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Govt Spending on Modi's 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' Went Up Nearly 175% in 6 Years: RTI

While the prime minister spends on his much publicised discussions, paper leaks and other irregularities have made a serious dent in how competitive exams are held.
A Pariksha pe Charcha poster.

New Delhi: At a time when the Union government – and the students of India – are facing a serious crisis of competitive exams, leading to uncertain futures, a Right to Information Act response has revealed that the Union government’s spending on ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’, Narendra Modi’s interactive session with students who are about to give exams, has gone up nearly 175% in the last six years.

The Department of School Education and Literacy, which comes under the Union Ministry of Education, has responded to Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s queries about spending on the programme. The department has provided the total expenditure on the programme, without breaking down what it was spent on.

The expenditure, according to the data submitted, has gone up from Rs 4.92 crore in 2019 to Rs 10.04 crore in 2023 – a nearly 175% increase.

Public sector undertaking EdCIL, which is tasked with managing the programme, has submitted tax invoices which show expenses on ad films, social media and more.

Pariksha pe Charcha was launched in 2018, and involves Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with students, teachers and parents. It is part of his larger ‘Exam Warrior’ programme “to create a stress-free atmosphere for youngsters”.

Youngsters in today’s India, though, are finding it very hard to be stress free. Paper leaks and other irregularities have made a serious dent in how competitive exams are held. Just in this month, both the NEET-UG and UGC-NET have seen allegations of serious impropriety, with the UGC-NET being cancelled entirely.

Opposition leaders have questioned the Modi regime for spending crores on publicising Pariksha pe Charcha while not doing enough to ensure that students are able to give exams in a safe and fair environment.

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