Tathagat Avatar Tulsi was born in Bihar on September 9, 1987. According to Outlook, his father claimed that he was a product of eugenics – a practice that aims to improve the genetic quality of the human population. Tulsi graduated from school at 9 years old, finished his BSc from Patna Science College at 11, completed his MSc at 12 and his PhD in 2009 at the age of 21 from IISc. He was considered a child prodigy and the Indian media at the time sensationalized his story.
After completing his post-graduation, he was selected by the Indian government to attend a gathering of Nobel laureates in Germany. However, Outlook reported, “Tulsi was accused by the other students and some scientists of being a fake genius who mouthed jargon that he did not fully understand.”
He was invited to work as an Assistant Professor at IIT Bombay in July 2010. It was a non-permanent role. However, in 2019, Tulsi was fired from his position.
What happened that made IIT Bombay fire a guy who was widely considered a child prodigy?
After all, the then-dean of the Physics department at IISc claimed he was a “good boy, very lovable, and working to achieve his goals.” TIME magazine had named him as one of the most talented Asian children and also called him a “Physics Prodigy”. THE WEEK called him a “Master Mind”, reported The Statesman.
What happened was that in 2011, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi suffered from a high fever and was diagnosed with a particular kind of asthmatic allergy. He was on leave. In 2013, he left Mumbai and took a 4-year leave from IIT Bombay. He has been in Patna ever since. He didn’t go back to Mumbai and join the institute. Finally, in 2019, Tulsi was fired.
He claims that the kind of allergy he suffers from, which causes difficulty in breathing, happens when he is in a location that is nearer to the sea. In Bangalore or Delhi, he claims to be healthy. He wanted to get a transfer to another IIT, which he wasn’t offered. He is currently studying law because he wants to establish something called “virtual transfer”.
Here’s an interview of his with the BBC: