Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today felicitated 20 winners of the 12th Edition of Tata Steel’s Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) Programme-2018-19, at a grand function held at Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar.
The winning group of aspiring astronomers and scientists will also get an opportunity to visit one of the premier facilities of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to get a first-hand experience of space science in action.
Dr Ananda Hota, Founder-cum-Director of Mumbai-based RAD at Home, Astronomy Collaboratory and Professor Tarun Souradeep, Senior Professor, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune were felicitated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister on the occasion.
With the number of participants, this year nearly doubling to 63,000 students from 300 Schools of all 30 districts in Odisha, a new record in the 12-year history of YATS has been established. Around 32,000 students had participated in the competition last year. The theme for 2018-19 was “Imagine space exploration, 50 years from now” and included an open-quiz for students from classes VI-X as well as an essay competition for students from classes IX-X.
Badri Narayan Patra, Minister, Odisha School and Mass Education, Science & Technology, Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Principal Secretary, Odisha Science & Technology Department, Kailash Chandra Sahoo, Director, Bhubaneswar Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice-President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, Arun Misra, Vice-President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
Welcoming the guests Arun Misra said, “Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) is a manifestation of our commitment to a better tomorrow that can be built by imagination, as reiterated by our recent campaign #WeAlsoMakeTomorrow”. To make YATS initiative more meaningful, we intend to collaborate with experts, researchers, groups working in the field of astronomy and in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium would work towards spreading awareness on space science through astronomy forums in the State”.
Congratulating the winners and participants, Chanakya Chaudhary said, “Tata Steel has a long history of being led by people with a scientific bent of mind and temperament. So, we seek to create a culture of scientific curiosity among our youth, both for their holistic development and the nation’s progress with YATS contributing to that larger objective. On behalf of Tata Steel, I wish the young winners and participants a bright future and I am confident that the winners make full use of the once in a lifetime learning experience when they visit the ISRO facility next May.”
YATS is a unique initiative of Tata Steel for high school students of the state, organised in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha. It is aimed at creating awareness in the field of astronomy and space science among students, besides motivating and encouraging young minds to become scientists and astronomers. It provides an opportunity to the students in rural and remote areas of the State to exhibit their talent and come to the forefront in the field of astronomy. The top 60 participants were also invited to attend this grand event held at Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar.
More than seventy-five thousand young science enthusiasts of the state have participated in YATS in the last 11 years and 140 winning students had the opportunity to visit various facilities of ISRO in India.