"Education should become a force for the nation’s character building."
"Dialogue with students: Enjoy childhood. Don’t let the child in you die."
"We must restore respect for the teacher in our society."
"Can’t India dream of exporting good teachers?"
"Children can contribute to nation-building through cleanliness, saving electricity and water."

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today called for education to be made a force for national character building.

PM releasing the brochure PM releasing the brochure "Swachh Bharat, Swachh Vidyalaya", at the "Teachers' Day" function

In a unique interaction with students from across the country on Teachers’ Day, the Prime Minister said the relevance of Teachers` Day on the birthday of Dr. Radhakrishnan needs to be reinterpreted in a changed world. He said it is essential to highlight the importance of a teacher in society, and restore respect for the teacher in our society. Only then can the teacher mould our new generation, he said.

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The Prime Minister said there was a huge demand for good teachers worldwide. Can India not dream of exporting good teachers to the world, the Prime Minister asked.

Highlighting the need for educating the girl child, the Prime Minister referred to his Independence Day address and said he had spoken of building a separate toilet for girls in every school within a year. He said this was essential to reduce the drop-out rate among girls.

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The Prime Minister also expressed happiness at being asked about initiatives for education of the girl child by a female student from Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. He said, such a question, coming from a girl in Bastar, where Maoism has shed so much blood, should awaken the country.

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Interacting with students and answering a range of questions posed by them, the Prime Minister referred to his recent visit to Japan, and how he was impressed by their education system. He said in Japan, the teachers and students together keep the school clean – this is part of their character building. Can we not make it a part of our national character building, the Prime Minister asked. The Prime Minister also mentioned the emphasis on discipline, technology and scientific temperament, in Japan`s education system.

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In response to a question on whether he would launch a programme on the lines of “Vaanche Gujarat” (Read Gujarat) at the national level, the Prime Minister referred to the Digital India mission, and said he hoped everyone would be able to get connectivity and access to knowledge that they needed. In response to another question, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of skill development.

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The Prime Minister also suggested to eminent citizens that they should try to teach at least one period a week in a nearby school. He said children could also contribute to nation-building by doing simple things such as striving for cleanliness, and helping to conserve electricity and water. He urged students to play hard, besides studying. He said students must enjoy, and not let the child in them die.


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Click here to read the full text speech

Click here to read the Q&A between PM Modi and the students

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May 08, 2021

At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.