Introducing Miss Universe India 2023 Top 16 Finalists

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The 11th Edition of the Miss Diva (Miss Universe India 2023) beauty pageant will be held on 27 August 2023 in Mumbai, India. The reigning queen of Miss Universe India 2022 Divita Rai placed Top 16 semi-finalists at Miss Universe 2022 in New Orleans, United States of America. Divita will crown her successor at the end of the event. In contrast to the competition's previous year's model, where the representatives were appointed in a private ceremony. This year will see a return to the competition's standard format, with the initial process beginning with registration and auditions and ending with the shortlisting of candidates to the grand finale in Mumbai. For the first time in its history, the pageant accepts applications from all relationship statuses - married, divorced, single mother, pregnant, engaged, widowed, and transwomen. Additionally, the height standard has been changed to a reduced format.

Selection Process of Miss Diva 2023

Out of 180 confidently beautiful divas, only 16 will now move on to the LIVA Miss Diva 2023 (Miss Universe India 2023) competition following a final round of auditions held on Wednesday, August 9 in the "City of Dreams" Mumbai. Among the distinguished panel of judges who picked the finalists were India's very own Mr. World 2016 Rohit Khandelwal, former Mister Supranational India Altamash Faraz, reigning Miss Universe India Divita Rai, and Miss Supranational India Pragnya Ayyagari. The main winner of this year's competition will represent incredible India at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador this November, while another beauty will be selected for Miss Supranational 2024.

Get to know Miss Diva 2023 Top 16 Finalists

Aayushi Tiwari (25, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh)

Born amidst the rich beauty of nature in a small town, Balaghat, in Madhya Pradesh, Aayushi Tiwari cracked the UGC NET for Assistant Professor in English Literature, alongside working as a content writer for an organic beauty brand. With an inclined interest in spirituality, she believes that her connection with the Universe is her key to looking beyond the materialistic world around her. The great warrior Rani Lakshmi Bai fascinated the l’il Aayushi to the extent that all she wanted to do as a kid was imagine herself as a strong woman with the values of undying patriotism and uncompromising ethics running in her veins. She loves expressing herself through dance and enjoys watching fantasy fiction at leisure. With a strong belief that “A Beauty Queen is born inside and then crowned outside”, she is all set to conquer her new journey with her core beliefs of compassion and courage set right.

Aishwarya Dikshit (27, Mumbai, Maharashtra)

Aishwarya Dikshit, is 27 years old model, an aspiring actress, and a student of Biochemistry, is also a trained Bharatnatyam and belly dancer from Mumbai. She loves spending time with cats and volunteers to care for strays. Aishwarya grew up extremely independent owing to the fact that both her parents were working professionals. Her father’s job led her to travel worldwide, exploring different cultures. Her academic journey took her to the US, where she discovered the profound importance of life beyond academics. As the only Indian in her sorority at Mississippi State University, she took immense pride in representing the beauty and culture of her country every day. She competed in her first beauty pageant back there and took back life lessons, which miraculously gave way to her dream of wearing the sash of India with pride on her chest. As the shortest and oldest contestant this year, she is here today with hope not just for herself but for every girl out there who gave up at one point or is thinking of giving up on their dreams because of adversities beyond their control.

Apurva Chavan (26, Pune, Maharashtra)

Apurva Chavan grew up as an introvert who discovered solace in channelling her emotions through various art forms. This journey led her to immerse herself in the world of Kuchipudi, dedicating over 12 years to practising and studying the art. Her efforts bore fruit, as she achieved numerous awards and national-level recognitions. Notably, she earned the esteemed CCRT Scholarship in Kuchipudi, bestowed by the Central Government of India. The stage became her canvas, gracing over 30 platforms across the nation. As life unfolded, her affinity for the spotlight propelled her into the world of beauty pageants. She was crowned the winner of Campus Princess in 2018, stood tall amongst the top 10 contestants of Miss Diva 2018, and was privileged to represent Maharashtra in Femina Miss India 2023, where she made it to the Top 7. Amidst the many achievements, Apurva accomplished a B.Tech degree in Information Technology, seamlessly intertwining her modelling career. Her narrative echoes a story of passion, persistence, and dedication, which lead her here on the stage of Miss Diva for the second time, where moving forward, she wishes to complete her dream of representing India internationally.

