She is like any other student interested in biology, as she believes there is a unique thrill to knowing everything about the living world.
But unlike most biotechnologists, she insists on pursuing her research in India. The 22–year-old student of Sastra University, Deepa Rajagopalan topped the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2013.
IIT-Bombay, the organising institute for GATE 2013, announced the results on Friday.
“I always knew I was never made for the MBA job. I can spend hours with proteins in a lab. Research thrills me, and there is nothing more priceless than seeing a protein band glow on a gel,” she says.
Deepa spent a term as research intern at the University of Michigan, and has worked in the area of intracellular trafficking of Vitamin B12. “I want to be in India, because there are ample research opportunities available here.”
Deepa is one of the few from the State who have scored well in GATE, with Tamil Nadu being placed only ninth in the list of states with most number of qualified candidates. Andhra Pradesh has the most number of qualified candidates (22,476), followed by Uttar Pradesh (22,400), Maharashtra (9,951), Bihar (9,820), and Kerala (8,992).
In the last few years, the number of students who had applied for GATE has increased by over 25 per cent every year, especially after the salaries of PSU recruits increased with the sixth pay commission. Most PSUs now insist on the students’ GATE scores before recruitment.
“The number of participants for GATE has increased from 8 lakh students to 12 lakh students this year. It might be because over 15 PSUs have announced that they will use GATE scores for recruiting students,” said C. Chandrasekharan, GATE chairman, IIT-Madras.
The GATE is an all-India examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technology. Admission to postgraduate programmes in engineering colleges, institutes and universities is open to those who qualify through this test.
The exam was held in different disciplines, including electronics and communication engineering, computer science and information technology, electrical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and biotechnology among others.