Thankyou so much Nirant! This was more than what I expected. A really compehensive answer and a pretty good starting point for me! :D
Thanks for all the motivation. I'll spend my summers getting acquainted with the the basic ideas and tools! I've gone through posts and decided to go with A-Z Deep Learning course on Udemy. I'll go through the learning path suggested in forums as well!
I'd really urge the community members to suggest some more niche for me to explore for a first paper.