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His is a modern-day success story. A gold medal in the International Physics Olympiad, a second rank in the national level IIT-JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Exam) and now, an enviable job with Google Inc., with a fat salary.
Meet Nishant Totla, from IIT-B's BTech department. Totla has been offered the position of software engineer at Google's North America office, with a pay package of around $100K (approximately 52 lakh) per annum. Placement season at the Indian Institute of Technology brings with it a great deal of nervousness. But for Totla, the tension was over on Day One of the placements. "I was sure about getting a job. But the Google offer was a complete surprise for me." Google was his second preference, since he thought the company would offer him a job in its India office. The only son of a doctor couple, Totla comes from Aurangabad. He was a second ranker in the IIT-JEE, 2008. He says, "Back then the competition was too much. There were lakhs of students struggling to get into IIT. Now, though the competition in terms of the number of people is less, everybody is smart." "My parents always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted. My love for mathematics brought me here today," says Totla. He, however, has no plans to do an MBA, unlike IITians who choose management after a degree in technical education. His interests lie in abstract mathematics, and in developing games. He also dons other caps at different times: he is a guitarist, a graphic artist and a writer. "Though I love mathematics, I do not want to keep solving problems all the time. I play guitar or keyboard, write or sketch my own comics." Having learnt these instruments in school, Totla has continued honing his skills, participating in different cultural events at IIT-B. He also writes on current events, and strongly disagrees with the UPA government's stand to censor social networking websites. "Freedom of speech will be lost in a democratic nation," he opines. "And while censoring some anti-social elements, genuine criticism will suffer." Totla has his own blog for which he writes extensively. He has also put up some of his comic strips there, which reveal "a geek's perception of life."
Courtesy: DNA India
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