National-level Young Thinkers’ Conclave: Trisha Gautham Pai and Neha Udapudi emerge “Best Speakers”

09:45 AM Jan 07, 2022 | Team Udayavani |

Udupi: Trisha Gautham Pai and Neha Udapudi, 10th graders of Udupi Sharada Residential School, proved their mettle in the National Level Silver Jubilee Commemorative Young Thinkers Conclave, 2021 organized by Mayo College Girl’s School, Ajmer. Hundreds of students from schools across the country took part in the event held virtually from August 23 to August 27, 2021.


Trisha Gautham Pai emerged as the “Best Speaker” in the turncoat round for the multi-format English Debate whereas Neha Udapudi was adjudged the “Best Speaker” in the extempore debate competitions. Both shared their experiences with Udayavani.

“Since ours was a debate, we had prepared a set of probable topics of discussion with the help of our school teachers. We prepared thoroughly for the events as we were competing with students across the nation,” they said.

All competitions were held virtually, which presented certain challenges to the competitors. “If the competitions were not held virtually, we would have to travel to the venue of the competitions where we could meet our competitors face-to-face. Our teachers would also accompany us. But this is not the case in virtual mode. We must enter the competitions using the link provided by the organizers. Also, we wouldn’t know who our competitor was. We were also concerned about technical problems. All in all, the virtual competition was a unique and fulfilling experience,” they added.

Students from more than 40 prestigious schools across the country, including those from Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata, participated in the conclave. “The debates were held in three stages. The topics of debate given were quite different. We did not expect to succeed but are happy that we won,” they said.


“We’ve gained clarity on how to speak, and how to communicate well. It has also given us the motivation to participate in more such competitions in the future,” the bubbly duo said and added that winning the competition in School’s name has made them even more proud. “The achievements of students certainly enhance the school’s reputation,” they said.

Trisha Gautam Pai is the daughter of the Executive Chairman of Manipal Technologies T Gautham Pai and Vanita Pai. Neha Udapudi is the daughter of Dr. Karabasappa Udapudi and Dr. Savita Udapudi.

On this occasion, the director of the Sharada Residential School, Vidyavanta Acharya U congratulated Trisha and Neha for their achievement and said “We, at the Sharda Residential School, give ample opportunities for students to discover and develop their talents. We identify exceptional talents and nurture them towards excellence. Our school is affiliated with the Indian Public Schools’  Conference (IPSC) which enables our students to participate in such competitions organized at the national level.”

The principal of the school Dr. M Ramachandran also praised the excellent performance of Trisha and Neha. “During the lockdown, the Sharda Residential School has hosted extracurricular activities for children in addition to the regular digital classes. Several cultural and sports events were held virtually in online mode. Our students have participated in several national and international conferences in virtual mode,” he added.


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