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Malvika Raj, rejected by IIT is bound for MIT

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Malvika Raj
Malvika Raj

Malvika Raj Joshi

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Seventeen-year-old Malvika Raj, who does not possess a Class X or XII Certificate from her secondary studies, has been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of her computer programming abilities. The Mumbai teenager has been selected as the recipient of a scholarship for her three-medal performance at the International Olympiad of Informatics, commonly referred to as the Programming Olympiad.

There, Raj collected two silver and one bronze medal. MIT’s admission standards have a provision for accepting such students.

She ran into a multitude of speed bumps when applying to Indian institutions like IIT, a school which enforces strictly that its students pass the All India Senior School Certificate Examination. The only Indian school to grant her admission was the Chennai Mathematical Institute, where she was enrolled in M.Sc level courses, despite her knowledge matching those of B.Sc standard.

“There is absolutely 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,” said Madhavan Mukund, National Coordinator of Indian Computing Olympiad.

Raj was attending class VII at Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly School in Mumbai and consistently outperforming her peers, that’s when her mother decided to pull her out of the program.

“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,” Supriya said. “I was working with an NGO that takes care of cancer patients. I would see students who are in 8th or 9th standard being affected by cancer. It affected me deeply and I decided that my daughters need to be happy.”

The decision to homeschool, or unschool as it’s referred to in India, her daughter, was not a popular one. Supriya was even made to convince her husband, an engineer who runs his own business, that it was the right decision.

“My husband wasn’t convinced initially as it was a risky proposition,” she said. “The kids won’t have a 10th or 12th standard certificate and there was bound to be fear. I quit my job and designed an academic curriculum for Malvika. I created a simulation [classroom-like] at home. The confidence I had as a mother was that I am capable of imparting knowledge in my daughter’s.”

The choice was obviously a smart one — Raj was among the top four students who represented India at the Programming Olympiad for three consecutive years. Madhavan, who prepared Malvika for all three Olympiads, spoke about her success.

“During the past three years she spent extensive periods at CMI acquiring the background in mathematics and algorithms that she needed to excel at Informatics Olympiad. As part of this training for IOI, she had to fill in unexpected gaps in her education arising from the fact that she had not been formally enrolled in school.

“For instance, she had never studied matrices. She was never intimidated even when faced with a mountain of things to learn, and went about achieving her goals very methodically.”

And now, parents in the bunches have approached Raj’s mother with questions about homeschooling their own children, she said.

“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.”

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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