PU results: Ballari college on cloud 9

Every year around this time, a small college deep in Ballari district briefly hits the headlines, outdoing better-known peers in the state by churning out topper after topper in the PU exams. This year, Indu Independent College in Kottur taluk outdid itself, bagging nine of the top 10 ranks in the arts stream.

At the core of its otherwise low-profile existence lies a fierce drive to excel. Three months ago, it invited its first rankers from 2015, ’16, ’17 and ’18 to a felicitation programme. But the subtext was more important. On the stage next to the illustrious alumni was another chair, deliberately kept empty. The challenge was thrown and accepted: On Monday, Kusuma Ujjini duly topped the state in arts, the fifth year in a row the college achieved that distinction.

The man, who threw that challenge, principal H N Veerabhadrappa has built success out of personal tragedy and sheer hard work.

He lost his studious little sister Indira in a fire and along with his other brothers set up the college in her memory in 2006. The college admits only those who come from poor and agrarian backgrounds. They come from a 50 km radius.

“In arts stream where good handwriting is key to score, we make them write copy books for one year till they achieved perfection,” Bhadri, as the principal is affectionatly known, told DH, adding that the students were made to feel they were still in high school so that they would get the basics right. “Access to mobiles is banned. Students are forbidden from sticking posters of film heroes on to the walls of their bedrooms or bathrooms. Instead, they are made to paste subject points for quick familiarisation.”

There are few holidays and each teacher adopts 50 students and acts as a parent by attending to their every need. If a student doesn’t show up for two days, the lecturer will visit the student’s house. The college completes the syllabus by November and then begins the gruelling sessions for children which are a steady blend of revision and series of preparatory exams. “We conduct 11 preparatory exams in less than two months,” he said.

Bhadri, who had failed in PUC and later on graduated with masters in History and Kannada, had determined that no student shall fail in the academics and made up his mind to teach and train students individually. His commitment and support of other brothers towards imparting quality education have made the college hog the limelight today.

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PU results: Ballari college on cloud 9

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