As Indian teenagers, the extent of most of our ambitions was getting into the IITs.
In the words of world-renowned career guidance counsellor, Baba Ranchhodas,
“Sab race mei lage hua the!”
At 17 years of age, when most of us tend to be engaged in this little rat race, these Indian-American geniuses are making progress by leaps and bounds in science and mathematics.
2 Indian-American teenagers, Indrani Das and Arjun Ramani won the first and third prize respectively in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search competition, often nicknamed the “Junior Nobel Prize”.
Indrani was awarded $250,000 (₹1.6 crores) for her research in the treatment of brain-related injuries and diseases.
Arjun was awarded $150,000 (₹98 lacs) for his project on computer programming and the use of the mathematical field of graph theory.
Three other Indian American students, Archana Verma, Prathik Naidu and Vrinda Madan also made it into the top 10. They were awarded $90,000 (₹60 lacs), $70,000 (₹ 45 lacs) and $50,000 (₹32 lacs), respectively.
Show me the money!
Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of ‘Society for Science & the Public’ and publisher of Science News, had this to say about these bright young minds.
“Now more than ever, we need our nation’s best and brightest young minds to pursue their interest in science and use their talents to solve our world’s most intractable problems.”
While several bright young minds in the US are getting opportunities like these to make a lasting difference in the fields of pure sciences and mathematics, those in India are being forced to use their intellect for nothing more than entrance exam preparation. By no means is our country lacking in talent. Where we fall short is the inability to harness this talent appropriately.
Just think, how many of our brightest minds are actually inspired to pursue a career in the field of research compared to those aiming for a corporate job with a hefty pay package?