The Tribune, July 10, 2000
Five teenagers to get Lucent jobs
From Imran Qureshi
BANGALORE, July 9 - Five Indian teenagers, among the "best and brightest minds" in the cities of Bangalore and Chennai, have been offered jobs by the US-based Lucent Technologies.
Lucent Technologies (India's) Research and Development Department has handed over letters of offer of employment to the five teenagers studying in Class 11 and Class 12, to "encourage youngsters to get into the science and technology and mathematics area," company officials said.
The four boys and a girl were selected for employment after they came up tops among 655 of the "best and highest minds" in Bangalore, Chennai as well as Hyderabad who took a two-four examination in physics, chemistry, mathematics and general knowledge, to become the first batch of Bell Labs scholars.
The five are Arjun K. Bansal and Vijay Kumar of National Public School, Indiranagar, Bangalore; Shruti Chandrasekhar of National Public School, Rajajinagar, Bangalore; Arvind Thiagarajan of DAV Boys Sr. Secondary School, Gopalapuram, Chennai; and Sundeep Venkatraman of the N. Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan S.S. School, Nungambakkam, Chennai.
"They are the brightest of the brightest. If you see the scholarship selection criteria, they are really the cream of the crowd. So given that, we have absolutely no doubt that they will excel in whatever field they choose. They have the opportunity so they can focus on physics, chemistry and mathematics rather than worrying about which job or which career to choose," says Krishna Tanaku, President and Managing Director, Lucent Technologies India Research and Development.
The five Bells Labs scholars will receive their awards - Rs 25,000 with the school getting Rs 50,000 per winner for equipment and tools to enhance the quality of education it provides - and the job offers at a function to be held in their city of residence at a later date.
Lucent Technologies is not putting any conditions on the students. It is an option from the individual student standpoint. Obviously, he or she can choose to go wherever he or she wants to. There is no binding agreement on the part of the student.
Will the scholars take up the job offer after they complete their graduation? "I may just take the job. If I get a job even before you have finished your education," says Shruti. Arjun considers it the "best option" at the moment since Research and Development interests him. And, Vijay, who wanted to do electronics, and "always wanted to be there," was excited. "There is nothing better than this," says Sundeep Venkatraman. -IANS