India's child 'geniuses' never lost for an answer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

If you've ever wondered why India is taking so many jobs away from Britain because of outsourcing, you need look no further than the Subcontinent's most popular TV gameshow - India's Child Genius.

If you've ever wondered why India is taking so many jobs away from Britain because of outsourcing, you need look no further than the Subcontinent's most popular TV gameshow - India's Child Genius.

In the programme, which has just finished its 27-week run with an avidly watched grand final, Indian children as young as 10 confidently answer questions that are often harder than those on University Challenge. Some examples: What inherited form of anaemia is characterised by a deficiency of haemoglobin? What does the term thrombosis literally mean in Greek?

The contestants were asked to identify the missing symbols in molecular models. They were shown diagrams of curved mirrors and asked to identify the numerical value of the difference in size between an object and its reflection.

All this was conducted in English, which for many contestants would not have been their first language - although many Indian middle-class parents speak English with their children at home to improve their command of the language.

In some rounds, children were offered the option of seeing multiple choice answers, in the style of Who Wants to be a Millionaire - but the majority chose instead to answer the questions without seeing the choices, for extra points.

Winner of the £12,000 prize was Shubham Prakhar, 12, from Bihar. "I've never stood second in life and that's how I want to be," he said.

Comments