper packet in which pakodas(hot crispy snacks made of gramflour) are served. [Sadly, nowdays they give in polluting polythenes only. He should have driven that message too- STOP USING THOSE POLYTHENE BAGS]


d) Think of what you wanna do, not what you wanna become. Simple, yet powerful message.

e) His masterstroke: Revealing that the exercise was actually a mapping exercise...seeing how many teachers' inboxes he can actually reach, showing the power of how possible future MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) can be delivered throughout India

f) Laying stress on sports. Encouraging students to be playful, energetic than just being glued to books.

g) Saving electricity was effectively driven by PM. Using energy efficient devices, switching off fans/lights when we go out of a room, simply enquiring about electricity bill and then working to reduce it.

h) How doing small tasks will also amount to doing national service. Simple tasks like saving electricity, water, teaching for just one period in the nearest school. As I've participated in http://mygov.nic.in/, I could immediately connect it to several tasks therein.

i) Loved the incident on 'Skills' where the M.A. pass person does not know what he can do when asked the question "what can you do?", yet needs a job. This is indeed the problem in India. Families stress on degrees than learning, which needs a definite change.

j) When he said- "At least today for entire day, the Media has focused on showing so many children from around the country on tv sharing their thoughts and expectations. Thanks to the Media and this event for that." Very much spot on Mr.PM!

k) The mapping of vocational skills with those required by the nearest industries must actually be made compulsory throughout India. It will solve many problems of migration and associated social, economic, political issues.

What I did not like in the interaction:

a) His using balak (male student in Hindi) most of the times. Very few times he said balika (female student) comparatively. And saying how balaks like to dress like shikshaks (male teachers). What about balikas wanting to emulate shikshikas (female teachers) then? He could have actually made more use of gender neutral words like perhaps vidyarthi (student).

b) His saying that 'climate is not changing, we are'. This is factually incorrect.
We must realise the fact that even if each of us 125 Crore Indians change our habits starting RIGHT NOW, then also climate change will continue to occur and affect us. Because historically Greenhouse Gases (GHG) have piled up which will continue to change the climate irreversibly. All we can do is to mitigate and adapt to it effectively to prolong the life of our Earth and our future generations.
Also, India is among the least per capita GHG producing countries in the world today. In international fora, like upcoming Paris Conference in 2015 and future Climate Conferences, India has to play a leading and stellar role to emphasise this and be a world leader in reducing further GHG emissions and coping with climate change by co-opting developed countries further.

c) He said- If we save electricity, then those whose homes are dark will become lighted. This is again factually incorrect.
Actually, when we save electricity, the maximum we do is to delay or reduce the burning of coal which is mainly used to generate electricity in India. The electricity saved will unfortunately, NOT get diverted to light say a poor home in a remote part of India. The unlighted poor homes will get light only if (a) they are grid connected or (b) they are given offgrid electricity solutions. And we are a long way away from either- today 300 million Indians still have NO ACCESS to electricity.

d) He said the right thing that how respect to environment is ingrained in us- how Moon is called Mama (Uncle), how rivers are Mother for us and so on. Yet, I'm afraid he's not WALKING THE TALK on this. Environment seems like a non-issue for him in pursuit of development, as seen from no start of action even over his pet project of Ganga Cleaning [Thanks to the Supreme Court for tapping the Government's knuckles over this], rapid clearances for many projects without thought for rehabilitation of tribals/affected people and so on.

e) I did not think of this, yet later when I was flipping through news channels I tended to agree with this criticism- "Teachers' voices should also have been heard on this occasion". Yes, of course- it's their day after all! Their sacrifices, their hardships, their expectations should have been aired.
Yet I have a feeling the idea would have occurred and later been scrapped- which teachers would have been prioritised for sharing their thoughts? And they would not ask questions like students- a separate, deeper level of engagement would be needed. Hope they think for this for next year- as this year, the time for preparation was short.

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f) Also, deft management was required prior to the interaction so that political bickering could have been reduced. For instance, the directive could have been worded in a more nuanced manner than sounding 'dictatorial' and requiring clarification from HRD Minister later. Also, timing should have been made more convenient - morning instead of afternoon, so that normal bus timings, teachers'/students' plans for spending latter half of day etc. would not be hampered.

Conclusion:

All in all, the overall interaction was great. It was motivating and a never before exercise that a PM reaches out via technology to millions of students. This was indeed a clever mapping exercise and now, whenever in future the PM wants to communicate with schools and teachers, he can do so in just a click!

I love this use of technology, as we as employees/share-holders of new age companies are habituated to getting e-mails from CEOs/MDs in our inboxes. When the PM reaches out to citizens' inboxes directly, as he did even on Independence Day, it is a transformational experience. He is indeed the CEO of the Nation! All kudos to our PM for taking these transformational steps. Data is indeed powerful- an enabler, if used correctly. Now this must be securely maintained, otherwise its misuse can spell doom as well.

Looking forward to more such optimism filled exchanges. India sorely needs these, to rise above all nations in the world. These, followed by definitive action, to march far ahead.

Yes, we can.

And, WE MUST!

Jai Hind!



