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Meet Neelakanta, the fastest human calculator from India after Shakuntala Devi


Hyderabad, Aug 25: Time to rejoice for the Hyderabadis and St Stephen's College as 21-year-old Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash was declared the world's fastest 'human calculator'.

Meet Neelakanta, the fastest human calculator from India after Shakuntala Devi

A maths undergraduate student from Delhi's St Stephen's College, Bhanu has emerged as the fastest human calculator in the world after winning first-ever gold for India in Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) held in London recently.

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The title once accorded to mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi, Bhanu's victory bagged that place as fastest human calculator in the world.

The virtual event saw 30 competitors, in the age group of 10 to 57 years, from 13 countries.

"My brain calculates quicker than the speed of a calculator. Breaking these records, once held by Math maestros like Scott Flansburg and Shakuntala Devi, is a matter of national pride. I have done my bit to place India on the global level of mathematics", are the words of the magical minded boy.

Bhanu holds 50 national and 4 international records. In 2016, he had defeated Scott Flansburg to win the title of fastest human calculator in the world.

"I won a gold medal for India at the MSO, London 2020 held on August 15. This is the first time that India has won a gold medal. The MSO is the most prestigious international competition for games of mental skill and mind sports which is held in London every year. This is equivalent to any other Olympic event in the realm of physical sports," Bhanu added.

MSO was held virtually with 30 participants up to 57 years of age from 13 countries including UK, Germany, UAE, France Greece and Lebanon. The MSO was first held in 1998.

"Beating 29 competitors, up to 57 years of age, from 13 countries, I won the gold medal with a clear margin of 65 points. The judges were so spellbound by my speed, that they required me to perform more calculations to confirm my accuracy," he said.

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    Bhanu Prakash aims to create "VISION Math" labs and reach out to children with magic of math.

    "My vision is to create math labs, reach out to millions of children, under what I call in order to make them start loving math and arithmetic calculations. Three out of every four students who study in the government schools of India have trouble in understanding basic Mathematics. The phobia caused by math and the demotivation is the number two cause for kids opting out of the rural schools in India," he said.

    "For any country to develop and thrive globally, numeracy is as important a skill as literacy is. Under the government's listed goals, there are a lot of programs which emphasize on increasing the literacy, but as of now, there is no significant program or vision in increasing the mathematical abilities and numeracy which can put us ahead in the global race. Our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take the lead as I want to initiate and take 'VISION MATH' of India ahead. A robust plan like this will put India on the global map of excellence and bring back the old Indian Math Glory," he added.

    Father of Bhanu Prakash, Srinivas Jonnalgadda, said that his son makes India proud and dreams to eradicate the math phobia.

    "Bhanu Prakash wishes to instil a sense of enjoyment when children learn mathematically and all of his work is towards making this a reality," the proud father said.

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