OST Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, December 14:
Twenty budding astronomers of Odisha were felicitated at a ceremony here on Friday at the end of a six-month-long exercise to identify the 20 most promising young astronomers in the state held under the aegis of the Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) programme organised by Tata Steel, in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium.
Surendra Kumar, secretary of the department of Science & Technology, Govt. of Odisha gave away trophies to the top 20 budding astronomers at a grand function held at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar. The winners will be taken to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility in Bangalore for a tour in May, 2014 where they will have the opportunity to interact with the senior scientists of ISRO.
Coming from different parts of the State, the young talents were awarded on the 178th birth anniversary of Mahamahopadhyay Chandrasekhar Singhsamant Harichandan Mahapatra, popularly known as Pathani Samanta, the legendary astronomer from Nayagarh.
Speaking on the occasion, Kumar commended Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium for jointly organising the YATS programme that may help create future Rakesh Sharmas and Kalpana Chawalas from among these students.
This initiative will give the young talents from different parts of the state a big fillip to experiment and explore more on scientific research, especially space science, said Anand Sen , President, TQM and Steel Business, Tata Steel.
To popularise the contributions of the legendary Pathani Samanta to the field of astronomy and to spot and encourage young talents in astronomy and space science among school students, Tata Steel, in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, has been organising YATS for the last six years.
This kind of initiatives provides a chance to the young minds to exhibit their inherent skills and knowledge that would take them far ahead in their career, said Padma Bhushan Prof Trilochan Pradhan, Ex- Director, Institute of Physics, who was the Guest of Honour in the closing ceremony of this two-day event.
Others who graced the occasion included Mr William Bilung, Director and Shuvendu Pattnaik, Dy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium , Sunil Bhaskaran, DY VP, Corporate Services, Tata Steel , Manikant Nayak, Chief Resident Executive, Tata Steel.
The competition was open to students of Standard VIII to X in all schools across the State. It was conducted in three stages at eight different zones — Belpahar, Keonjhar, Balasore, Joda, Jajpur, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Jeypore.
In the first stage, the participating students were asked to prepare a write-up on ‘Mars Expedition’. After the zonal rounds, where they presented various models, 120 students from across the State, including budding tribal talents from the districts of Koraput, Keonjhar and Jajpur, were selected for the final round that was held at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium on December 12 and 13, 2013. The Top Twenty, selected by a panel of judges, were awarded here today.