Sons of Telangana make a mark



From top business executives who lead the world’s biggest companies to champion sports persons to prime ministers and world-class cuisine, the state of Telangana has given a lot to the country and the world. Over the last few years, Telangana has produced many heroes who are doing their part to make a difference in the developing world. They range in age from 21 to 52 and also in experience — from those reflecting on their first experiences in international development and looking forward to related careers, to veterans who have been making a difference at the global stage for the last twenty years.

Biden’s Speechwriter

Several Indian-Americans were expected to get a place in the administration of Joe Biden, including Vinay Reddy, who has been chosen as the director of speech-writing. In fact, Biden’s inaugural speech, a forward-looking vision for his presidency, has been written by Vinay.

Indian-American Vinay Reddy has roots in Pothireddypeta — a remote village of Karimnagar district of Telangana. Vinay’s father Narayana Reddy, a medical professional, migrated to the USA in 1970 after commuting MBBS from the Osmania University of Hyderabad. Vinay Reddy is one of the three sons of Narayana Reddy and he was born and brought up in the USA. He grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and completed law from Ohio State University. He first worked as a speechwriter for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Then he worked as Biden’s speechwriter and as a translator for Kamala Harris in recent polls. He has now been appointed as Speechwriting Director of the White House. The Reddy family still owns acres of land in the village and visits the village at regular intervals.

Fastest Human Calculator

Twenty-year-old Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash of Hyderabad has emerged as the fastest human calculator in the world. A graduate in maths from St. Stephen College, Delhi, Bhanu is the first Indian to win the title. He won the first-ever gold for India in the Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) held virtually in London. The event happened with 30 participants in the age group of 13 and 50 years from 13 countries including UK, Germany, UAE, France, Lebanon and Greece. Bhanu Prakash was 65 points ahead of a Lebanese contender and one from the UAE, who bagged the third position. He also holds world records and 50 Limca records for being the fastest human calculator in the world. Bhanu has his start-up ‘Exploring Infinities (EI)’, which is working with the Government of Telangana. Through them, the start-up promoting speed and cognitive abilities among children studying in government schools. EI has created 700 hours of math content for classes 6 to 10.

Hub for vaccines

Telangana is the house of India’s local vaccine named ‘Covaxin’ which is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. India’s youngest state is poised to emerge as a ‘saviour’ from the killer virus, with as many as five vaccine manufacturing firms based here racing to bring out an efficient antidote. Dr Krishna Ella, chairman & managing director, Bharat Biotech, says that Telangana has emerged as the global hub for vaccines. The State’s prominence accentuated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a facility of Bharat Biotech Genome valley here on November 28 and reviewed the progress of Covaxin, a vaccine candidate for COVID-19. It is being developed by the company in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology and is now undergoing phase-3 trials.

Hyderabad-headquartered space startup Skyroot Aerospace is gearing up to launch its first rocket later this year to put commercial satellites into space. Founded by former ISRO scientists, Skyroot is among several startups in India who are building smaller rockets that could help launch small satellites into space. The launch vehicle ‘Vikram-I’ which is under manufacturing and targeted for launch in December, hosts an Orbit Adjustment Module (OAM) that gives the final burn and inserts multiple satellites into space. Skyroot has designed the Kalam-5 engine using a carbon composite case, which is five times lesser than steel and has lesser zero moving parts. The firm is backed by CureFit founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, and Solar Industries. They claim that the engine is capable of multiple restarts thus, enabling the launch vehicle to insert various satellites into multiple orbits in a single mission.

Apart from the global heroes produced by Telangana, there are plans to convert Hyderabad into a global city by capitalising on its inherent strengths, such as the city being a major IT destination and expanding infrastructure riding on the development of roads and bridges that skirt the city. The home beautification programme under which Tank Bund road has got a facelift and State’s single-window clearance system, TS-iPass are elements of global city plans.