**Linking this to letter 'I' (Interaction, India, Indian, Inspire) of ABC Wednesday.


39 comments:

  1. WELL,,,,,A BALANCED APPROACH YOU HAD IN YOUR POST....I LIKED IT...

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    1. Thanks a lot Isaac! Glad U liked it! :D

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  2. He has taken a good positive step forward to connect with future. That must be appreciated.
    Glad to read this post.

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  3. Was it necessary to make it mandatory for all students and teachers to watch it? At least in Delhi all teachers and students were asked to view it.

    Is Modi ji trying to woo the next set of voters? The strategy is good, no doubt.

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    1. Very right Sir. I heard that since 2008, on Teacher's Day he's been addressing students in Gujarat. So this was I guess its extrapolation to the country....

      Yes he's a man of strategies...deftly skilled with Arthashastra of Kautilya...expert in statecraft....:)

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    2. He is a very skilled orator. But someone should have told him teachers day is for celebration of the teachers year long hard work and he never mentioned anything about teachers!"Teachers' voices should also have been heard on this occasion"!.

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  4. It is a superb step, I don't remember that any India PM ever think about it.

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  5. He is an inspiration to us all. He is a true gentleman.

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    1. Yes he inspires in every speech. Extempore & from heart. Actions also mst b as good...I hope India progresses inclusively & sustainably....

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  6. I agree with all your points.
    Very nicely expressed.
    Yes, Vidyarthi is fine. May we appreciate the girl-child too. I felt many girl-students asked questions in comparison to the boys! :)
    Also, if the event was in the morning, many more schools could have joined in because of convenient timings (many schools get over by afternoon- & the time that was chosen was post-afternoon)
    May we have better facilities in our school & may there be more use of technology.
    I appreciate PM Modi's step. He has won many hearts.
    Hope Children's Day will also be widely celebrated with technology & right facilities like washrooms, water & electricity reaching every school & home...

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    1. Very rightly said Anita! Hopes for all dat U have hoped! :D

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes indeed! Thanks for commenting on my post! :)

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  8. Your write up is very well researched and interesting. I agree with all your points, but I am upset that the Teacher's day celebration became too stressful, because everyone was forced to watch it.Also why address the children on teacher's day.Usually on teachers day the teachers come to school in their best attire, sit back relax, watch a function put up by children and go home early after some snacks and a gift.Because of the p.m's speech teachers had to be in the school till 5pm and mind the children and force them to sit still and watch the programme on the t.v screen. Trust me this task is very very difficult. so i think the day which otherwise was suppose to be relaxing turned out to be strenuous for all teachers all over India baring a few exception. He could have addressed the children on 14th November(no points for guessing why he didn't do it !!)

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    1. Nima, I fully agree with U. That's why I've given the point about timing of celebrations. Maybe he was signing India-Australia Deal and had to prepare himself through the morning. Yet this is no reason to hold back lakhs of students and teachers all through the afternoon....

      In fact, even if programme was good yet sensitivity to such a large population should have taken precedence. A day when people had planned outings was cancelled. So, next time I hope this could be arranged better to not inconvenience teachers n students alike...Thanks fr ur detailed comment! :D

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  9. Yes it was an awesome speech as usual.

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  10. I have always liked the communication skills of Mr. Prime Minister.. Yes truly he is reaching out to masses via technology which is a perfect medium to connect with the current and future India. Kudos to you for putting up a nicely researched post..

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    1. Thanks so much FreeMindTree! Technology has to be harnessed...glad that PM himself driving it!

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  11. Replies
    1. Leader must continuously inspire. He's doing that. Hope it continues & hope he delivers not blind development like China's but sustainable, inclusive development for India.:)

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  12. I had heard about him a little, but I daresay you know a lot more about American Presidents than we know about Indian PMs.

    ROG, ABCW

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    1. Ha ha! That maybe true! :P U must at least be knowing 1st PM of India- Jawaharlal Nehru & India's own iron lady- Indira Gandhi....dnt U?!

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  13. I liked his interaction with the young immensely,warts and all!

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    1. :D Yes..that's why I wrote this...I wanted 2 bring out both- wat I like + what I didn't like! :)

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  14. I think it was a very good interaction! Teachers exist because of learners...that's why I thought it was appropriate to pick up that day.

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    1. Oh that's a nice thought Beloo! I had not thought of it that way! :D

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  15. A very good post indeed. Earlier children's day was just another holiday. This time the PM's creative thought made it more memorable. However, it would have been more beneficial if teachers's issues, problems were heard and some solutions were made. Hope for the best in the coming years.

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    1. Thanks Fayaz! That was Teachers Day! Children's Day comin up in Nov...lets c wat'll happen on that day! :)

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  16. Really it is very interesting and good that new PM is very serious about the positive change of India and he starts his work in positive way.

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    1. Thanks so mch thedigilibrary for your comment! Yes...hoping for best! :)

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  17. Nice analysis of your leader's pros and cons...The positive things need to be incorporated internationally as well♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/inspired-by-legos/

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    1. Thanks a lot! Yes agree with U- the world after all is a global village! :D

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  18. Replies
    1. Thanx so much Gowthama! Do keep visiting n commenting on my blog! :-)

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  19. This post is definitely the most balanced piece (including blog posts, print journalists, electronic media) I've read on this subject!

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    1. Thanks sooo mch ProactiveIndian for the compliment! Delighted! :) Plz keep readin & commentin on my posts!

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