At the age of 15, this young boy already had a degree in Engineering and knew what he wanted to do next in life. Nobody would have imagined that he was once dubbed a “weak student” by his kindergarten teachers.
Nirbhay Thakkar from India became the youngest engineering graduate of the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) after completing his degree course in 58 weeks.
Under the International General Certificate of Secondary Education system run by Cambridge International Examinations, he had also completed class VIII to X in six months and XI and XII in the next three months. However, he was not a prodigy when he was born, the Times of India reported.
When Nirbhay was in kindergarten, his teachers had said that he was a weak student. “I was surprised by the remark when they suggested that and I took it upon myself to get the best out of my child,” said his father, Dhaval Thakkar.
And so, Dhaval quit his engineering job to help his child. “While the conventional examinations focus merely on testing students’ memory, we devised a method with which Nirbhay truly became fearless about marks and focused instead on learning—not just by reading but also listening, visualizing, and finding applications of concepts. Thus, he could learn much in short time,” Dhaval said.
Nirbhay was admitted to SAL College of Engineering after Dhaval and his wife, a doctor, took their child’s case to the GTU Admission Committee for Professional Courses and All-India Council for Technical Education.
“The course is credit-based and Nirbhay spends nine hours at the college. According to the GTU norms, the paper was set and results were declared only for him,” Dr. Rupesh Vasani, the college principal, said of the fast-track course Nirbhay had enrolled in.
Nirbhay has now decided what he wants to do next. “I intend to complete 10 degrees of engineering over next three years once the BE is completed as there are a number of common subjects,” he said. “As I intend to go into research and product development, the degrees will make my approach multi-disciplinary.”
For his graduating project, Nirbhay is working on a windmill using maglev technology, while in the future, he hopes to work in the defense industry, developing weapons.
But all this hard work doesn’t make a dull boy of Nirbhay; in his leisure time, he loves to play football, play chess, and go swimming.
Regarding his son’s performance, his father said that no child is inherently dull or bright, as it depends on how a child’s mind is programmed for excellence.