Winners of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search felicitated

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated top 20 winners of the 13th Edition of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2019-20 at a function held in Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar on Friday.

The winning group of aspiring astronomers and scientists will also get the opportunity to visit one of the premier facilities of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and receive a first-hand experience of space science in action.

A total of 62,000 students from 300 schools across the State of Odisha have participated in YATS 2019-20. The theme for this edition is ‘Unravelling the Wonders of the Universe’.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “The Young Astronomer Talent Search Programme has evolved as a platform that ignites young minds to think out of the box and kindle their interest in the field of astronomy and space sciences and showcase innovative concepts in the domains. This will go a long way in furthering the cause of research and development in astronomy and space sciences in the country.”

T.V. Narendran, CEO and MD, Tata Steel, said, “Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search is a testament to our commitment to build a better tomorrow. The country is taking significant strides in the field of astronomy and space science. This initiative is intended to motivate the young generation to build on their curiosity and knowledge in this field of technology and innovation. Tata Steel stays committed to grow this initiative in the years to come. I wish all the winners and participants a bright future.”

Dr Sudhakar Panda, Institute of Physics and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) Director was felicitated by the Chief Minister on the occasion.

YATS, a unique initiative for high school students of the state, is organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the aegis of the Science and Technology Department.

It is aimed at creating awareness in the field of astronomy and space science among students, motivating and encouraging young minds to become scientists and astronomers. The platform provides an opportunity for the students in rural and remote areas of the State to exhibit their talent and come to the forefront in the field of astronomy.

While the winners of the open-quiz were felicitated on the spot during the school activations, the essay competition required students to write an essay on the topic ‘Unravelling the Wonders of the Universe’.

The essays were evaluated by an independent jury. Top two participants from each district were selected and were invited to the grand finale. After further evaluation based on personal interactions, the Top 20 winners were adjudged and felicitated.

Adding to the gaiety of the finals, special interesting science-based exhibitions were organised at the planetarium by students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) and Regional Science Centre, Bhubaneswar.

Nearly one lakh fifty thousand young science enthusiasts of the state have participated in YATS in the last 13 years and 160 winning students had the opportunity to visit various facilities of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) across India.