01:53 GMT01 November 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been hosting a monthly radio programme, “Mann Ki Baat”, since October 2014, wherein he addresses his countrymen on state-owned All India Radio. The recording of the same is shared on Modi’s YouTube channel along with the BJP and Press Information Bureau.

    After Modi’s Sunday radio address to the nation, the 68th episode uploaded on YouTube has garnered more dislikes than likes. While the show has wide popularity among its audience, the new trend of dislikes is being seen as a new form of protest.

    Medical and engineering aspirants across India have been demanding the postponement of the national Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and partial lockdown in many states. With the education minister and government paying no heed to their demands, students have started disliking Modi’s address on YouTube to express their discontentment with the government.

    Meanwhile, #StudentsDislikePMModi is also trending on Twitter, where the students are mobilising one another to dislike Modi’s videos on YouTube in a show of dissent.

    The Human Resources Development minister said 80% of students have downloaded their admit card, so they are willing to take exams.

    ​As more than a million medical and engineering aspirants have to appear for the JEE, scheduled on 1 September and 6 September, and the NEET on 13 September, state chief of Jharkhand Hemant Soren attacked the education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', over the central government's decision to hold NEET, andJEE Main 2020 examinations as scheduled. The exams are the gateway to admission in premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology and the All India Institute for Medical Sciences.

    ​With no standard operating procedure or increase in the number of examination centres, students are worried about travelling to their examination centres, taking the three-hour long exam with masks on and then contracting the virus, which may affect their families as well.

    Meanwhile, India has recorded 3,542,733 COVID-19 cases with over 78,000 cases being recorded in a single day. As many as 63,498 have died due to the virus in the country.


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