India has struggled on many occasions to retain its talent domestically. Malvika Raj Joshi is one example of this.
Although it is a genuine problem for India, brain drain is rarely given the attention it deserves. It is not new for bright Indian brains to travel outside and make contributions to other nations. Many elite IIT and IIM alumni travel to other countries, such as the US and Europe, in quest of better prospects and environments that will support their professional development. These nations are constantly searching for unique talent. The nation has struggled on many occasions to retain its talented workforce. Malvika Raj Joshi is one example of this.
Malvika Raj Joshi was a child prodigy who could not be admitted to the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US welcomed her on a scholarship after she discovered her brilliance there. At the time, she was 17 years old. Malvika did not sit for any board examinations and did not have a certificate of passing class 10 or 12, which is a requirement for entrance to the prestigious technology institute, so she was not eligible to attend IIT.
Malvika was a gifted child prodigy who placed third in the International Olympiad of Informatics and earned three medals in the Programming Olympiad. But when she was in seventh grade, her parents had taken her out of school. She was a star student at the Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly School in Mumbai at the time. Her mother made the choice to take her out of school. Her father, an engineer, needed some time to adjust to the move. Malvika’s mother quit her job to create the academic program so she could finish her schooling at home.
She was incredibly talented, but IIT was out of the question. She was accepted into only one Indian institution, the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), where her knowledge was judged to be on par with a BSc degree, and she was enrolled in an MSc-level study. MIT recognized her aptitude for computer programming and admitted her based only on merit, not on grades or school credentials.
She enrolled at Boston University in order to pursue a bachelor’s in science. Her Olympic gold was a contributing factor in her acceptance at MIT.