67 year old, retired mathematician became oldest candidate to clear GATE 2021

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A 67-year-old grandfather of three is the talk of the town for cracking the  Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2021. Sankaranarayanan Sankarapandian, a retired mathematics teacher at Hindu College, Tamil Nadu, has become the oldest candidate to clear GATE 2021 this year.

Now he aims to pursue research in the field of augmented reality (AR) with a focus on occlusion, which can be used to make holograms. He intends to do research either at IIT-Madras or at Anna University.

He achieved 338 in the maths paper and 482 in computer science. He chose two specialisations, which implies writing two exams in different shifts on the same day.

He started preparing just 30 days before the exam. However, this was not his first GATE attempt, having cracked the exam 35 years ago in 1987, after which he got admission into IIT-Kharagpur.

Sankarapandian is one of 17.8 percent of candidates who cracked GATE 2021. However, he is not the oldest person ever to take the exam. Perhaps the oldest person to take GATE was an 88-year-old civil engineer who took the exam in 2020.


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