The Telegraph
Saturday , August 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ticket to tech gateway
- Fish vendor’s son to prepare for mechatronics entrance

Teen prodigy Dipak Dhibar, who happens to be a Chandil fish vendor’s son and makes robots as a hobby, may just get into his dream cradle next year.

The 18-year-old inventor from Chandil Station Basti in Seraikela-Kharsawan, 40km from Jamshedpur, is a self-confessed hater of rote learning. And it shows. He scored a mere 45 per cent in matriculation in 2009, and dropped out for a year. Due to poverty — father Kirti earns around Rs 2,000 a month — he could not afford to take up science in Plus Two or learn mechanics.

But he went on dreaming of more technical know-how. “I like creating things,” he had told The Telegraph on July 12 (Give him ice cream sticks, he’ll invent a robot).

Now, help is at hand. K.V. Nair, principal of RD Tata Technical Education Centre (RDTEC), a unit of Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF), said they would guide him to prepare for an entrance exam to a three-year diploma course in mechatronics at the cradle next year.

Dipak on Thursday had given a demonstration of his “moving toys” before 150-odd budding techies of the RD Tata Technical Education Centre in Golmuri, impressing not just students but also Nair.

After his story appeared in The Telegraph, Dipak made a lot of friends, including those associated with Digital Literacy Mission (DLM), where National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML) scientists give poor youngsters free tuition.

DLM founder Mita Tarafder was impressed with the boy’s inventive brain. Nair agreed with her. “Dipak has very high potential to succeed in mechatronics. We will be happy to have him with us next year. I have advised NML scientist and DLM founder Mita Tarafder to hone the boy’s skills so that he succeeds in the entrance examination. We will be happy to guide his preparation. He can apply next June-July,” the principal said.

On the money part, Nair has advised Tarafder to approach Tata Steel authorities for a fee concession once he clears the entrance.

“For a general (ward of a person who doesn’t work in Tata Steel) candidate, the annual fee for a three-year course in mechatronics is around Rs 66,000. Tata Steel has to be approached for concession. But Dipak has the acumen to do well,” the principal added.

DLM is already tutoring Dipak for free in maths, English and science. Otherwise, the boy studies intermediate arts at SB College, Chandil. DLM tutor Pankhuri Sinha is also giving him Rs 500 per month.

NML chief scientist Amitava Mitra and head (engineering division) Kanchan Paul were also awestruck by Dipak. They have asked Dipak to use NML labs and promised to chip in with guidance for his new inventions.

“He is picking up subjects nicely. We hope next year he succeeds in the entrance. We will hold talks with Tata Steel officials concerned for concession in fees,” Tarafder said.