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Gokul R, a 23-year-old follower of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), has imbibed their philosophy very seriously along with his academic pursuits. Gokul topped the All India Rank (AIR) list of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2011, by scoring 91.33 out of 100.
Forty-seven students from Pune made it to the toppers’ list of GATE 2011, for which more than five lakh students across the country appeared.
Administered by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), GATE is the qualifying test for admission to ME, MTech and MS courses in India.
Attributing his success to the systematic training he received at Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (VOICE), Gokul, a Gateforum Pune student said, “The training helped me lead a wholesome and balanced life. If you are not part of the solution, then you are invariably a part of the problem.”
Before coming to Pune, Gokul worked in an IT company in Bangalore for a few years where he came in touch with VOICE run by ISKCON. He became a member of the Bhaktivedanta Youth Forum (BYF), the youth wing of ISKCON.
In May last year, Gokul moved to Pune to be with his friends at the BYF headquarters in the city. He also got an offer to work as a lecturer at the Trinity College of Engineering and Research (TCER) and teach Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to students for one semester.
The aim of VOICE is to help students lead a value-based life. “It helps students balance their competence and character based on the timeless wisdom taught in the Bhagvad Gita. Once the core character is developed, one can easily excel in any field,” said Gokul.
He started his preparation six months in advance for GATE. “I never wished to top. My friends at BYF inspired me to aim for the top rank. It was easy for me because I got full support from my devotee friends. The mock test series at the Pune Gateforum also helped me a lot,” said Gokul.
He took it as a challenge to prove to society that he can do extremely well in his studies in spite of being an ardent Krishna devotee. “People have a misconception that if one becomes god conscious, s/he remains a parasite, living on others,” he said.
Gokul hails from Chittur district in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and has done his schooling till standard X at a residential school. He later went to Shri Chaitanya Junior College in Tirupati for standards XI and XII.
In the AP Common Entrance Test (CET) of 2005, he scored 149 marks out of 169, coming 20th in the list. In the same year, at the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE), Gokul came 129th in the all-India rank.
He took admission to the National Institute of Technology (Suratkal, Karnataka) and completed BTech in engineering. Thereafter, he moved to Bangalore for work.
Gokul intends to do MTech in electronics from IIT Chennai and following it up with a PhD. Gokul aspired to become a scientist and pursue research while spreading the message of the Bhagvad Gita.
The three principles, which he insists helped him succeed, are to invest in building one’s character and competence, together with being devoted to god. He said that character, competence and devotion (CCD) are the key to success.