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Two Indian American students co-winners of National Spelling Bee

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Washington: Two Indian American students have jointly won the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition.

Vanya Shivashankar, 13, of Olathe, Kansas, and Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, of Chesterfield, Missouri, were declared co-champions on Thursday night, CNN reported.

Vanya correctly spelt ” scherenschnitte” and Gokul did likewise with “nunatak”.

In this year’s national championship, 285 spellers competed for the title.

Vanya, an eighth grader at California Trail Middle School, has competed in the national bee four other times. Last year, she tied for 13th place.

Her older sister, Kavya, was the 2009 National Spelling Bee champion.

“This is a dream come true. I can’t believe I’m up here. I’ve wanted this for such a long time,” she said, adding “I’m dedicating this to my grandma, because she passed away in October of 2013, and all she really wanted was her grandkids to do so well, and I hope I make her happy with this.”

Gokul, an eighth grader at Parkway West School, came in third place in last year’s competition. After his victory, Gokul said the competition was a culmination of six years of hard work.

“I’ve dealt with defeat and success,” he said during the live broadcast. “I’m finally happy to have success.”

-IANS

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Trump Praises Kalpana Chawla, Says She is an Inspiration for Millions

Chawla, who was born in Karnal and emigrated to the US with an aeronautical engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College, died in 2003 on her second mission when space shuttle Columbia disintegrated while returning to earth.

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United States President Donald Trump has hailed the late Indian American astronaut Kalpana Chawla as an inspiration for millions of American girls.
Kalpana Chawla, wikimedia commons

United States President Donald Trump has hailed the late Indian American astronaut Kalpana Chawla as an inspiration for millions of American girls.

“Chawla’s courage and passion continue to serve as an inspiration for millions of American girls who dream of one day becoming astronauts,” Trump said on Monday in a proclamation honouring Americans of Asian and Pacific Islands descent.

Trump said that during this month "we recognize their tremendous contributions, which have helped strengthen our communities, industries, Armed Forces, national security, and institutions of governance".
Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons)

The month of May is celebrated in the US as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Trump said that during this month “we recognize their tremendous contributions, which have helped strengthen our communities, industries, Armed Forces, national security, and institutions of governance”.

Praising the contributions of Asian Americans, he said: “Through their industriousness and love of country, our Nation has enjoyed the privileges and enrichments of multiple innovations and societal advancements.”

Also Read: Indian-American medical doctor booked for $1 mn fraud 

Chawla, who was born in Karnal and emigrated to the US with an aeronautical engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College, died in 2003 on her second mission when space shuttle Columbia disintegrated while returning to earth.

“Indian American Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian descent to fly in space, and became an American hero for her devotion to the Space Shuttle program and its various missions transporting cargo and crew to and from the International Space Station,” Trump said in his proclamation. (IANS)

 

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