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Kautilya Pandit, a.k.a. "Google Boy," with his mother and father.
Kautilya Pandit, a.k.a. "Google Boy," with his mother and father.
Jasvinde Sehgal

KOHAND — At an age when his friends are just learning basic reading and writing, 6-year-old Kautilya Pandit can answer complicated questions about world geography, per capita income, gross domestic product and global politics.

His analytical powers and incredible ability to remember facts have left everyone so spellbound that the local media has nicknamed this child prodigy living in northern India's Kohand village "Google boy."

At SD Harit Modern School's morning assembly, Kautliya's presentation stands out above the rest. To the delight of the young audience, he recites with ease a difficult passage from ancient Sanskrit literature.

Then Kautilya takes me to his class, where it’s my chance to ask him some questions.

"How many people live in India?" I ask. "Today there are 1.27 billion people, but in the census year of 2011, there were 1.21 billion," he replies.

"How many villages are there in India?" I continue. "638,596," he says.

He goes on to correctly answer my questions about the first human to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong) and the name of the U.S. capital (Washington, D.C.), among others.

Kautilya has an IQ of 150, which psychologists say is the same as the late Albert Einstein.

His mother Sunita Sharma, who also teaches at the school, says he has an incredible memory. "He remembers each and every thing," she says. "His mind and body are always in the same place. He only rests when he sleeps. Otherwise, he is always active."

His teacher Sarita says he clearly stands out from the other students. "He possesses a different and very intelligent brain," she says. "We try to answer his questions. If we don't know, then we check on the Internet. Once he's satisfied with the answer, he never forgets."

Word has gotten out about the boy’s abilities. Vandna Gupta, principal of DAV Centenary Public School, traveled 20 miles to invite Kautilya to give a speech at her school.

"The students of my school are very excited about being able to meet Kautilya because they've heard about his genius," Gupta says. "He's so young, but he knows everything. That's amazing."

Kautilya's father, Satish Sharma, is the school principal, and he likes to test his son — this time, with questions about Indonesia.

Q: "Where is Indonesia?"
A: "It is surrounded by Malaysia and Singapore."
Q: "OK, what is the capital of Indonesia?"
A: "Indonesia's capital is Jakarta."
Q: "What are the main islands of Indonesia?"
A: "Borneo, Java and Sumatra, but Java is small."

Sharma is very proud of his son. "Parents are only the caretakers of their children," he says. "The children belong to the country. We try to reply to all his questions and never ignore them."

Like most boys his age, Kautilya also loves dancing, re-enacting scenes from Indian films, and playing cricket. But a recent TV show in which he appeared with famous Indian star Amitabh Bachchan has catapulted him to fame.

As if it wasn't already, his childhood is now very different from that of his friends.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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