80-year-old engineer appears for IIT entrance exam
When 80-year-old Nandakumar K. Menon appeared for an entrance exam, he had to convince the guards at the exam center in Kochi that he was an examinee and not someone's guardian! The engineer passed a tough qualification process to appear for the entrance exam of the IIT Madras-offered online course in programming and data science. Doesn't this inspire you to chase your dreams?
To prepare for the exam, Menon would wake up at 5:30 am every morning and study till night. Along with his son Sethu Nandakumar, a lawyer based in the UAE, he attended month-long classes in four subjects--Data processing, Mathematics, Statistics, and English. However, his son, who is pursuing a doctorate in space laws, could not qualify for the entrance exam.
They appeared for weekly exams of all four subjects and one had to score a minimum of 50% marks in all of them to qualify for Sunday's entrance exam. Menon told The Hindu how over 90% of the candidates at the exam center were youth. "I rummaged through what I learned over 50 years ago and answered questions...It was worth an experience," he said.
Menon yearned to become an engineer since he was a little boy, gaining inspiration from India's first engineer M. Visvesvaraya. Growing up with financial difficulties, Menon graduated from the College of Engineering Trivandrum, and later completed post-graduation in Cryogenic Engineering from Syracuse University, US, under a NASA-sponsored scholarship. Giving up his Green Card, he returned to India and works as an engineer here.