Hindustan Times: Homeschooled 14-yr-old tops Delhi IIT entrance


He addresses a barrage of questions with monosyllabic answers.

Sahal Kaushik is a 14-year-old of few words. Answering the flood of questions by a battery of journalists, he “fails to see what the big deal is”.

But the journalists do. Sahal, barely into his teens, homeschooled till he was 10, has topped the IIT entrance exams in Delhi.

It doesn’t figure on his list of extraordinary achievements. Sahal is not arrogant. But brilliance is a just way of life for him.

The first signs showed when he was two. “He could spell four to five letter words then. At three, he could recite multiplication tables of up to 100,” said Ruchi Kaushik, his mother. “I just knew he would not fit in the formal system of education.”

So Ruchi quit her job as a doctor and homeschooled her son.

Kaushik discovered he was “different” when he enrolled in Class IX in Sangwan Model School, Rohini at the age of 10. “I had already covered the math syllabus,” said Kaushik, who read his first novel (Time Machine by HG Wells) at the age of six and has read over 2,000 books.

His IIT success, hence, is not a surprise for his family and teachers.

“He cracks mathematical problems mentally. That’s what he did even in the JEE,” said U.P. Singh, Kaushik’s Physics coaching teacher from the Narayana Academy.

Kaushik’s purpose of cracking the IIT exam is a bit different. “I don’t want to be an engineer. My interest lies in pure physics and mathematics,” he said stopping short of elaborating further.


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