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Nadella's rise reflection of how good Indian students are: FM

Nadella, a Beatles fan: Music teacher

Satya Nadella's appointment as CEO of the Microsoft is a reflection of how good Indian students are, said Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

"Some Indian students are just as good (as in US or China), otherwise you cannot have a 46-year old Indian named as head of Microsoft yesterday," he told students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) who responded with huge round of applause.

India-born Satya Nadella was yesterday named as the new CEO of USD 78-billion tech giant Microsoft. The 46-year-old Nadella, who takes over as the third CEO of the Redmond-based firm, is the first Indian to head the world's largest software firm in its 38-year history, ending months of speculation as to who would succeed the retiring Steve Balmer. Chidambaram said Nadella has risen to be the head of Microsoft because he "acquired that professional edge which places him above the Chinese counterpart or an American counterpart or European counterpart".

Addressing the business conclave of the SRCC, the Finance Minister said Indians students will have to keep in mind that they are in competition with students in other countries who are exposed to much greater knowledge.

"You are competing with some unknown student, somewhere in the US or China, more likely China. That student is now in a University which ranks among the top 10 universities in the world. You are in the university which does not figure in the top 200 in the world. "The world is global, whether you like it or not. All skills will now be measured only with one standard, the global standard," he said.

India-born Satya Nadella, the new boss of USD 78-billion Microsoft, never missed his music classes in school and loved Western songs, particularly those of the Beatles, says his music teacher. According to Dennis Powell, the music teacher at Hyderabad Public School-Begumpet, Nadella was interested in learning new songs rather than playing instruments.

"We have music as community singing and Satya used to attend my classes. He was very quiet and nonchalant boy, that's what I remember." "I am here for 35 years now. I was just three years old in the school when Satya was studying. He liked Western music a lot. Particularly he used to like Rock music. He used to like Beatles a lot. He also used to like listening to music," Powell told PTI, recollecting the old days. He said he came back in touch with Nadella after nearly 30 years when his student sent him a request for friendship through Facebook. "Two years ago when he came to the school he came up to me and offered thanks for accepting his Facebook friend request," Powel added.

A cricket enthusiast, Hyderabad-born Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, previously served as the Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group. Principal of Hyderabad Public School-Begumpet Col (retd) R S Khatri said Nadella was instrumental in starting Microsoft's iSpark robotics programme at the school in 2011.

G Jayanand Satya, who taught biology and was also in- charge of the school's NCC wing from 1951 to 1991, said the new Microsoft CEO used to sit in the front bench during the class and participated in horse riding which was part of NCC. "He was very bright. I remember he used to sit in the front row. He was also in NCC because those days it was compulsory," Jayanand said.

The school organised a special assembly in the morning to announce the former student's achievement. Some of Nadella's batchmates attended the function.


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