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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

At 77, young enough for higher studies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patna, October 29, 2012
First Published: 15:58 IST(29/10/2012) | Last Updated: 16:02 IST(29/10/2012)

Age is no bar for so far as learning is concerned. And, this Patna septugenarian proved it true.

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He aspires to do his doctorate at an age when most others would prefer relaxing at home and singing hymns to God.

Meet Binay Kumar, 77. A proud father of four well settled sons and two daughters, he is now free of most family responsibilities. Kumar retired from the animal husbandry department, government of Bihar, nearly two decade ago after putting in 34 years of service.

With ample time at his disposal, he discovered the spark of education still alive in him. It was dim, nevertheless burning, and he did not want to extinguish it.

Recently, he drew attention of one and all in the examination hall when he stepped in to take his MPhil/PhD entrance examination at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. Today, with fingers crossed, he is awaiting the results.

But then, it was no sudden brainwave that took him to Delhi to try for a doctorate degree. Prior to that, he did his post-graduation in distance education (PGDDE) and master of arts in distance education (MADE) from Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) at the Ignou.

For him, education is the best mode to ensure better discipline in life. Learning, according to him, gives salt to life.

And, Kumar is not the only one taking the entrance test for MPhil/PhD at an advanced age. An IGNOU official said there were quite a few examinees well past 50, though Kumar was certainly the eldest of the lot.” “And he was as passionate as any youth taking the test alongside him,” the official added.

University’s chief PRO Ravi Mohan said, it is the beauty of distance learning programme that draws even the elderly. “Here, there is no barrier. Anyone can get enrolled and pursue knowledge goals. In many programmes, elderly people are showing keen interest,” he added.

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