It is rare for a student planning to pursue his studies in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to participate, or get selected for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), let alone win a medal for the country, said the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE). This year, however, for the first time, a student joining the IIT Kanpur’s physics department, has not just represented India at IBO, but also won gold for the country.
Sahal Kaushik, the youngest student to have cleared the IIT’s Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) with an all-India rank of 33, secured gold at the 21st IBO 2010 held in Changwon, Korea.
Kaushik has also represented India at the Asian Physics Olympiad for two consecutive years, winning silver in 2009, and bronze this year.
“Students planning to join the IITs or other engineering institutes don’t participate in biology Olympiads. They are averse to biology since they view it as a subject involving rote learning. Kaushik’s achievement is thus rare and special,” said professor Vijay Singh, national coordinator, science Olympiads. HBSCE is the nodal centre for all science Olympiads.