36 students at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, India, have been punished for skipping the screening of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 100th episode of Mann Ki Baat, as reported by The Indian Express on Wednesday.
The students, who are in their first and third year at the National Institute of Nursing Education at PGIMER, have been prohibited from leaving their hostel for seven days. In an order given on May 3, Dr. Sukhpal Kaur, the principal of the National Institute of Nursing Education, claimed that the students were notified that participation in the event was required but failed to show up. The hostel warden also claimed that despite multiple requests for the students to attend the program, they "did not pay heed."
Kaur defended her decision to punish the students, claiming that it was made "to maintain discipline" and because the department requires students to attend several guest lectures; she denied that the punishment was for failing to attend the show hosted by the Prime Minister.
The Mooknayak reached out to Chandigarh Youth Congress State President Manoj Lubana to get a comment on the punishment given to these students for not attending PM’s Mann ki Baat program.
Manoj Lubana, the state president of Chandigarh Youth Congress, criticized the punishment and called it a "dictatorial decision" by the Modi government to force the public to listen to the Prime Minister's Mann Ki Baat.
Lubana claimed that the administration targeted female students, and that the Youth Congress would not remain silent if anything unjustifiable were to happen to them or their academic careers in the future.
This is not the first instance in which schools have punished students for skipping Mann Ki Baat. A school in Dehradun, India, fined students Rs 100 for missing the 100th episode of the program this week. However, the school later refuted the claim and said that only a warning had been given.
The Indian government had requested that all community radio stations in India broadcast Prime Minister Modi's speech live and provide documentation of the transmission to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The ministry had also requested "a photo of the community listening to the broadcast as a memoir."
The first episode of the monthly program 'Mann Ki Baat,' in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi engages with the public, aired on October 3, 2014, on All India Radio on the final Sunday of every month. The program has now reached its centennial edition, which aired on April 30, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the show's history. Through this program, the Prime Minister shares his thoughts and ideas on various topics and encourages citizens to express themselves through letters and phone calls.
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