17-year old Shwetha Bhairagond from Vijayapura, a student of Indu Independent PU College in Ballari district, along with her classmate, Madivalara Sahana, has jointly topped the Arts stream in the IInd PUC examination in Karnataka. Both the girls scored 594 out of 600.
Notably, the institute in Ballari has produced three other top-10 performers in the Arts category – G Mounesha (593), Kaveri Jaggal (591) and Shantha G (591).
Both Bhairagond and Sahana told indianexpress.com that they aspire to become IAS officers. While Bhairagond wants to encourage girl child education, Sahana wants to act tough against those practising superstitious activities.
“In my village a lot of girls are married off at a very young age. They hardly get exposure to education. I aspire to become an IAS officer to solve this problem and encourage education of the girl child in some of the backward regions in north Karnataka,” said Bhairagond.
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Commenting on the competition with Sahana, Bhairagond said, “We have been hostel mates for a brief period. Although we don’t mingle much, I think she is my best competition. Moreover, I have got friends who motivate me to study and ensure I don’t become lethargic during my preparations. I used to study early in the morning between 4am and 5am and it helped me to a large extent.”
Bhairagond said teachers in Indu Independent PU College used comedy, drama and other unconventional methods of teaching. “Going beyond books, lessons related to history are taught in an engaging and comical way. My friends and I dramatize historical events and characters to understand the stories,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sahana, whose parents are wedding photographers, said, “My aim is to crack the civil services. My main focus would be to make north Karnataka free of superstitious activities and also work for the overall development of the region.”
Veerabhadrappa AN, the administrator of the college, said: “The college is not just about exams, but also a place which conducts engaging cultural activities and motivational sessions for students. During motivational sessions, students who failed in the previous year and the rank holders share their experiences with the current batch. This way, students can get an idea on how to prepare and mitigate errors during examinations. This is also the seventh consecutive time that the college has got a state-level rank in the Arts stream.”