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A 14-year-old boy, known as Bal Sant (child saint) for his proficiency in Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, has become one of the youngest to clear the much sought-after IIT-JEE with 2,587 rank.
Shivanand, who passed Class 12 this year with 93.4% marks, said he wanted to pursue research in Physics. “I dream of becoming a scientist to serve my nation,” he said.
The national record of cracking IIT JEE at the minimum age belongs to another Bihar boy, Satyam, who had done so in 2012 at the age of 12. He had secured the 8,137th position.
Shivanand, son of Kamalakant Tiwary, a priest from Dharmpura village in Nokha block of Rohtas district in western Bihar, has been acknowledged as a born genius.
According to local people, when he turned five, Shivanand could recite all 700 shlokas of the Bhagawad Gita and ‘chaupaees’ (verses) of Tulsi Ramayana, an accomplishment that earned him the honorific Bal Sant.
Later, at the age of eight, he started giving pravachan (religious discourses) on stage and used to purchase books with the money he earned this way.
HT group publication Hindustan started a campaign in March 2010 to raise funds for Shivanand.
Helpline numbers were published and several people came to his help.
Thereafter, the director of a coaching institute took responsibility of Shivanand’s education.
He took the boy to Delhi where he passed Class 10 with special permission of examination board.