news Saturday, July 25, 2015 - 05:30
  Technically, it took just six years for 19-year-old Nischal Narayanam to become a double post-graduate and one of the youngest Chartered Accountants in the country. After accomplishing a ceiling-to-floor-length list of degrees, courses and awards. This Hyderabadi teenager studied up to Class 7 like any other kid, one year at a time. "After that I caught up," he says. Instead of writing one exam a year, he wrote one every six months. By the time he was 13 years old, he was ready for college. Although he finished five years of high school in half the time it is usually completed in, he had to do his BCom degree in the required three-year course. But by 19, he completed two post-graduate degrees in Commerce, and Mathematics and Statistics. "It all began when I was nine years old. My dad's an industrialist and I was looking at his balance sheets and I spotted an error. It was then that my parents also realised that this was something I could do," Nischal says. Vigorous coaching followed with Nischal learning various branches of mathematics from Vedic Maths to Abacus to Soroban. Mathematics and Memory were his two favourite subjects. While pursuing his degree, Nischal simultaneously appeared for exams that would qualify him as a chartered accountant. However, he will have to wait for two more years to officially become one, as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) does not take members younger than 21. "Throughout all this, my family has supported me a lot. The amount of patience that my mother had, for 8-10 hours a day, for months at a stretch got me through it," Nischal adds. But that’s not all When he was 10, he started authoring books on mathematics. At the age of 11, after two years of training, Nischal got his first Guinness World Record by memorizing 225 random objects. "Though I did it, it wasn't easy. It took hours of sitting down in one place and concentrating before I could do it," he says. One year later, the mathematics prodigy, won the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, an award given by the central government to children below 15 years for outstanding performance in academics, culture and sports. He was also featured in National Geographic's, "My Brilliant Brain", a documentary initiative to celebrate the power of the human mind. When he turned 13, he was already setting his second world record of memorising 132 numbers in a minute, and recalling them even in reverse order. The whiz kid has also set up his own company and has been running "Nischal Math lab" since the age of 10. "The concept was simple. There is a lot of fear when students are faced with math in our country. When Physics and Chemistry can have labs, why not Maths? Children learn from experiencing more than rote learning and by-hearting a textbook," says Nischal. Since then, the company has grown leaps and bounds and also offers other subjects. "We want to create a platform for innovative ideas. The lab is portable and comes to your classroom, so you don't have to wait for that one day of the week when you have lab practicals in your timetable," he adds. However, all the royalties that Nischal receives from his company go into his foundation that provides an education for children in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. "Of everything I have done, the foundation is closest to my heart," he says. The foundation conducts free camps in rural areas besides providing necessary equipment for children from the first grade to tenth grade.