Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, felicitated Top 20 winners of the 13th Edition of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2019-20 at a function held today in Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar. 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’.
Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Hon’ble Minister, Science & Technology, Public Enterprises, Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Government of Odisha, Shri Rashid Khan, Addl. Secretary, Science & Technology Department and Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Shri T. V. Narendran, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Steel, and Shri Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Patnaik 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.”
Congratulating the winners and participants of the 13th edition of YATS, Shri T. V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel, said: “The Young Astronomers Talent Search (YATS) 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.”
Eminent researcher and scientist, Dr Sudhakar Panda, Director, Institute of Physics and National Institute of Science Education & Research (NISER) was felicitated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister on the occasion. Earlier in the day, Dr Panda addressed the YATS finalists during an interactive session.
YATS, a unique initiative for high school students of the State of Odisha, is organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the aegis of Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha. 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 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.
YATS 2019-20 included the following competitions:
• An open-quiz competition (open to students of classes 6 to 10)
• An essay competition (open to students of classes 9 and 10)
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.