7-yr-old intent on chewing as much as he can bite off

Himalayan News Service

Bhubaneswar, January 8:

A minor in Orissa has sought permission to appear for the state’s higher secondary examinations in 2006 as he is confident of clearing the tenth class tests.

Says Bismay Behera, 7, of Anlapada village in Malkangiri district: “I want to become the youngest matriculate in the world.” His father, Laxmikanta Behera, says the boy can answer college-level questions despite never having attended school.

The whiz kid met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and state Education Minister Nagendra Pradhan for permission to sit for the exam. The two ministers quizzed Bismay and expressed surprise at the accuracy of his answers, a state education department official said.

“We will see how we can help the boy,” Patnaik said. “But it might be difficult.” There is no provision in the state to allow a boy of seven to sit for such an examination, he said.

The boy’s father, a schoolteacher, said: “Although Bismay has not gone to any school, he is intelligent. He understands very difficult subjects.”

Bismay’s mother Laxmi Priya, who is also a schoolteacher, said: “Since our son has never been to a school, we want him to sit for this examination.”

Tathagat Tulsi, a minor boy from Bihar, had created a record by securing a master’s degree in physics when he was just 12. In 2003 he enrolled for a doctorate in quantum information theory at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore at the age of 13.

Tulsi had secured court directives before clearing the tenth class examination. Bismay’s family too plans to go to court if he is denied permission to appear for the examinations.