Dip in performance of Indian students this yr

While six students who represented India at 2012 International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) won a silver medal each, results showed this year too, the final team comprised participants from small towns. The performance of the Indian team has dipped as compared to 2011 when India bagged two gold and four silver medals. In 2010, India had secured four golds and two silvers and one gold and five silvers in 2009.

According to Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), an assessment of teams selected for IJSO in the past reveals small-town students score over their urban counterparts, both in terms of performance and participation. HBCSE is the nodal centre for training and selecting students for Junior Science Olympiad.

HBCSE officials said in the last few years, only one student each from Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi and two from Chennai made the final team.

Further, unlike 2011, which had two students from Maharashtra (Pune and Thane), none could make it to the top six this year.

The team this year was Bhavya Choudhary (Kota), Charles Rajan (Bhopal), Kushal Babel (Udaipur), L Nikhil Kumar (Hyderabad), Pratyush Rajput (Jaipur) and Swati Gupta (Jaipur).

The competition was held in Tehran, Iran, from December 1-10. "A total of 161 students from 29 countries participated. All six students who represented India secured silver medals. There is no official ranking of nations. Our students were competing with the best and despite the stiff competition, we did well," said Vijay Singh, national coordinator, science Olympiads, HBCSE.

According to officials, the trend this year is consistent with previous years, which saw students from small towns performing better than their city counterparts.

"Students from smaller towns and cities take education more seriously. They feel an international platform like IJSO will give them good exposure and contribute to their overall progress. On the other hand, students from big cities have a lot of distractions and opportunities and tend to be less focused," said an official from HBCSE.

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