Top IIT-JEE rankers eye laurels at Physics Olympiad in Bangkok

First ranker of IIT-JEE 2011 Prudhvitej Immadi and fourth ranker B Sai Kiran are among the five students selected from across the country for the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) to be held in Bangkok from July 10-18.

The two meritorious students, having cracked IIT-JEE, are now raring to win laurels at the IPhO in which young students from about 80 countries are expected to participate this year.

"I feel very proud to get selected in the Olympiad. I worked hard. It was like a dream come true for me to get selected," Sai Kiran told PTI here.

"I am very happy and proud over my selection in the Olympiad. I want to do well there," Prudhvitej said.

Both studied in corporate colleges where specialised and rigorous coaching is given for IIT and apparently it became handy for them in the IphO's selection.

"I prepared for selection of Olympiad as part of intensive coaching and practice for IIT exam and referred special books on the subjects," Sai Kiran said.

He said his family did not have any science background and that he will be the first IITian in his family.

Prudhvitej hails from Dwaraka Tirumala in West Godavari district, a small temple town, in coastal Andhra Pradesh though they are living in Hyderabad now.

The other three bright students who were selected for IPhO are: Nisheeth Lahoti from Jaipur (5th rank-IIT), Shubham Mehtra from Kota (2nd rank-IIT) and Sumegha Garg from Bhatinda in Punjab (12th ranker and topper among girls).

According to Vijay Singh, National Science Olympiad Coordinator, the IPhO is a unique event designed to discover, to encourage and challenge exceptionally gifted young students from all over the world.

"All these five students were selected for the Olympiad even before the IIT results were declared. Our process always brings out the cream," he said.

The event represents a "celebration" of the best in higher secondary school physics and over 80 countries are expected to participate this year.

The Indian team will be accompanied by two teachers ---Prof Charudatt Kadolkar, College of Engineering, Pune and Dr M K Raghavendra, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

The scientific observer, Praveen Pathak is from Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai.

Appreciating the merit of the five selected students, Vijay Singh, however, said they need to sharpen their experimental skills.

"They are outstanding students. They are the top five in the country. I am sure they will do well. But, more importantly, they cannot rest on their laurels. They need to sharpen their experimental skills," he told PTI over phone from Mumbai.

He said a pre-departure training camp will be held for 15 days from the end of June during which the five students will be given training during the camp.

IPhO was initiated in 1967 and India started participating in it since 1998. The HBCSE has been a nodal centre for training and selecting students for the Physics Olympiad since 1998.

HBCSE collaborates with the Indian Association of Physics Teacher (IAPT) for implementing the programme. The Science Olympiad Programmes are funded by the Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The preparations for selecting the team began in November, 2010. About 38,000 students from across the nation participated in the first level examination conducted by IAPT. In the second level examinations, the National Physics Olympiad (INPhO) ---308 students were selected.

The examination was conducted in 16 centres across the nation and 38 students were selected to participate in an intensive training camp, namely, the orientation cum selection camp for Physics Olympiad at HBCSE from May 11-23.

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