After 40 Years, Guinness World Records Awards Shakuntala Devi For This Rare Achievement


It took Guinness World Records over 4 decades to honor the Human-Computer Shakuntala Devi for her achievement for the fastest human computation. Incidentally, the biopic of Shakuntala Devi starring Vidya Balan released on Friday.

The record set by Shakuntala Devi of the fastest human computation was of mere 28 seconds within which she multiplied two randomly selected 13 digit numbers. This achievement took place in Imperial College London in the United Kingdom on the 18th of June 1980. The honor which was little too late was received by the daughter of the late mathematician, Anupama Banerji. In 1980, when the feat was achieved, Anupama Banerji was 10 years old. Speaking to the media, she told,


“Wherever I went, all people would speak about was that record. So I knew it was a huge achievement worldwide. I remember going to the Trocadero Centre (an entertainment complex on London’s Coventry Street). They have a room there which had mummy’s picture. It was fantastic.”

Shakuntala (1)

How Vidya Balan Helped To Get The Certificate

A biopic on Shakuntala Devi that stars Vidya Balan in a titular role was released on an OTT platform today. The film has been directed by Anu Menon. Speaking about the achievement of Shakuntala Devi, Vidya Balan said,

“While shooting for Shakuntala Devi in London, we would meet Anupama Banerji often. In my conversations with her, I realized that the late Shakuntala Devi didn’t have official certification from Guinness World Records – it wasn’t the norm then.”

The producer of the film Vikram Malhotra and Vidya Balan reached out to the Guinness World Records and got the official certification. The editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, said,

“No one has been able to even equal, let alone break, this record which is a testament to both the exceptional power of Ms. Devi’s mind and the significance of this particular mental challenge. Global certification of the life and career of the ‘Human Computer’ is long overdue, and Guinness World Records is honored to play its part in championing this unique individual.”


Source: India Times