Kanchana Laxmi Siddi, 26, who hails from Chipgeri, a remote village in Yellapur taluk, Uttara Kannada district, made her community proud by clinching two gold medals at the Bangalore University’s 55th annual convocation on Saturday.
Ms. Kanchana, who belongs to the Scheduled Tribes community, bagged the medals for Masters in Philosophy. She had earlier completed a law course. “I would like to give all credit to my mother, a single parent, who encouraged me to study. I want to pursue my PhD and then open an NGO to help tribal children access higher education,” she said.
She also expressed hope that members from her community, will in time, break away from superstitious beliefs.
“At the same time, I want to educate other people about the progress that people from my community have made,” she said.
On Saturday, 56,172 students received their degrees during the convocation. As many as 319 gold medals and 90 cash prizes were awarded to 196 meritorious students, while 184 candidates received their PhD degrees.
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, only gold medallists, prize winners and PhD awardees were invited for the ceremony.
In his address, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Sivan, who was the chief guest, urged students not to fear failure. Each failure should be treated as a valuable lesson, he said.
K.R. Venugopal, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said that BU will offer new courses, including an M.Sc. in space science and space technology, M.Tech in aerospace, machine learning, and internet of things in the next academic year.