14-year-old Indian “selected” for the NASA MSI Fellowship virtual panel is a fake
When reports circulated on social media of a 14-year-old girl from Aurangabad, Maharashtra who was selected to be a panelist at a NASA event, the teen was applauded by everyone for her performance. But soon Diksha Shinde’s “success story” was peppered with holes for inconsistency everywhere, as online users pointed out gaping errors in the “certificate” they received, as well as several approval questions.
Diksha, a 10th grade student, was recently selected on NASA’s MSI Fellowship Virtual Panel. According to Shinde, she read several of Stephen Hawking’s books and then submitted an essay entitled “Questioning the Existence of God” in September, which was rejected. She made a few changes to the original essay and resubmitted it, which was then rejected for the second time.
Diksha had spoken to the ANI news agency: “I then decided to send out a research article on ‘Black Hole’ in December 2020, which NASA liked and accepted. I won a research competition organized by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration. In it I temporarily discovered the ‘main belt asteroid’. “
Diksha became her paper on ‘We live in the black hole?’ told. was “accepted by the International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research in May 2021.” According to Shinde, she was selected for the MSI Fellowships virtual panel in June doing research at NASA.
However, the reports have since been viewed as hoax and diksha has been widely trolled on social media. Some Twitter users pointed out that the NASA certificate looked like it was created using Canva editing software, while others said you must be a U.S. citizen or citizen to qualify for the MSI scholarship . Others pointed out misspellings.
New York-based scientist Jackie Faherty soon intervened, claiming that her (Faherty’s) name in Diksha’s “certificate” was some kind of fraud that the girl had fallen victim to. Faherty then offered Diksha help in fulfilling her dream of becoming a scientist.
“I don’t know why my name was associated with it, but someone made a scam with a 14 year old girl in India and her dream of becoming a scientist. If Diksha is really passionate about astronomy, she can turn to me and I’ll find some legitimate ways to show her passion, “Faherty tweeted.
I don’t know why my name was associated with it, but someone created a scam involving a 14 year old girl in India and her dream of becoming a scientist. If Diksha is really passionate about astronomy then she can turn to me and I will find some legitimate ways to show her passion. https://t.co/VLmtwRBmsg – Jackie Faherty (@jfaherty) August 20, 2021
Shinde’s father Krishna is the headmaster of an unsupported school and her mother Ranjana takes private lessons.
Diksha had said that she even takes part in the “research discussions” every other day and is paid for the job as a panelist. Flaherty’s tweet suggests that the 14-year-old diksha was likely unknowingly cheated on by a notorious online scammer.
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