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Exam Warriors: PM Modi’s book offers 25 mantras to counter exam stress

Exam Warriors, written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and published by Penguin Random House will be released in Delhi on Saturday.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2018 07:14 IST
Neelam Pandey
Dedicated to “the youth of New India”, the book is integrated with the Narendra Modi Mobile App.
Dedicated to “the youth of New India”, the book is integrated with the Narendra Modi Mobile App.(Video grab/Twitter/Penguin India)

With 25 pithy mantras, advice to parents and teachers, and a set of useful yoga asans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done what perhaps no other head of a country has done -- prepare students to face examinations without the accompanying stress.

Exam Warriors, written by Modi, and published by Penguin Random House will be released on Saturday in the capital. In January 2017, in an episode of Mann Ki Baat -- his monthly outreach programme over radio -- the Prime Minister spoke of exam stress. In July, after results to the Class X and Class XII exams were announced and after receiving letters from some students thanking him for the advice he gave in that programme, Modi decided to write a book on the same subject to help students. Publishers Penguin Random House released a copy of the cover of the book earlier this week. Hindustan Times has seen a copy of the book and reviewed its contents.

Dedicated to “the youth of New India”, the book is integrated with the Narendra Modi Mobile App. The idea, according to Modi, is to create an Exam Warrior Community. “After all, it is all about sharing and growing -- Exam Warriors can share their exam journeys with others and discover how others have embarked on theirs, through the app,” he writes in a note from the author.

The first 25 chapters are mantras, starting with “Exams are like festivals -- celebrate them”, a message he shared in the January 2017 Mann Ki Baat, through “Be your own anchor -- celebrate your strengths” to “To cheat is to be cheap”. Interestingly, each chapter comes with an activity at the end. For instance, a chapter with a mantra titled “It’s your time -- make the most of it” asks “exam warriors” to make their “own timetable” by filling up a “24-hour clock with your daily activities”.

In a country where he is the most popular political leader, and admired by many young people, the Prime Minister’s book is certain to be widely read. Nor are young people preparing for exams likely to be the only ones reading it. Indeed, it could have its uses even for Modi’s cabinet colleagues. In a chapter titled “Presentation is key-master It”, he says “good presentation is like beautiful icing on your favourite cake—it enhances the tastes and leaves a lasting impression”.

Modi gives his own example and says as the Prime Minister he receives numerous presentations by ministers and officials about their work. “The essence of the rich content comes out even better with quality presentation,” he writes. His ministers and officials would do well to take note of that!

Addressing the parents through a letter, he asks them to “always accept rather than expect”. Another letter is addressed to teachers where he advises them to “empower the students to pursue their interests as well as create their own opportunities. Motivate them so that they do something driven by their passion instead of seeking to become something”.

But the book is about more than just preparing for exams. It emphasizes the importance of play, sleep, even travel. “India is Incredible—travel and explore,” says one mantra. As the publisher’s blurb puts it, “this book will be a friend not only in acing exams but also facing life.”