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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 3 Oct 2012
Third Indian to win Cambridge prize

For a daughter of doctor parents and with golfing skills that Annika Sorenstam would be proud of, economics was an unusual choice for Mahima Khanna, the 23-year-old Kolkata girl who won Stevension Award, one of Cambridge University's highest honours. Everyone in the family had thought she would follow in her parents' footsteps. Her mother Gauri Kumra is a well-known gynaecologist and her father, Manoj Khanna is a reputed plastic surgeon.

Third Indian to win cambridge prize

But Mahima's heart lay elsewhere - it was the intricacies of numbers and logic rather than those of the human body that interested her. After her schooling in Loreto House and La Martiniere for Girls', she cleared the medical joint entrance examination, but eventually took admission in St. Xavier's College.

When she graduated in 2009, she had topped in economics in Calcutta University. Mahima went to Cambridge on a Commonwealth scholarship for her postgraduate degree. She excelled there, too, ranking second, and stayed on for her M.Phil. Interestingly, seven out of the 125 students in her class were Indian, though none from Kolkata. There were five from Delhi and one from Mumbai. When she isn't cracking mathematical puzzles or solving economic riddles, Mahima loves to tee off. While in Kolkata, she played amateur golf at the RCGC and Tolly Club. She went on to play in golfing events in the UK, UAE and Kenya. But the focus remains firmly on her career. Mahima attributes her success to grandfather Swarn Kumra. An engineer who studied in London University, it was he who instilled the love of numbers and logic in his granddaughter.

"The day after the JEE results were out and I got the chance to study medicine, I held his hands and went and took admission in economics at St. Xavier's, chucking medicine. He remains my pillar of strength," she says.

Courtesy: Times of India

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