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India Wins Gold in Astronomy Olympiad

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 31, 2008

India may not have done all that well in Beijing - one gold medal winner and just three medals overall at the Olympics - but Indians will always have Bandung. That’s the place in Indonesia that last week hosted the Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad. As fans of Eye on Asia know, we’ve been following the academic olympiads closely here and here. China boosters have taken to boasting about the performance of the Chinese mathletes and physics stars compared to their Indian counterparts, so Indians now deserve a chance to crow, too. According to the Hindu, India’s team came in first, with two golds, two silvers and a bronze. No word on how far back in the back the Chinese were. Now on to the Paralympics!

Reader Comments


September 2, 2008 11:46 AM

I have worked with both Indians and Chinese. It is heartening to know that Chinese kids have so well in the Math Olympiad. Here are few observations:

1. I have seen that generally Chinese have stronger mathematical skills. Check out the number of professors of Chinese Origin in the US Engineering schools.

2. Indians on the other hand not so bad mathematical skills (some are actually very good). But this boosted by their stronger softer skills. Check out the number professrors of Indian origin in top US B-Schools (you'll seldom find a chinese here). Additionally check the number Indian managers who made it to the top of US MNC (Citibank, McKinsey, Pepsi, HP etc...). In fact the world foremost management thinker is an Indian, Prof. CK Prahalad. The only world renonwed management thought leader from whole of east asia is a Japanese (Kenchi Ohmae).

3. In general, people who have poorer softer skills try to makeup with superior number crunching skills (and vice versa).


September 7, 2008 1:17 AM

@Optimist, you forgot the most critical factor that makes Indian so-called success in US, -- English.

On the contrary to what you claimed at the end, soft skill is not myth to Chinese, you can see many Chinese people good at it if you really been to China for a while. But English is the barrier that blocks most Chinese from entering the area like business/media or similar areas you mentioned, while engineering related areas don't require too much soft skill.

Look at the Chinese in China, and Indian in India, you can see the huge difference b/w two countries. for every aspect of a country, India is far behind of China, so don't dream your soft skill please. Don't want to offend you, even Indian is so good at cricket, but if any of top players like US/Russia/China/Germany etc adopt cricket, India will be the bottom again.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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