Meet an Indian teenager who won gold at the International Olympics in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Suren, a 17-year-old student from Hisar, Haryana won gold at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (IOAA). Besides the international front, Suren also passed one of the toughest exams in India. He scored the 100 percentile in the JEE Main and was ranked 19th All India in the JEE Advanced.
The JEE Advanced or IIT entrance exam, said the teenager, has helped him take one of the multiple steps to qualify to represent India internationally. The first step in selection for the Olympics is the National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA). The teenager says the math and physics sections of the MCQ-based exam are aligned with the JEE Advanced curriculum. He took the coaching of FIITJEE Punjabi Bagh for the same. For the astronomy section, he was self-taught.
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After successfully completing the first round, Suren could no longer turn around. He managed to win gold for India. In fact, out of five students who represented the nation, four won gold and one managed to win a silver medal.
The Olympics are tests of in-depth knowledge and the level of difficulty of the questions keeps increasing with each level. For Suren, it was his keen interest in astronomy that inspired the teenager to study for the Olympiad and win among one of the best minds in the field around the world.
âOverall it was a great experience trying new types of problems and making new friends who shared the same interests as me. In India, four of us won gold medals and one won a silver medal, âSuren explains.
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Suren has been interested in astronomy since high school. âThere are a total of four Olympics which I gave the Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy Olympics when I was in class 11. It was only after completing these Olympics that I developed a interest in astronomy, âsays Suren.
Regarding the selection of subjects at the higher education level, however, he opted for computer science. Currently in Computer Engineering at IIT Delhi, Suren said, âWe have astronomy and physics clubs at IIT. If we become a member of the club, I can also simultaneously pursue astronomy. However, I have not yet decided if I want to pursue astronomy. I also have a keen interest in mathematics and computer science. “
Rounds of the Olympiad
The Olympiad took place in online mode this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic via video conferencing. Suren further cracked four levels of IOAAs that took place between November 14 and November 21.
The competition began with a theoretical exam, followed by a data analysis round presenting physics and astronomy issues. The third was the observation tower – planetarium observation and solar observation. The last was the team competition round where the Indian team won second prize.
To be able to reach this level, Suren had to go through three stages of the exam. After completing the first round based on the MCQ which he called JEE, he won the Indian National Astronomical Olympiad (INAO) which offers detailed answers. Suren claims he trained mainly from the Olympiad papers from previous years and managed to break it.
After this round, 30-35 students were selected, after which another round was organized. Subsequently, five Indian students were selected for the international event, Suren being one of them. No less than four Indian students succeeded in winning the Olympics. A total of 298 students participated in the Olympiad from 52 countries.
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A brilliant student throughout his college life, Suren finished grade 12 this year at SM Arya Public School, where he achieved 95.2 percent. In JEE Main 2021, it achieved a score of 100 percentile and a rank of 20 for all of India. He also cracked JEE Advanced 2021 and got AIR 19.
Both parents work at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU). While her father works as a technical assistant at the university, her mother works in the campus office. He also has a brother who studies in class 10.