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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

IITian at 13, child prodigy, wants to create 'Facebook for the masses'

Prashant Ranjan, Hindustan Times  Ara, Bihar, June 23, 2013
First Published: 14:06 IST(23/6/2013) | Last Updated: 14:34 IST(23/6/2013)

Set to be the youngest-ever IITian at 13 years and 11 months, Bhojpur's boy wonder Satyam Kumar’s big ambition in life is to create a social networking site “bigger than Facebook”.

“A distinctive feature of my site will be its easy accessibility to those living in remote villages of India. It'll be a Facebook for the masses”, said Satyam, who cites Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and late Steve Jobs of Apple as his idols.

A child prodigy, Satyam cracked the IIT-JEE mains for the second successive time this year, securing the 679th position, a significant improvement from his past year's rank of 8,137.

A resident of Bakhorapur village under Barhara block in Bhojpur district of south central Bihar, Satyam bettered the record of a Delhi boy to become the youngest-ever IITian.

“A Google search revealed the youngest IITian before me was Delhi boy Sahal Kaushik, who was 14 years old when he qualified in 2011. I seem to have broken his record”. Satyam told HT on Sunday.

Born on July 20, 1999, Satyam took the IIT entrance exam for the first time in 2012, when he was just 12 years old.

He had to obtain special permission for the purpose.

“Given his academic successes, the CBSE, which conducts the IIT-JEE examination, modified its rules to allow him to attempt the examination last year, as well as this year”, said his uncle Ram Pukar Singh.

Satyam decided to reappear as his overall rank, at 8,137 last year, was, by his own admission, not good enough to get him into one of the top IITs.

“This time, my rank of 679 should get me into IIT Kanpur”, he said.

There, Satyam plans to do a five-year integrated ‘dual degree’ course in computer science.

“Initially, I was keen on IIT, Mumbai. Now, I feel, Kanpur is good enough,” he said.

Earlier this year, Satyam scored 292 out of a possible 360 marks, as against just 113 he needed, to clear the JEE preliminary examination and became the youngest examinee to do so.

Crediting his success to his farmer father Siddhnath Singh and mother Pramila Devi, the boy wonder said they had sacrificed a lot to get him where he was today.

Satyam also wants to give something back to the land of his birth.

“Beginning with my native Bhojpur, I’ll organise coaching sessions for the youth of Bihar, whose talent needs the right guidance”, he said.

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