223 students will be awarded PhDs at the 49th convocation of Bangalore University

D.L. Shruthi from Doddaballapur would travel three hours each way daily because she was denied hostel accommodation by authorities who cited the short distance. Instead of grumbling about it, she used her journey time in BMTC buses to cover the syllabus. On Monday, Bangalore University announced that she had topped in M.Sc. Physics and won seven gold medals. She will be among 83 students who will receive gold medals at the 49th convocation scheduled on Tuesday. At the event, a record 223 students will be awarded PhDs.

“I not only studied during my journey, but also referred books in library during spare time. I was lucky to get good teachers who inspired us to do better,” said Ms. Shruthi. She wants to pursue a doctoral degree in atmosphere and space science.

Her interest space was triggered by a state-level satellite making competition during her B.Sc. days in Maharani’s Science College. She stood first in the event. It led to ISRO. She credited her parents D.N. Lakshminarayan, who owns a power loom, and mother Mangala Gowri for unstinted support.

Another standout achiever was Noorjan A.R. who was awarded six gold medals and three cash prizes in M.Sc. Chemistry, a subject in which she has topped Bangalore University. For her father Abdul Rafeek, a daily wager at a mutton stall in Bagepalli, and the rest of her family, the news was hard to digest. The reticent girl, who wants to pursue a doctoral degree in organic chemistry in BU, was all praise for Mr. Rafeek, mother B. Shakila and five siblings for their supportover the years. Her three brothers are also daily wagers in mutton stalls at Bagepalli. She is the first graduate in the family.

“I did not study much, but concentrated on lectures in classrooms at Central College. All the doubts that I had were cleared by teachers in the class,” she said. Ms. Noorjan is the fourth child of the Rafeeks. She studied B.Sc. at National College in Bagepalli. Since her undergraduate days, she has been winning scholarships from the UGC due to her academic performance. Besides the family and teachers, she praised Jindal Foundation for supporting her stay in Bangalore. Aishwarya N.A., who secured five gold medals and three cash prizes for securing first rank in B.Com, has already started studying chartered accountancy. A student of MLA First Grade College in Malleswaram, her inspiration is her father N.K. Ashok, an accounts manager in a private firm, and supported by her mother Jayasheela B.H.B. Thimme Gowda, Vice-Chancellor, attributed the increased demand for Ph.Ds to better job opportunities and the desire for faster promotions. Mr Gowda said that the varsity had awarded 168 Ph.Ds last year.

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