Indian-American student among ‘world’s brightest’ for second consecutive year

Indian-American schoolgirl Natasha Perianayagam has been named in the “world’s brightest” students list for the second consecutive year by the US-based Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth, based on the results of above-grade-level tests of over 15,000 students across 76 countries.


Indian-American schoolgirl Natasha Perianayagam has been named in the “world’s brightest” students list for the second consecutive year by the US-based Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth, based on the results of above-grade-level tests of over 15,000 students across 76 countries.

Perianayagam, 13, is a student at Florence M Gaudineer Middle School, in New Jersey. She also took the Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth (CTY) test in Spring 2021, when she was a Grade 5 student.

Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections levelled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance, which catapulted her into the honours list that year. This year, she was honoured for her exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, School and College Ability Test, or similar assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent
Search, the university said in a press release.

Perianayagam, whose parents hail from Chennai, said she loves doodling and reading JRR Tolkien’s novels in her spare time. CTY used above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their academic abilities. According to the university release, Perianayagam was among the 15,300 students from 76 countries who joined CTY in the 2021-22 Talent Search years.

Former PM Manmohan Singh conferred Lifetime Achievement Honour in UK

The honour, announced at an awards ceremony last week, will be handed over to Dr Singh in New Delhi by the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK at a later date.

The India-UK Achievers Honours by NISAU UK, in partnership with the British Council in India and the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT), celebrate the achievements of Indian students who studied at British universities and the Lifetime Achievement Honour is a nod to Dr Singh’s academic achievements at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

“I am very touched by this gesture, which is especially meaningful coming from young people who are the future of our country and of the ties between our two countries,” Dr Singh said in a written message.

“The India-UK relationship is indeed especially defined by our educational partnership. The founding fathers of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Sardar Patel and many others studied in the UK and went on to become great leaders, leaving a legacy which continues to inspire India and the world. Over the years countless Indian students have had the opportunity to study in the UK,” said the 90-year-old economist, who served as prime minister from 2004-2014.

To mark 75 years of India’s independence, the first-ever India UK Achievers Honours covered 75 high achievers and some key Outstanding Achievers who bolster the India-UK diaspora living bridge.

Three-time Grammy winner Ricky Kej dedicates his trophy to India

The Bengaluru-based Indian music composer and producer won the award for ‘Divine Tides’ as he was nominated in the Best Immersive Audio Album category. The result was announced at the live ceremony held at the arena in Los Angeles, USA. This song was Kej’s collaborative project with Copeland and they bagged another Grammy for Best New Age Album in 2022. The composer also won for his 2015 album, ‘Winds of Samsara.’

Featuring artists from around the world, ‘Divine Tides’ is a tribute to the magnificence of our natural world. This critically acclaimed album contains 9 songs and 8 music videos that were filmed around the world from the exquisite beauty of the Indian Himalayas to the icy forests of Spain.

At the time of his nomination, Kej had said, “It is an absolute honour to be nominated a second time for a Grammy Award for our album ‘Divine Tides’. Although my music is cross-cultural, it has always had strong Indian roots and I am extremely proud that Indian music has been recognized and shortlisted for this prestigious award by The Recording Academy. This nomination encourages me further and solidifies my belief to continue making music that can inspire positive social impact.”

Ricky is the youngest person from India to have won a Grammy Award, and only the 4th Indian. Meanwhile, Stewart Copeland is a 5-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and composer. He is the founder and drummer of the British rock group The Police who have sold over 75 million albums worldwide.

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan passes away at 97

Former Union law minister and eminent jurist Shanti Bhushan passed away at the age of 97. He served as the law minister in the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government from 1977 to 1979, which came to power after the Emergency.

Bhushan was among the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party which was formed in 2012. He had also actively participated in the agitation led by social activist Anna Hazare.

Bhushan represented politician Raj Narain in the historic case against Indira Gandhi. Freedom fighter and politician Raj Narain had in his plea accused Indira Gandhi of corrupt electoral practices. Gandhi had moved the Supreme Court against the high court verdict. It triggered a series of events culminating in the imposition of Emergency on June 25, 1975.

In his political career, he was a member of the Congress (O) and later of the Janata Party. He served as a Rajya Sabha member too. He also had a six-year stint with the BJP. A vocal activist and jurist, Bhushan was also part of the anti-corruption movement that led to the formation of Aam Aadmi Party. He later quit the party.