14-year-old tops in IIT Delhi region

New Delhi, May 26 (Calcutta Tube) Fourteen-year-old Sahal Kaushik, who holds the 33rd rank at all-India level in the IIT JEE exam, emerged the Delhi region topper in the entrance examination.

At the press conference to honour the toppers, Sahal, who was too shy to speak on stage, handed the mike over to his mother Ruchi Kaushik. But that was just for a while, off the stage, the boy giggled with his friend and answered media questions quite comfortably.

‘He mixes where he wants to. He has participated in competitions at the international level and mixed very well with everyone,’ says Ruchi. A doctor by profession, Ruchi was her son’s first teacher.

‘His basic schooling was mostly at home and I looked after his studies,’ Ruchi said.

‘We got him admitted for Class 10 boards at the Vandana International School in Dwarka. He did all his studies for Class 11 and 12 from Narayana Institute,’ she informed the media persons.

Asked how she felt about her son performing so well at such a young age, Ruchi said: ‘He was always a very bright child, so it was not a surprise.’

The boy also has to his credit two Asian Physics Olympiad medals — silver for 2009 and bronze for 2010. Sahal was also a member of Asia School Camp at Japan in 2009 and is a scholar of the prestigious Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana.

Talking about his interest, Sahal said: ‘I want to do research.’

‘I will either go for the integrated M.Sc. at IIT Kanpur or for the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research,’ he says.

Ruchi supports her son, saying: ‘He can do what he likes. We have never pressurised our children for anything.’

His mother says that Sahal is apart from other children not only in his performance but also in his interests and hobbies. Sahal is interested in reading historical books and listening to old songs. Asked about his favourite singer, Sahal said: ‘It is hard to say who is my favourite but I like Kishore Kumar.’

Sahal also breaks the myth of toppers scoring 90 plus in board exams. This topper scored a modest 76 percent in Class 10 and 73 percent in Class 12 board exams.

‘He has a sharp brain, does calculations very fast, but fails to express very well on paper. Perhaps that is why he scored less in CBSE exams,’ Ruchi said.

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