Archana Bhavsar (22, Mumbai, Maharashtra)

Hailing from the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, Archana Bhavsar arrives brimming with unwavering faith. Even in her formative years, Archana was deeply engrossed in a tapestry of pursuits—singing, dancing, harmonium playing, and even donning various personas in fancy dress competitions. Not one to shy away from athleticism, she also thrived in badminton, skating, swimming, and the sprinting realm. Among her myriad talents, performing arts held a special place, with Archana unearthing her true self early on—a testament to her exceptional self-discovery ability. A beacon of determination, she exudes a remarkable clarity in her aspirations, a trait that shines even brighter considering her modest and academically oriented upbringing. Undeterred by the transition from being the apple of her family's eye to facing opposition due to her fervent desire for a crown, Archana remained unyielding in her pursuit. From the tenderest of ages, the dream of gracing the silver screen kindled within her. Yet, despite this inner fire, her self-assurance faltered. The Miss Diva platform emerged as her chosen passage—a journey to bolster her self-belief, a rendezvous with the Universe's validation of her intrinsic worth.

Aruna Beniwal (21, Jaipur, Rajasthan)

Hailing from the regal state of Rajasthan, Aruna Beniwal embodies its rich cultures and traditions. At 21, she shines bright as a model and actor, deriving happiness from dance, sketching, and boxing – sources of focus and passion. Aruna's drive for success, determination, and resilience to learn from setbacks fuel her journey. A believer in the maxim "failure is never a reason not to try again," she views fear as an opportunity to face everything and rise. A certified 'A' NCC cadet, Aruna's participation in NCC camps unearthed her flair for rifle shooting and instilled unwavering discipline. From her tomboyish school days, Aruna's path to modelling wasn't apparent until her sister nudged her into an audition. Surpassing expectations, she became 1st runner-up in Femina Miss Rajasthan 2019, securing titles like Miss Talented, Miss Photogenic and Femina Miss India Rajasthan. Her infatuation with the hustle led her to embrace a career in the glamour world, where every day without a camera felt incomplete. Aruna's journey demanded sacrifices and discipline, moulding her into the person she is today. Her unshakable belief in off-field efforts shaping on-field success is unwavering. Born in Rajasthan, she cherishes the privilege and pride tied to her heritage, fueling her commitment to elevate her country. Aruna takes on the responsibility with humility, pledging to inspire girls and women across Rajasthan, nurturing her role model status, and leaving an indelible mark.

Arushi Singh (22, Jaipur, Rajasthan)

Hailing from the enchanting Pink City, Jaipur, Arushi Singh's upbringing was deeply influenced by her surroundings. Her unwavering source of guidance and mentorship has been none other than her elder brother. Drawing inspiration from his journey, she embarked on a path of academic diligence. Currently, Arushi finds herself in the culminating year of her undergraduate studies in dentistry. The genesis of her aspiration to become a dentist can be traced back to a pivotal moment in her life. A distressing accident resulted in the fracture of her anterior teeth, a traumatic incident that would shape her future. Fueled by this experience, Arushi's resolve to transform adversity into opportunity took root. She has a remarkable knack for turning vulnerabilities into strengths and insecurities into tools for growth.

Daisy Khound (22, Jorhat, Assam)

Daisy Khound, a fiery 22-year-old Assamese armed with a bachelor's degree in history, was always peppered with moments of self-doubt and second-guessing her prowess. She has been on a relentless quest for self-improvement, dousing herself in the most formidable challenges that come her way. She is out to make her roots proud while setting fire to social norms. She has chosen to champion the cause of raising awareness about the sex trafficking of minors. She is not just a dreamer but a spice-infused visionary with an insatiable hunger to put India on the world map. Daisy has a burning desire to be the voice for those who've been silenced. So, here she is, igniting change and leaving an indelible mark as she struts down the path of making India proud and standing up for what is right.

