Hansika Shukla, catapulted to instant stardom after topping the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 12 examination on Thursday, said she has "no regrets" for missing out that one last point that earned her an astonishing 499 out of 500 marks. The subject that cost her that lone mark was English.
"English is a subject where even if you get above 95 per cent, it means you have done very well. So I have no regrets," she told NDTV at her school, Delhi Public School (DPS) Ghaziabad.
The teenager has been bombarded with congratulatory phone calls and requests for interviews. "I am very excited but quite tired," she said.
Besides the 99 in English, Hansika Shukla has scored 100 each in History, Political Science, Psychology and Hindustani Vocals. She tied with Karishma Arora from Muzaffarnagar for the top rank.
"I did not have a goal but I had hoped that I would do well. I gave my 100 per cent. I was exhausted by the end of it... I used to get nervous, have breakdowns too but I tried to stay in the present and focus on what I have to do not what I have to think," she said.
But she is not done yet. Hansika Shukla already has made plans about what she wants to do next.
"I want to pursue psychology honours. From Delhi University, preferably Lady Shri Ram College for Women and I want to try for the Indian Foreign Service too," she said.
Hansika Shukla's mother is an associate professor at a college in Ghaziabad, her father works as a secretary in the Rajya Sabha.
Around 13 lakh students appeared for the mega CBSE Class 12 exam which began on February 16. Girls outperformed boys this year too with three girls students clinching the second rank as well. The results were declared way ahead of their schedule.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar wished the students. "Congratulations to all my young friends who have successfully passed the CBSE Class XII examinations. My best wishes to them for their endeavours. Kudos also to their parents and teachers for the valuable support," PM Modi tweeted.
The results are available on the board's official website - cbse.nic.in - and its official results portal, cbseresults.nic.in.