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Modi Govt. to introduce aptitude certificates instead of character certificates in schools

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi:  On Friday Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed the government’s plans to introduce aptitude certificates in the place of character certificates in schools. In an attempt to infuse new thinking, he has also asked for professionals to volunteer and teach the students.

Fielding questions from students across the country at a programme to mark Teachers’ Day, Modi also gave insights into his own childhood — of how he would wash his clothes at a pond and iron them using a pot containing pieces of burning coal.

To a question from a child on the International Day of Yoga, held on June 21, Modi said he chose it because it is the day of the summer solstice when the sun shines longest over the northern hemisphere.

Modi said the government is trying to bring a “small change” by doing away with character certificates issued when students leave school and instead have aptitude certificates.

He said a software and a questionnaire will be developed on the child’s abilities which would be filled in by school friends, parents and the teachers.

He believes this would help to throw light on the important facets of the child and it will be easier for the student to realize what he or she wants to do in life. “The department is working on this,” he said.

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To another question, Modi said that there is a lot of talent in the country waiting to be tapped, and proposed that professionals could spend one hour a week to teach children.

“If doctors and lawyers spend time to teach children, if they spend 100 hours a year, it will infuse new life to the profession,” he said.

To another question from a student, Modi said if he had become a clerk his parents would have been equally happy, and that his parents were not in an economic condition to dream big.

The prime minister advised parents not to force their dreams on their children and instead recognize their potentials.

Asked if there was a recipe for success, Modi said that there was no recipe for success and that one should have the determination to succeed, and not be bowed down by disappointments along the way.

He also advised children to read “Pollyanna”, a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter, on inculcating positive thinking.

To another question on how Digital India would work in villages without power, Modi said he has tasked officials to provide power to the 18,000 villages without power in 1,000 days.

He said solar power could also be tapped and that Digital India was for bringing good governance.

“If we have to bring good governance then we have to go towards e-governance, an empowerment movement. Digital India is to empower the common people. My dream is that in 2022, by then 24X7 power should be there in every home, I am striving for that.”

Asked what games he liked to play as a child, Modi said he played kabaddi and kho-kho, and while going to the pond to wash clothes he learnt swimming and that became a hobby.

He said he also got interested in yoga. He would also sit on the edge of cricket fields and pick up the cricket balls and hand it over.

To a question, Modi said he wants to introduce waste management in a big way in villages and towns.

To a praise from another youngster on popularizing the Modi Kurta brand, the prime minister said he has no fashion designer.

“When I was small I left home and wandered around; I had a small bag with little possessions, some books and some clothes. In Gujarat, it is not very cold, so I would wear kurta-pyjama and wash my own clothes. I thought why wear long sleeves, and I cut it and started wearing it like that.

“In my childhood, I had no means to iron clothes, so I would put burning coal in a lota and iron clothes. The idea is to live properly,” he said.

He also recounted how he would pick up used chalk pieces after school to whiten the canvas shoes gifted by a relative.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Build Bridge between Artificial Intelligence, Human Intentions: PM Modi Urges Technocrats

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India's demographic dividen

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Modi, Human, AI
He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. "Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated," he said. Pixabay

Stressing integration and right balance between human and artificial intelligence (AI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Sunday said the debate on AI should focus on bridging the gap between human intentions and AI, and not its likely negative impact.

Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.”

He said the emphasis should be on ways to upgrade skills as per the demand. “Let AI be just another aid, which is little more sophisticated,” he said.

Observing that there is a conspiracy to present technology as a challenge for India’s demographic dividend, he said, “Human intentions and right intentions” were important for AI’s operations. Technology and talent were force multipliers, rather than a threat, he said. Technology was a bridge between aspirations and achievements, he added.

Modi, Human, AI
Speaking at the launch of book ‘Bridgital Nation’, written by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushottam, Modi said, “The debate should not be on what are the dangers from AI, but how to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and human intentions.” Pixabay

The Prime Minister narrated how technology had been a key component of government schemes to reform, transform and perform. He mentioned about the use of data intelligence, digital mapping and real time monitoring in Ujjwala Yojana, which has transformed the lives of millions of women. He also talked about how technology had helped in empowering people through schemes, like Jan Dhan Yojana and Ayushman Bharat.

Modi said his government had used technology to remove silos among departments and build a bridge between supply and demand through innovative ideas, like the Government e-market Place (GeM). He explained how technology was used to create a robust startup system in the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, which helped in development of a new ecosystem of startups.

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On the need to convert challenges posed by technology into opportunities, Modi cited the example of creation of India Post Payment Bank. The disruption caused by technology to the entire postal organisation had converted it into a tech-intensive banking system, benefiting millions through postal bank, he added. (IANS)