This week, five students from India bagged five gold medals at International Physics Olympiad held in Lisbon, Portugal. This has happened for the first time in 21 years. The five boys- Bhaskar Gupta from Mumbai, Lay Jain from Kota, Rajkot’s Nishant Abhangi, Pawan Goyal from Jaipur and Kolkata’s Siddharth Tiwary represented the country at the 49th IPHO this year and all of them brought home the gold. All the five students participated with 396 other kids from 85 countries. Out of 396 students, only 42 won gold medals.
Twitter was filled with congratulatory messages from all over the country. The Vice President also congratulated the achievers for their stellar performance.
The next generation of talented Indian Scientists – Kudos to TIFR Centre dedicated to Science Education @HBCSE_TIFR for training these young minds and also for their stellar results at the International Physics Olympiad @IndiaDST @DAEIndia https://t.co/ZORXVPfmZ8
— TIFRIndia (@TIFRScience) July 29, 2018
Delighted with stellar performance of all five Indian Students, who bagged Gold Medals at recent International Physics Olympiad held at Lisbon. My compliments to all of them. #IPhO2018 #InternationalPhysicsOlympiad #education pic.twitter.com/ROOfvWlEyx
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) July 30, 2018
All five #Indian participants Pawan Goyal, Lay Jain, Siddharth Tiwari, Bhaskar Gupta & Nishant Abhangi excelled #IPhO2018 competing with 396 of the brightest #Students from 86 countries across the Globe. #IPhO2018 pic.twitter.com/LYBlHmJkeB
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) July 30, 2018
The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is an annual international physics competition for secondary school students. The aim of this competition is to enhance the development of international contacts in the field of school education in physics. The first IPhO was held in Warsaw (Poland) in 1967, and it was organised by Prof. Czeslaw Scilowski. India has been participating in the competition since 1998. In 2015, IPho was held in Mumbai.
Fantastic Five of India were picked through a rigorous selection process by the Homi Bhabha Centre. Shirish Pathare, chief scientific officer at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), TIFR, jubilantly said, “If you talk in terms of cricket, India’s strike rate in the International Physics Olympiad since 1998 has been 100 percent, where every student has won at least one medal — be it gold, silver, or bronze.”
Praveen Pathak, scientific officer at HBCSE, TIFR said, “We have been participating in the competition since 1998 and this is the first year all team members bagged gold medals. Thrice in the past, we have managed four golds and one silver.”
All of this was possible because of the handwork of the students and scientists like Shirish Pathare who spend a lot of time in training and preparing the students for the international platform. While speaking to Firstpost, Shirish Pathare shared his experience and how difficult it is to maintain 100% strike rate. He said, “Earlier. because students did not have an immediate access to information, we used to give them IPhO’s previous year papers, but now students have access to the internet and would have already done the previous years’ papers. We have to make new problems for them, and this keeps us on our toes as well.”
Speaking about the competition Pawan Goyal said, “The experimental component was difficult, but the theoretical exam was easier and three of us scored between 29 and 30 out of 30 marks.”
Lay Jain said, “It felt amazing that the five of us who came together at the event returned to India with a gold medal. It is a matter of pride for us to win a gold medal for our country.” For his further education, Jain is heading to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US. Three other students have opted for the IIT and Abhangi, the youngest one, currently is in the class 12th and will be preparing for JEE (advanced).
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