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Southern States - Karnataka-Bangalore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

At 12, he is doing B.E.

By Divya Sreedharan

BANGALORE Oct. 28. In the sea of ministers and politicians at the inauguration of BangaloreIT.Com, the President, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, was struck by a bright young face. But then, 12-year-old S.Chandrasekhar is rather special. For one thing, he has now dropped out of school to join college.

Chandrasekhar is from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. When seven, he got hooked on to computers. By the time he was eight, he did his own programming. At nine, he became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional. Usually, candidates are 26 or 27 when they receive the certification.

In 1999, when he was 10, Chandrasekhar — the only son of an accountant father and a banker mother — became the youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). At 11, he was the youngest Cisco Certified Network Associate.

"That was when we approached the boy; we thought we will help him in his pursuits," says K.Subramaniam, President and Chief Operating Officer of Covansys India. This IT company, headquartered in the U.S. and based in Chennai, is here for BangaloreIT.Com.

That first summer, Chandrasekhar could not work at the Covansys Lab. The next two years he did.

Two months ago, he went before a specialist panel at Anna University. Impressed, they allowed him to enrol in a B.E. Computer Science programme at Kalasalingam College of Engineering, in Sriviliputtur, near Tirunelveli. "He is actually in standard six, so he dropped out of school to join college," says Mr. Subramaniam.

Sometime ago, Chandrasekhar was made honorary director for network engineering in the TIFAC-CORE (Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council) set up by the Department of Science and Technology. Curiously, TIFAC-CORE was initiated by Dr. Kalam (before he became the President).

Now, the 12-year-old juggles B.E. work with TIFAC research on Network Security. He seems to be managing well. "In his first class test, he topped in some subjects," Mr. Subramaniam said.

But could it become a case of too much too soon for the boy. "So far, it has worked out well. We don't know what the future holds," Mr. Subramaniam said. Does he miss his parents? "Now, he stays with friends on campus at Sriviliputtur. But his parents meet him often."

At BangaloreIT.Com, Chandrasekhar was bursting with excitement when the President recited a small poem to him.

The boy met the Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N.Chandrababu Naidu, the Governor, T.N.Chaturvedi, the Home Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, and the Industries Minister, R.V.Deshpande. "Later, he wants me to tell who is who," Mr. Subramaniam laughed.

For now, Chandrasekhar is one happy 12-year-old.

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