Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the exposure visit of the top 20 winners of Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS), 2017 in a programme held on Thursday here at the State Secretariat.
The budding astronomers who were selected from 30 districts of the state would visit the Space Application Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at Ahmedabad. Besides, the students will also get one of those rare opportunities to interact with some of the top-notch space scientists of the country over there.
Naveen Patnaik also launched the 12th edition of YATS 2018 on the occasion.
The theme for 2018 is “Imagine space exploration, 50 years from now” and will include the competitions like, open-quiz (for students of classes VI-X) and essay competition (for students of classes IX-X).
Top two essay participants from each district will be selected and invited to the grand finale at Bhubaneswar on December 13, the birth anniversary of Pathani Samanta. The top 20 winners will be announced and felicitated on the occasion. Later, they will be taken on an exposure visit.
School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra, Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary R Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Nikunja Bihari Dhal and Bhushan Steel Managing Director Rajeev Singhal were present on the occasion.
The CM congratulated the winners for their interest in the unique programme and extended his best wishes for their ISRO visit.
Rajeev Singhal said, “YATS is a unique programme which offers bright young minds of Odisha a platform to fuel their passion in space science.”
The 2017 edition of YATS saw participation of 32,800 students in 300 schools across the state.
“Continuing our association with the Planetarium, in its 12th edition in 2018, we intend to make YATS much more enriching for the participating students. We are thankful to the state government and Pathani Samanta Planetarium for extending all support in making this venture a successful one, year-on-year,” he added.
The Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium has been organising the YATS. It started in 2007 with an aim to identify and encourage the talents of school children in the field of astronomy and space science.