Indian soldier quits service to pursue higher education

New Delhi: Atul Kumar, a Grenadier in the Indian Army, had been nursing for long his desire to go for higher studies abroad and when he was selected for Masters course in Physics in an Italian university, he did not think twice before quitting the honourable government job for it.

The 23-year-old son of a mechanic applied for premature retirement and the Army was quite generous in expediting his request so that he can join the course in January next year.

Atul Kumar, who was posted in Kargil, has been selected for a two-year MS course in subject Particle & Astro-Particle Physics at the Sapienza University in Italy. He has also won an Italian government scholarship meant for international students in order to fund his education abroad.

A resident of Bohor village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Atul Kumar once had to drop out of college in 2015 to join the Army for a living. However, he later completed the degree course in Physics from Himachal University.

Atul Kumar told IANS on Tuesday that he always dreamt of pursuing higher education abroad.

Since I was good in academics, my teachers and seniors recommended me for the course. My savings during my four years of service in the Army will help fund my tuition fees while the scholarship will help me in my lodging and boarding," he said.

"I lost a year in academics for training after I qualified for a job in the Army. But finally I completed my graduation after a delay of one year," he recalled.

"I will be following up my MS degree with a doctorate in the subject," Kumar said. He expressed gratitude to the Army for expediting his premature retirement request just within a period of 20 days.

"I could not have applied for a student visa while being in service with the Army," Kumar said. He is now awaiting his visa clearance as he is scheduled to travel to Italy by the end of December this year.

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