Whiz kid from Washim fights all odds to land PhD seat

Updated: Sep 15, 2019, 07:56 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Twenty-five-year-old student, who studied at an Urdu-medium ZP school, scores big at VJTI; his research paper also impresses organisers of international conference in Australia

Syed Shadab Nayyer
Syed Shadab Nayyer

Despite very humble beginnings, a 25-year-old, who was schooled at an Urdu-medium zila parishad school in the rural area of Washim district in Maharashtra, outdid himself at the recently held MTech in electrical engineering (control systems) exams in VJTI Engineering College, Matunga.

Syed Shadab Nayyer, who is among the toppers at the institute, has already secured admission for PhD and has now, decided to focus all his energies on his research. This, however, is just the beginning of his inspirational journey.

Nayyer's PhD research idea, Observer Design Method Along With Compressing Sensing, has also been accepted by organisers of the International Conference on Power and Energy System (ICPES), which will be held in Perth, Australia, this December. "I am excited about the selection and need to submit my papers by September 20 to ICPES,"
he said.

While one of the selected students will get to travel to Australia, Nayyer feels he isn't yet equipped with the knowledge needed to present his PhD paper. "I still need to learn more about paper submission and presentation," he said.

Nayyer is keen to become a professor and intends to pursue his research simultaneously. His priority right now, however, is to gather funds to treat his ailing father, Syed Ishtiyaque, who is fighting a coronary heart ailment.

Ishtiyaque, 50, who sold footwear, earned a monthly income of R3,300, which was not sufficient to run the house and educate his two sons and daughter. "I was at an Urdu medium ZP school in the village till Class VII. I later took admission to another school in Patur, located 35 km from my village," said Nayyer. "Back in 2009-10, the private bus ticket one way [from home to school] was around Rs 20. I would never have more than R5 on me. While the bus conductor accepted the fare, I was made to stand through the entire journey. This went on for three years," he recalled.

After he scored 90 per cent in SSC, he secured admission for a diploma at a Government Polytechnic in Washim. "Language was always a big problem. As I had done my schooling in Urdu, I didn't understand Marathi and English. My parents could not afford to send me for tuitions, but with the support of my teachers, I eventually managed to overcome this," he said.

Nayyer later got admission to the Government Engineering College, Chandrapur, from where he did his BE in electrical engineering. He joined VJTI after that. "My parents have always encouraged me. One should never give up on their dreams."

Narayan Iyer of Indian Development Foundation that provided financial support to Nayyer, said, "Shadab is an inspiration for many students, who study in vernacular medium schools and are scared to pursue higher studies." His father Ishtiyaque said, "Shadab has always been good at studies, and is the most qualified in our family. We are very proud of him."

Distance he travelled from home to school daily as a kid

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