“Unschooled” Girl Rejected By IITs Gets Accepted Into MIT. Is This Why India Is Losing Talent?

We really need to stop our obsession with marks. Or soon we will lose many more talented students like Malvika Joshi.

Malvika, a Mumbai girl, was home schooled after the VIIth standard – that is to say that she did not really go to a school to study like regular kids. Nor did she take any exams. That includes the 10th and 12th standard board exams too.

Image source

Malvika’s mother took her out of school after her 7th standard. She wanted her daughter to be happier, rather than just accumulate knowledge for the heck of it.


Her mother quit her job and started tutoring her daughter at home. She simulated a classroom and even made an academic course for her daughter.

“We are a middle-class family. Malvika was doing well in school but somehow I felt that my children need to be happy. Happiness is more important than conventional knowledge,”

Malvika suddenly became happy and was learning more than ever. She became passionate about acquiring knowledge.


It is during this time she started exploring subjects and stumbled upon programming.

Image source

She started giving it more time than the other subjects – something you cannot do at school. She found that she had a natural incline and talent towards the subject.


She was so brilliant, she got into an MSc course in Chennai Mathematical Institute and also represented India at the International Programming Olympiad THRICE.

Image source

Her knowledge was on par with BSc students. At CMI, she learned everything she missed in formal schooling – mathematics and algorithms that would help her excel in Olympiads.


Malvika’s dream institutes IITs rejected her candidature because they have strict rules about passing the 12th standard board exams. MIT (Massachusetts Institute Of Technology), Boston, however, accepts students who have excelled in Olympiads.

Image source

They are also offering her a scholarship.

The irony is that Malvika never aimed to get into MIT. She wanted to get into IIT.

“They are all interested in knowing how to get into MIT. I just tell them that we never aimed for her admission in MIT. I tell parents to understand what their children like.”

That’s good parenting!

This story highlights the reason why India loses talented because of an admission policy. We are no stranger to brain drain that has plagued us for over a decade now.

We need to recognise the talent of such brilliant students and groom them. Not reject them.

Cover Image Source

News Source – DNA