Devyani Jagtap (23, Pune, Maharashtra)

During her formative years, Devyani Jagtap’s upbringing unfolded on the rural fringes of Pune amidst the serenity of a farm. In this idyllic setting, verdant landscapes and creatures became her cherished companions, nurturing an innate affinity for the natural world and its inhabitants. Consequently, her remarkable attributes led to her selection as an exemplary student within her school, and she was chosen as a model student. Devyani won gold medals at the state level for her school in Table Tennis and Shotput. Growing up, she noticed how her childhood of posters and postcards was a dream for most children. Not the one to sit idle - she had to do something about it, which gave birth to a mission - reconnect humanity with nature! In her pursuit, Devyani studied Horticulture in Hoind. Being a part of Miss Diva, she aspires to change the world for the better - faster and quicker. Crown or no crown – her mission and journey will continue till her last breath.

Gopika Suresh (24, Bangalore, Karnataka)

A journey is woven by threads of courage and ambition, Gopika Suresh was born amidst the beauty of Kerala, raised globally, and now nestled in Bangalore. She thrives on challenges - finding her muse in the realm of digital marketing, where creativity and hustle collide. Growing up, her parents wanted no facet of her potential to go unnoticed. With their encouragement, she embarked on a two-decade-long journey soaking in the art of Bharatanatyam. It is on stage that she both loses and finds herself. Beyond her artistic pursuits, she is a traveler, reader, and die-hard enthusiast of romantic comedies. Recently, she stepped into the entertainment industry, driven by a heart brimming with dreams. She aspires to carve a path that not only fulfills her own ambitions but also makes her loved ones proud. With the belief that you have only one life to Claim, Own, and Live, Gopika hopes to pursue the extraordinary.

Nickita Arora (24, Faridabad, Haryana)

Hailing from Haryana, Nickita Arora's life story is a remarkable journey of self-discovery and empowerment. A journalism graduate from Delhi University with a diploma in clinical psychology, Nickita's path led her to the world of modeling at just 19. Through her modeling career, she transformed her insecurities into strengths, becoming a beacon of confidence.

Sarannya Sharma (19, Delhi)

Sarannya Sharma, a 19-year-old law student and Kathak dancer from the diverse city of Delhi embodies versatility. Embracing diverse backgrounds and faiths, she cultivated adaptability and warmth. Law is her pursuit, while Kathak guides her through life's facets. Overcoming childhood struggles with body image, she now expresses herself confidently through dance and acting. Sarannya's transformative journey inspires others to embrace themselves, ignoring small-minded opinions. She's become the empowered version she once yearned to be, advocating self-belief and authenticity.

Shweta Sharda (23, Chandigarh)

Shweta Sharda, a 23-year-old, is a true embodiment of dreams and determination. Hailing from Chandigarh and now making her mark in Mumbai, her story is a testament to her relentless pursuit. Raised by a resilient single mother, Shweta imbibed courage from an early age in the face of adversity. At 16, she leaped into the unknown, relocating to Mumbai to chase her aspirations. You might recognize her from your screens, where she mesmerized audiences on renowned shows like DID, Dance Deewane, and Dance+. Displaying her innate, self-taught brilliance, she even shone as a choreographer on Jhalak Dekhlaja.

Sonal Kukreja (25, Jaipur, Rajasthan)

Born in the bustling heart of Delhi and nurtured in the cultural tapestry of Jaipur, Sonal Kukreja embodies the spirit of these two vibrant cities. Her roots run deep in Jaipur, the place that has witnessed her transformation into the remarkable woman she is today. With a global education in marketing and public relations from Pennsylvania State University, USA, Sonal's journey encompasses diverse experiences and knowledge. At present, she shines as the founder of Unicas, a startup redefining India's financial landscape through innovative crypto financial services. Beyond entrepreneurship, Sonal's journey is a testament to empowerment and resilience, and her drive is centered on igniting transformative flames in the lives of others. Her path is guided by courage, determination, and the values imparted by her incredible parents. She envisions a world where women break the chains of societal norms, embracing financial independence. Standing here, she exemplifies the spirit of empowered women who carve their destinies while inspiring countless others to do the same.

