New Delhi, Sept 12: More than 9.51 crore students in over 8.5 lakh schools watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with students on Teachers' Day, Union Minister Smriti Irani said.
The Human Resource Development minister, however, evaded questions on whether her ministry plans to hold a similar exercise on November 14, the birthday of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which is celebrated as Children's Day.
"You will have to wait for it till the time comes," Irani told reporters at a news conference here to list out the important steps taken by her ministry in the first 100 days of the NDA government. The exact number of students who watched the Sept. 5 event featuring the Prime Minister is 95,151,534 (95.15 million), according to reports so far submitted by the states, Irani said.
[I am a task master, not headmaster: Modi tells students]
The HRD ministry's directive that all schools make arrangements for live screening of the event for their students had drawn criticism from some quarters, forcing her to clarify that attendance for it was "voluntary." During the 90-minute, first-of-its-kind interaction, Modi talked about his childhood and narrated anecdotes with an emphasis that children should not lose their childhood and should inculcate habits of reading and cleanliness.
Modi told the students that education of the girl child was his top priority and the initiative to ensure toilets in all schools was part of that endeavour.