Malvika Joshi from Mumbai: IITs' loss and MIT's gain

By Deepak

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" - Thomas Edison

The quote above stands as an example of what should be our point of view regarding failure. It presents a new dimension of failure and a new definition altogether. Thomas Edison could make such quotes as he had a first hand experience of failing in his efforts to invent new things in the world of science. He did not continue formal schooling but learned everything of his interest from his mother and himself.


Thomas Edison was declared snail paced by his teachers when it came to learning. Those tutors must have regretted later since the boy they considered dull went on to become one of the greatest inventors in the world. In our day to day life, we witness several Edisons, who carve a niche for themselves by treading the path of their interest.

The recent addition to the kinds of Edison is Malvika Joshi from Mumbai. At the age of 17, Malvika has bagged a seat at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston. This news is sure to stir one's mind and force one to think about the kind of educational qualification she possesses and her score during annual exams. Well, Malvika left school after 7th standard.

Happiness is more important than conventional knowledge

Malvika's mother believes that happiness is more important than conventional knowledge. She also felt that there was more to learning than just going to schools, reading prescribed books and writing exams. Hence, she took her daughter off the school and started teaching her at home. Apart from learning what her mother taught her, Malvika studied on her own. She started gaining more interest in programming.

Malvika's urge for knowledge took her to Chennai Mathematical Institute, where she studied M.Sc. Her joy knew no boundaries when she started studying mathematics and algorithms. Consequently, she continued adding feather after feather in her cap by representing India in the Olympiads for three times.

Malvika's journey from IITs to MIT

Malvika Joshi's journey from IITs to MIT

(Image source: Deccan Chronicle)

Even though Malvika successfully represented India in the International Programming Olympiads thrice, she had to taste rejection from the IITs. It was quite natural for Malvika to be disappointed as her dream to study at an IIT was broken into pieces. However, her sheer hard work and endeavour showed a silver lining in the form of an opportunity to study at MIT, Boston.

IITs lost a genius as they gave importance to Malvika's educational qualification, which requires a student to pass 12th standard. Whereas, MIT bulked up its treasure of talented students by admitting Malvika. And what was the qualification MIT considered to admit her? Her excellent performance at the three International Programming Olympiads.

Let us wish Malvika a great success on her journey to achieve the extraordinary in the field of programming and more. She is a leading light to many such gems that need to be dusted to help them shine in all their glory. This example should strengthen and pervade the belief that formal education is not a parameter for talent; talent can be measured only through infinite minds and ideas.

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