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Odisha CM felicitates budding astronomers of state


Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday felicitated the top 20 winners of the 11th Edition of the Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) Programme for the year 2017-18 at Pathani Samanta Planetarium here.

Patnaik also felicitated a young achiever from Odisha, Dr Susmita Mohanty, Co-Founder and CEO, Earth2Orbit, and a spaceship designer and serial space entrepreneur.

Appreciating the efforts of Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium for organising such a unique event, Patnaik expressed the hope that YATS would continue to be an important platform for students to identify, nurture and develop their talent, along with creating a community of scholars in the state of Odisha, who would contribute to its development.

On the occasion, Science and Technology Minister Badri Narayan Patra said: “We look forward to more youth from our state take different roles in leadership; towards this, it merits that they be given proper exposure in different fields including science, sports and allied streams of education, and YATS can be the launchpad for emerging space scientists from Odisha.”

T.V. Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel, said: “We have multiple programmes to engage with students of schools and colleges in Odisha which give them platforms to express their thoughts, ideas and benefit from knowledge sharing.”

YATS is a talent hunt and a four-month-long exercise to find the 20 best young talents in the state. The 11th edition of the programme witnessed the participation of more than 32,000 students from 300 schools, spread over 30 districts of Odisha.

The winners of the event will also get a special opportunity to go on an exposure visit to one of the premier facilities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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The theme for this year’s competition was “Celebrating achievements of India in space science”, and it included topical writing and quiz competitions on various aspects of India’s space programme.

YATS is being organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium since 2007 to acknowledge the exemplary contribution of Pathani Samanta, legendary astronomer of Odisha, and encourage youngsters to display their talent in scientific innovation and concepts on various themes of space science and astronomy.

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