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An M.Sc at age 13!

Nithin Belle / 3 September 2013

Offers have started pouring in for a Lucknow-based Indian child prodigy, who has been enrolled to an M.Sc microbiology course at Lucknow University.

According to media reports here, the 13-year-old girl, Sushma Verma, got admission at Lucknow University after completing her B.Sc in Zoology and Botany from an affiliated college. Daughter of a daily wage earner, she holds the distinction of being India’s youngest matriculate, having passed out of school at age seven.

Eminent Urdu lyricist Javed Akhtar is among those who have rushed to the help of the prodigy. Others include a US-based NRI, Rafat Sarosh, and a charitable organisation in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

The girl’s father, Tej Bahadur, has already paid the first installment of Rs25,075 to confirm the Lucknow University seat for Sushma. He had to sell some land that he owned to rustle up the money to pay the first installment.

The vice-chancellor of the university has also recommended the girl’s name to the admissions coordinator, pointing out that her age should not be a hurdle to her doing the course.

The donor from the US has promised to pay Rs5,000 a month for at least a year to help the girl cover additional expenses while studying at the university, besides funding her laptop.

The teenager aspires to pursue a career in medicine ultimately. Though coming from an impoverished background, the girl passed her standard X exams when she was just seven. She then completed her standard XII before enrolling for her under-graduate programme. Interestingly, Sushma’s brother, Shailendra, is also the youngest computer science graduate; he was 14 when he passed his BCA in 2007.


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