Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar Conferred On Odia Girl Banita Dash For Asteroid Discovery

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Banita Dash was on Monday awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar for discovering an asteroid in August last year.

The girl from Nabarangpur district was among many other young talents who were honoured with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP).

A native of Nabarangpur district and student of Navodaya Vidyalaya in Madhya Pradesh’s Amarkantak, Banita was presented the award in Innovation category stated a tweet by Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.

She had joined Khagolshala Asteroid Search Campaign (KASC) in January this year. KASC trains students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas to detect asteroids. Banita discovered the asteroid using a telescope located at Hawai. The asteroid has been recognised by NASA, Hardin-Simmons University and International Astronomical Search Collaboration.

After the presentation of digital certificates for 2022 and 2021 through the Blockchain Technology, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the awardees through video conferencing.

A total of 29 children (15 boys and 14 girls) have been conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar this year, selected from all regions of the country for their exceptional achievements in Innovation (7), Social Service (4), Scholastic (1), Sports (8), Art & Culture (6) and Bravery (3) categories.

The Awardees of PMRBP 2021 and 2022 along with their parents and district Collector concerned joined the event (virtually) from their district headquarters.

Cash prize of Rs 1 lakh was transferred online to the accounts of the winners during the programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the virtual interaction, the Prime Minister lauded that the children of India have shown their modern and scientific thinking in the vaccination programme as well.

Since January 3, in just 20 days, more than 40 million children have got the corona vaccine. He also lauded them for their leadership in the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. The Prime Minister appealed to them to be an ambassador for Vocal for Local and lead the campaign of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Incidentally, today (January 24) is also celebrated as National Girl Child Day.

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