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Young Achievers

Shubh Agrawal

With a score of 1,590 (out of a maximum possible 1,600) in SAT (formerly known as Scholastic Assessment Test), Lucknow-based Shubh Agrawal is India’s new SAT topper (for the test administered on January 21). The 16-year-old maxed the math section and scored 790 out of 800 in the SAT English paper. Students’ scores in SAT of the US-based College Board determine admissions into undergrad programmes of universities across America and in several other countries. 

Remarkably, Shubh scored the near max score of 1,590 in his very first attempt while a class XI student of the top-ranked City Montessori School, Gomti Nagar (CMS), Lucknow. An academic topper who averaged 97.6 percent in the class X ICSE board exam, Shubh is a National Talent Search scholar, a KVPY awardee of IISc, Bangalore and an astronomy buff.

The elder child of medical practitioners Shailesh and Mridula Agrawal, Shubh moved to CMS last June (2016) after writing the class X exam as a student of the city’s reputed St. Francis’ College, to enroll in CMS’ optional FIIT-JEE integrated classes. “While the CMS Plus Two and FIIT-JEE programmes are excellent, SAT is a totally different type of exam which tests the English and maths proficiency of higher secondary students. I am very grateful to CMS’ excellent career counsellors who helped me identify my interests, future goals and write university admission applications. I am especially grateful to my personal counsellor Nina Ramchandani,” says Shubh. 

Commenting on the young achiever, CMS president Geeta Kingdon says: “Three years ago when CMS became the only SAT exam centre in Uttar Pradesh, we were confident that given a chance, our students would be well prepared to excel in this test. Shubh has exceeded our expectations. We are very proud of him.”

Currently in class XII, Shubh is preparing for his school-leaving ISC board exam scheduled for next March, after which he will write IIT-JEE. “I am simultaneously exploring undergraduate study and research options in astrophysics. Writing JEE is my plan B,” says this precocious teenager set to go places.

Wind in your sails!

Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)

Bros Senthil KKumar

Brothers Mritul (13) and Sudhay Senthilkkumar (15) — class VIII and X students of Coimbatore’s CBSE-affiliated Yuva Bharati Public School (YBPS) — recently dived into an elite league of long distance swimmers and the record books of five global organisations.

Sudhay was feted for “longest distance covered (13.35 km) using medley swimming technique in five hours” and Mritul was acknowledged for “longest distance covered (9.2 km) using freestyle swimming technique in three hours” by the UK-based Elite World Records Pvt. Ltd, Singapore’s Asian Records Academy, Gurgaon’s India Records Academy, Chennai-based Tamilian Book of Records and Bhatinda-based Unique World Records Ltd.

These olympian feats of the brothers Senthilkkumar were witnessed by authorised representatives of the five records-keeping organisations at a special swimming gala staged by the Rathinam and Kandaswamy Medical Educational Foundation at the YBPS swimming pool.

The children of A.K. Senthilkkumar, a Coimbatore-based healthcare equipment businessman and homemaker Banumathi, the elder Sudhay was introduced to swimming at age six, and Mritul at age seven by their parents. In 2008, the brothers were inducted into a formal training programme by YBPS coach P.H. Harish.

Since then, Sudhay has bagged 37 medals in competitive swimming galas and was a silver medallist at the Tamil Nadu State Aquatic Championship 2013. Equally if not more competitive, the younger Mritul has a record of 55 medals in several district and state-level competitions.

And that’s not all there’s to them. The brothers are also academic toppers. Sudhay was one of 20 YBPS students selected to participate in NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission Challenge last November, earning his school a grant-in aid for building an Atal Tinkering Laboratory.

Looking ahead, Sudhay and Mritul aspire to become scientists and innovators when they aren’t smashing swimming records. “Opportunities to swim for leisure and competition should be available to all children. Our dream is to build a state-of-the-art public swimming pool in Coimbatore so that thousands of swimming champs can rise from the huge number of underprivileged households in this city,” says Sudhay.

Way to go Bros!

Hemalatha Raghupathi (Chennai)

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