Trisha Shetty (22, Mumbai, Maharashtra)

Trisha Shetty, a 22-year-old Psychology Graduate, professional model, and actor, embodies a captivating blend of traditional and contemporary grace. Hailing from Karnataka and nurtured in Mumbai, Trisha's artistic expression ranges from dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, and belly dancing to National level calligraphy and engaging in debates. Her educational journey spans seven schools, including an army school, instilling adaptability and resilience within her. She views Psychology as a tool enabling her to understand herself and others, unraveling the essence of what truly makes us all HUMAN. She is also an accomplished state-level swimmer and practices yoga, meditation, and pilates for holistic development. The name "Trisha" embodies desire, and with her aspiration to harmonize with the universe, she presents her most authentic self before you.

Vidhi Giri (22, Chandigarh)

Vidhi Giri, a 22-year-old from Chandigarh, brings a little bit of Punjab in her as she is a bhangra dancer. She has studied Textile design at NIFT Bangalore, and as a student from a prestigious fashion college, she became aware of the harmful effects of the fashion industry. Vidhi is also a sustainable fashion influencer committed to supporting independent brands and ethical manufacturing. She also had the privilege of being both the muse and the designer. Involved with NGOs such as Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, she has also worked with a self-help group called Ambar by Mata Sahib Kaur, showcasing the beautiful craft of Phulkari. She has also worked under one of the leading brands of South India, Latha Puttanna, a slow fashion brand that genuinely prioritizes sustainability. Her spirituality gives her inner strength and a sense of purpose that further fuels her determination to make a positive impact on the universe.

Zuchobeni Tungoe (25, Kohima, Nagaland)

Zuchobeni Tungoe, a 25-year-old from Nagaland, a land celebrated for its festivals in India's northeast region, has navigated a journey of unwavering determination. Despite the rejection, Zuchobeni's pursuit of her dreams yielded a collection of singing titles, signifying her perseverance. While these challenges burdened her mental well-being, leading to a clinical depression diagnosis, her story is one of resilience. Through seeking assistance and cultivating self-love, Zuchobeni emerged fortified and more self-assured. Recognized as a singer with a cascade of accolades and a flourishing YouTube following, Zuchobeni's vision extends beyond music. A dream to establish a skill-centric institution in Nagaland attests to her commitment to elevate her community. Her journey is both personal and regional, combating discrimination while seizing opportunities. Hailing from a region less explored and undervalued, Zuchobeni's ambition amplifies the need for Northeastern voices to unify, fostering advancement in a predominantly rural landscape. Her plea for recognition echoes through the recent yet disregarded Manipur event, underscoring her mission to bridge gaps and elevate her people's voices.

Miss Diva 2023 Top 16 Finalists in Alphabetical Order:

Aayushi Tiwari (Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh)
Aishwarya Dikshit (Mumbai, Maharashtra)
Apurva Chavan (Pune, Maharashtra)
Archana Bhavsar (Mumbai, Maharashtra)
Aruna Beniwal (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
Arushi Singh (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
Daisy Khound (Jorhat, Assam)
Devyani Jagtap (Pune, Maharashtra)
Gopika Suresh (Bangalore, Karnataka)
Nickita Arora (Faridabad, Haryana)
Sarannya Sharma (Delhi)
Shweta Sharda (Chandigarh)
Sonal Kukreja (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
Trisha Shetty (Mumbai, Maharashtra)
Vidhi Giri (Chandigarh)
Zuchobeni Tungoe (Kohima, Nagaland)

Who will become the next Miss Diva? Comment below

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