Karnal boy wins silver at international biology olympiad

City lad Arnav Kalra, who has won the silver medal at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), 2014, has set his eyes on another goal. He wants to pursue a career in medical research. Arnav (17), who was selected for the IBO through a national examination, is stated to be the first student from Haryana to excel in this prestigious academic championship. 

After returning from Bali in Indonesia, where IBO-2014 was held last week, on Monday night, Arnav told HT on Tuesday that he aimed to go for his passion for research after completing MBBS.

"Participating in the IBO itself was a great experience and I felt proud in representing India along with three students from other states. A total of 240 students from 61 countries participated in the IBO-2014 and all four Indian participants won silver medals individually," Arnav said.

Arnav has studied at St Theresa Convent School here and cracked the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) without joining any coaching institute. His mother Bharti Kalra is Karnal's known gynaecologist while his father Sanjay Kalra is city-based endocrinologist.

Sanjay Kalra is also executive editor, Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Journal of Social Health in Diabetes.

Arnav and three other participants were given special training for two weeks at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai, which is the nodal centre of the country for Olympiad programmes in mathematics and sciences, including astronomy.

These programmes are aimed at promoting excellence in science and mathematics among pre-university students in the country.

"Some of the best teachers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, trained us. It was really an exciting experience," said the IBO runner-up.

However, his parents said it was a challenging task for a participant from a small-town to excel in a global event. Sanjay gives credit to his son for persuading his school principal to hold an eligibility competition test.
"It is mandatory that the first-step test is conducted at the school where the interested participant is studying and the group should have a minimum of 10 medical students. Arnav had a tough time in persuading the principal and motivating his classmates to appear in the test," his father said, adding Arnav's classmates were not keen on competing for the IBO.

Arnav loves to read books on history and technology and likes travelling and socialising with friends. Late American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author Carl Edwar Segan, inventor Nikola Tesla and the legendary Leonardo da Vinci are among Arnav's role models.


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