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India is a
developing country, with many environmental issues that need attention. Since
my childhood, I have become increasingly curious to learn more about these
issues. I started collecting/ reading more and more about the environmental
issues. I got more inclined to Biological Sciences, particularly Biochemistry.
My goal is to combine training, education and passion to solve challenges and
improve quality of life of people.

It was at
the age of 13 that I cottoned to Biology. Since then, I started reading
different science magazines. With the help and encouragement of my science
teachers, I explored and participated in ‘The Initiative for research and
Innovation in Science’ (IRIS) National fair in which I took up a project on the
uses of Saline sodic soil. This project gave an in-depth knowledge about the
special properties of this soil. This soil would be a wonderful substitute for
soaps and detergents as it contains chemicals such as Sodium, Potassium,
Magnesium and Calcium attributed for its soapy properties. People in the state
of Karnataka, where I reside  have been using
this soil for bathing, washing utensils and clothes, etc. It is a
user-friendly, low cost substitute, which unlike the usual soaps and detergents
do not pollute water bodies and soil. This soil can be used in place of soaps,
detergents, Dead Sea mud and Multani mitti (Fuller’s Earth Clay) in upcoming
years. I’d always possessed an affinity towards science. My first project and
its success boosted my confidence and heartened me. By the end of my 9th
grade, I realized my passion, it was none other than the scientific research.

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In grade 10,
I came across an article on ‘Leaf Blight disease’. At that time, I was morally
challenged to learn more about the lethal effects the fungal pathogen had on
brinjal and tomato crop. Statistics show that there is a loss in yield of up to
79% of tomato crop in the U.S., and about 25-30% loss of eggplant crop in
India. That article was a spark, which kindled my mind to think about a solution
to counteract the problem in a sustainable way. Since then, I desperately
delved into Biochemistry. Thus, my second research work was based on immunizing
brinjal and tomato plants from Leaf blight disease caused by Alternaria
solani (a fungal pathogen) by using amino acids (Glycine, lysine and
aspartic acid) as elicitors. I put my heart and soul to this project. This
project titled ‘A novel strategy using amino acids as elicitor to combat
pathogenicity caused by Alternaria solani on selected crops’ was
selected and presented at the ‘Intel International Science and Engineering Fair'(ISEF)
held in Los Angeles, California from 14th to 17th May,
2017. During my stay in Los Angeles, I was able to adapt myself to the new
settings. Staying in a whole new country, I couldn’t feel any difference and
was able to gel with the people. I got the opportunity to interact with young
scientists, Nobel Laureates, Science for Society and Public alumni, and many
more, which broadened my mind.

It is also
my inquisitiveness to probe into the problem of fungal attack in rice crop and
to counteract this problem in an ecofriendly way.

I have been
a part of The National Cadet Corps and an active member of The Rotary Club
which are involved in community services in India and participated in various
camps and activities. My hobbies include oil painting and reading science
journals.

I find the
Summer Science Program as an immersion into hands- on research which is very
impressive. I believe this will give me great degree of expertise and exposure and
provide me a platform where I can enhance my scientific yet innovative bent of
mind. I can learn more and meet new people with the same temperament from
across the world that will greatly add to my knowledge and skills. I will be
more open to different ideas that will allow me to think out of the box.

I am sure
that my curiosity and my researching skills will enable me to succeed in the
greatly claimed program to become an experimentalist. Eventually, I deeply
believe that the excellence of your program will motivate me to achieve my life
goals. I am looking forward to my life changing moments at Summer Science
Program. 

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