47-year-old ex-banker pursues her passion

CHENNAI: The expiry date of Ranjita Save’s dreams and passion has been reset indefinitely. Twenty-five years after completing her under-graduation, 47-year-old Ms. Save, who took voluntary retirement from Vijaya Bank after working for 22 years, is busy completing her six-month research project at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)Bombay’s Department of Chemical Engineering.

A Masters of Biological Sciences student at Sunandan Divatia School of Science at Vile Parle, Mumbai, Ms. Save is an intern at IIT Bombay. She is researching on the migration of proteins in cancer cells under the supervision of Dr. Abhijit Majumder.

Two years after taking VRS in 2013, she cleared the entrance exam and interview for post-graduation. “My passion for higher studies landed me here,” she says recalling how her studies came to an abrupt end after her under-graduation when she cleared the banking exam on her first attempt in 1990. A government job and financial security that came with it was too much to say no to the job offer.

“But I was teaching my son science till his ninth standard. So I was in touch with the subject. But I was out of sync with the latest developments in biology. So took time to catch up with others who have learnt the basics in their under-graduation.”

“I had to put in extra effort to be on par with others. Once I finished my work at home I used to study from 11-2 pm every day,” Ms. Save says. The efforts paid off. She scored 64 per cent in the first semester and has nearly maintained it at the end of three semesters.

Her classmates, who are just two years older than her 20-year-old daughter, are more like friends now. “How do we call you was their first question,” she says. “Please call me by my name, I told them. Otherwise, I can’t mingle and learn from them.” But they refused to call her by her name; they call her RJ for Ranjitaji instead.

“I am not interested taking up a job after studies. I want to pursue research full-time. I don’t want any money as I am pensioner. I just want to do research,” she says. Ms. Save has already taken up NET (National eligibility test) exam and plans to take up GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) to pursue a PhD programme at IIT Bombay. Her husband and children have been very supportive.

“When she first approached me I said to myself that I will never get another student like her again. But I was not sure how much time she would be able to spare,” says Dr. Majumder, who many years younger to her. “But she stays back and comes on weekends whenever needed. She is at par with other students.”

Dr. Majumder says that she may not know the finer details of the subject but has good time management and maturity. “I can see her passion and she enjoys what she is doing,” he says.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 4:09:35 pm |