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Earlier this year, fifteen year old Anish Bhanwal found himself in quite a fix. On the one hand were his rapidly approaching XI board exams, regarded as the first big step in a person's academic life. On the other hand was his shot to make a debut in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which could be the first big step in his career. Thankfully, the CBSE decided to make things easy for the young boy and decided to tweak the rules a little. Therefore, as it turned out, Anish Bhanwal was free to go take his shot at the Commonwealth Games and also take his exams. With the exams bit sorted out, the only load that Anish had was of a gold medal hanging from his neck. This makes India's youngest participant also India's youngest medallist when he won the 25m rapid fire pistol event, breaking the Games record in the process. This morning, sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore acknowledgment with a tweet saying, "I appreciate the role of
@Media_SAI and CBSE officials who intervened to grant exam extension to Anish Bhanwal. Had it not been for them, we wouldn't have witnessed this genius in action! #IndiaAtCWG." https://twitter.com/Ra_THORe/status/984662809643573248 The exception that was made for him, Anish took some of his exams before he set sail for the Gold Coast Quest for Gold. According to reports, he was granted special dates to take the Hindi, Social Science and Mathematics papers, which will be held for him on April 16, 17 and 18, as he will return only after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, starting on April 4. The exception made for Anish Bhanwala was welcomed by the 15-year old's father who said to the PTI, "Isn't it unfortunate children have to choose between studies and sports? We are grateful to the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India, the national federation, CBSE and his school." The CBSE allowing him to take his exams exclusively was a result of a number of influential sources urging the Board to do so. From the SAI to the NRAI, it appears that the decision was taken as per the new policy of the sports minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore. Rathore being a sportsperson and a shooter before he turned to politics, has surely faced the sports vs. academia debacle at some point and parents are hopeful that with time, Anish Bhanwala will not be an exception but the leniency will become the norm for children who are invested in sports. 'I am delighted such a step has been taken. That's how such cases should be dealt with in the future," said Jaspal Bhanwala, father of Anish. Just one exception brought home a gold medal, while Mehuli Ghosh also decided to give her board exams a skip and lo and behold! She also is bringing home a medal. Should this actually become a norm, it could mean a huge step towards improving the sporting culture of India, just by making sure future champions are burying their heads in books instead honing their skills to where they really belong.