13-year-old Sushma makes it to Lucknow University's MSc Microbiology

Thirteen-year-old child prodigy Sushma Verma has made it to the MSc Microbiology course at Lucknow University in the second merit list for postgraduate courses, which were announced Monday night.

At 13, she is busy preparing for MSc microbiology at LU

Sushma's father Tej Bahadur Verma said he locked the seat Tuesday itself by paying the fee online.

LU Vice-Chancellor Dr S B Nimse had recommended her name to the admission coordinator, saying "her age should not be a hurdle to all that she wants to achieve" while also adding that "proper procedures" would be followed for her application.

Even though he had time till Friday, an elated Tej Bahadur locked the seat Tuesday by paying the first installment of Rs 25,075. Bahadur, a daily wage earner, hopes to "somehow" manage to pay the fee of subsequent semesters.

Sushma, meanwhile, said she is happy as her wait is over. "I was hoping to get into Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (central) University as it is close by. After initial denial, they granted me admission and asked me to wait for an admission letter to be sent to my home, which hasn't come yet," Sushma said.

"So when I was selected at LU, I asked my father to lock the seat as I didn't want to risk losing an year," she said.

This year, Sushma completed her BSc in Zoology and Botany from an LU-affiliated college in three years. "The college was close by and my father would drop and pick me. LU campus is far and the every day commute may be troublesome but I'm looking forward to studying there," Sushma said.

Like other MSc Microbiology students, she has to report to the department on September 2.

Being a self-financed course, MSc Microbiology requires a minimum of 40 per cent seats to run. "We are certain the course will run but the picture will be clear only after the seats are locked for the second merit list," LU admission coordinator Prof N K Khare said. With a total of 30 seats, the course requires a minimum of 12 seats to run.

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