PM Modi to interact with students on the eve of Teacher's Day this year

PM Modi to interact with students on the eve of Teacher's Day this year

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with students on September 4 morning on the eve of Teachers' Day, apparently to avoid controversy witnessed last year when a similar event was held after school hours.

The event is being held on September 4 as September 5 -- Teachers' Day -- is a school holiday and the country would also be celebrating Janamashtmi.

The Prime Minister's engagement with students at Manekshaw Auditorium would begin at 10 in the morning and he would be interacting with them for close to one hour and 45 minutes, officials in HRD Ministry said following a review meeting chaired by the Education Secretary today.

While nine crore students had participated at the interaction last year, the attempt is to scale up the numbers significantly this time, they said adding that states have been asked to ensure both public and private school students listen to the PM.

States have also been asked to send the names of two students for being nominated by the Ministry to interact with the PM at Manekshaw Auditorium.

Addressing students and replying to their questions via video-conferencing during the programme last year, Modi had laid emphasis on girls' education, cleanliness and the need to protect environment while describing himself as a "task master".

The interaction had, however, generated controversy as the students were asked to report to class on a holiday and had to stay back after class hours as the interaction was scheduled after 3.30 pm.

This year the government has decided to double the cash reward for national award-winning teachers to Rs 50,000. The enhancement of the prize money would come into effect from the 2014 award year.

Every year, the national award to teachers are handed out by the President on Teachers' Day in recognition of their meritorious work in primary, middle and secondary schools. The total number of awards is 378, of which 20 are reserved for Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic teachers.

Meanwhile the Ministry has asked the states who had set up temporary toilets to meet the August 15 dealing under Swachh Vidyalaya programme to construct permanent facilities by September 30.

Under the initiative about 4.40 lakh toilets were constructed but a few states, notably Odisha, had failed to reach the target and had put up about 6000 temporary toilets to meet the deadline.

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