Sivakanth figured among the top five from a total of 37,000 students who took part
From a small town that people hardly recognise in the State to an international event that tests the best of the brains among students, the journey of Gopi Sivakanth is like a dream come true. Sivakanth, a second year student of Narayana College will represent India at the International Physics Olympiad to be held in Merida, Mexico from July 12 to 19.
He is the only South Indian among the five-member team selected after a rigorous process consisting of several layers from State-level to national-level. The other four hail from Jodhpur, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai respectively.
Getting into the top five wasn’t easy for this IIT aspirant as he was filtered from the 37,000 students who appeared for National Standard Exam in Physics (NSEP). Among the 300 students who were filtered from the huge pool had to appear for Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPO) held in January this year.
Only 37 were picked among these and they had to go through orientation-cum-selection camp (OCSC) at the Homi Baba Centre for Science Education under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) at Mumbai this month.
Test of skills
The final five were selected after a series of tests that tested the skills in experimental orientation of the students and theoretical knowledge.
“It’s been the happiest moment,” says Gopi who is a recipient of NTSE and Kishore Vignanik Prothsahan Yojana scholarships of the Central Government. Interestingly, he was also short-listed for the Indian team to be sent for Astronomy Olympiad but he had to choose between Physics and Astronomy. Son of a doctor from Yeleshwaram near Kakinada, Gopi wants to come back with a few medals for himself as well as the country.
Gopi has already hit fame bagging the all India top rank of the prestigious Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) this year.
He was declared the topper in the entire Asia in the Green Olympiad conducted by the Department of Forests, Government of India recently. He was also selected for a scholarship of the Singapore Government given to highly talented students.
Four years of education was to be funded by Singapore Government in Singapore with all the facilities extended but his parents were reluctant to send him to a foreign country when he was in school.
But Gopi’s aim is to enter the IIT portals at any cost and he is expecting a rank in the top 10 this year.