Malvika Raj Joshi, a Mumbai-based 17-year-old girl is all set to pursue her Bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a scholarship after being rejected by the most prestigious institution of her own home country, the much hyped IIT’s.
She does not have a formal X or XII certificate but is still welcomed by the most esteemed college of the world, MIT. Malvika is a three-time winner of the International Olympiad of Informatics. Thus she is determined and excited to go and study in the States.
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Unlike all the IITs where they believe in tough entrance examinations for students, MIT does not believe in this and always invite geniuses from the entire world.
Malvika remembers those days when she was continuously in conversation with them and getting emails from Boston.
She says, “When I started unschooling, that was 4 years back, I explored many different subjects. Programming was one of them. I found programming interesting and I used to give more time to it than to other subjects, so, I started liking it at that time.”
There is no doubt to the fact that is intelligent. The 17-year-old was able to crack the entrance exam of Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and was able to secure herself a seat in an M. Sc. Level Course.
She found it difficult to get admission in IIT as they have strict criteria for selecting students who have completed their XII exams, but in the case of MIT they select students who are exceptionally intelligent and they do not lay more emphasis on certificates.
Malvika was in class VII at Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly School when her mother decided to pull her out of the school.
“Malvika was doing well but I felt my children [Malvika and her sister] need to be happy. Happiness is more important than conventional knowledge. Malvika was doing well but I felt my children [Malvika and her sister] need to be happy. Happiness is more important than conventional knowledge. I worked with an NGO that cares for cancer patients. I would see students in 8th or 9th standard with cancer. It affected me. I decided that my daughters need to be happy.” quoted her mother
Malvika’s father,an engineer– businessman, however, did not have the same opinion. It took Supriya, Malvika’s mother a while to convince her better half about homeschooling. She quit her job and designed a curriculum for Malvika that helped her climb the success ladder.
“There is no question that Malvika’s admission to MIT is based on her superlative achievements at IOI. It is a credit to MIT’s flexibility that they can offer admission to a student who demonstrates excellent intellectual potential despite having no formal high school credentials,” quotes CMI’s Madhavan Mukund, who is the National Coordinator of the Indian Computing Olympiad.
Her computer programming talent made her gain a place in the bachelor’s course at MIT thus fulfilling her aspirations and also making her country proud.
But still, we would say that our IIT’s lost a gem.
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