Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meet India's youngest Ph.D. student. She's 15 :-)

At age 5, study in 9th grade in highschool.
At age 7, finishes 10th grade in highschool.
At age 10, graduates from highschool, and enter university.
At age 13, finishes Bachelor Degree, and enter Master Degree of Science  program.
At age 15, finishes Master Degree of Science in Microbiology, and passes entrance exam for Ph.D. program.
Presently, she is a Ph.D. student at the same university - Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University (BBAU).

7 years old, an age when most of us were just beginning to learn our multiplication tables, Sushma Verma was graduating from high school. At 13, while we were dipping our toes into high school life, she was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University. And now, at 15, Verma has just been accepted to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) for her PhD — making her the youngest PhD student in India.

In case we need to clarify, Verma is a prodigy and a total badass. (Apparently, it runs in the family Her older brother, Shailendra, became the youngest computer science graduate in India at the age of 14 in 2007.) According to One India, she passed her University Research Entrance Test this week, scoring seventh overall; as if passing the exam itself wasn’t already impressive enough. After she graduates, she hopes to become a doctor — but so far, the journey hasn’t been easy. Many of her academic goals are prohibited right now due to her age.

“My young age has been a major constraint in pursuing higher education,” Verma said in an interview with The Times of India. “Getting permission to attend high school and seeking a seat for the medicals posed big problems.”

“A person should always be judged by his or her talent and potential, not by age,” she continued. “I desperately wanted to become a doctor but now I have to wait till I turn 17 — it’s a huge disappointment for me.”

It’s obvious that Verma has amazing things in her future — and she’s had to overcome plenty of barriers to get to where she is today. Verma has spoken extensively in the past about the fact that she comes from a family with “tough financial constraints,” and, as a result, will receive “hostel accommodation and scholarship facility” for the duration of her studies. While she hasn’t yet confirmed her concentration, in an interview with India Times, she expressed interest in pursuing a PhD in agricultural microbiology.

“I’m interested in this field,” she told India Times. “I was especially drawn to it when we had to do fieldwork in the fourth semester, or when we would have to do lab work such as isolate Rhizobium bacteria in roots of leguminous plants.”

Science was never my strong suit, so I have no idea what Rhizobium bacteria is — but I’m pretty sure a 15-year-old isolating it in the roots of leguminous plants is very impressive. We can’t wait to see all the other amazing things Verma achieves in the future.


Sushma Verma, age 15, Ph.D. student at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU).

Her genius was discovered at the age of two and she was admitted in class IX at the age of five. Since then, she has created many records. She will now do her PhD till she turns 17 and becomes eligible to apply for medical entrance test. Know more about this child prodigy.

She was just five when she was directly enrolled in class IX in 2005. When she was seven, she got listed in the Limca Book of Records for being the ‘youngest student’ to pass class X. She was 13 when she completed her graduation and at the age of 15, she has created yet another record by finishing her Msc. And that too with a Semester Grade Point Average (SGPAs) of 8!

Meet Sushma Verma, a 15-year old young genius from the outskirts of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, who has made headlines by clearing MSc (Microbiology) from Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University (BBAU).

Sushma Verma finished her Msc at the age of 15.
Sushma Verma finished her Msc at the age of 15.

She not only cleared the course with flying colours, but also topped the class in the first, second and third semesters in spite of being the youngest in the class. Most of her classmates were at least eight to nine years older than her.

Her talent was discovered when she recited the Ramayana at a local school function at the age of two. Her brother Shailendra, who is also a prodigy, had cleared class 10 at the age of nine and became the youngest science graduate at the age of 14. She would often read her brother’s books and took training from her teachers to solve the problems quickly.

Her brilliance does not just shine in India. She was invited for an IQ test in Japan where she competed with 35 other students of her age and stood first.

She aspires to become a doctor but her age came in between her dreams and her CPMT results were withheld because she was under age. As she couldn’t pursue the medical course due to age constraints, she thought of finishing her PhD till she turns 17.

Daughter of a sanitation worker who is employed in the same college where she studied her Msc, Sushma was also given a grant of Rs. 8,00,000 by Sulabh’s chief Dr Bindeshwari Pathak towards higher education.

Her father works in the sanitation department of the same college where Sushma studied her Msc.

Sushma is indeed a rare talent who has surprised the world with her incredible achievements. She has yet again proved that true talent can find its right place in spite of many challenges.

We congratulate Sushma on all her achievements and hope to see her scaling great heights.

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