Report by Gayatri Mavuru, Bhubaneswar: The 11th edition of the Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS), an annual competition organised for the school children of Odisha to create awareness on space science and astronomy, was launched by Shri Badri Narayan Patra, Minister, School & Mass Education and Science & Technology, Government of Odisha at the State Secretariat on 2nd August 2017. The theme for this year’s YATS is ‘India’s contribution to space science’.
Shri V V Yadav, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Odisha, Shri Kailash Chandra Sahoo, Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Shri Arun Misra, Vice President, Project Gopalpur, Tata Steel and Managing Director, Tata Steel SEZ, Shri Sarvesh Kumar, Chief, Brand Management & Strategic Communications, Tata Steel and Shri Manikanta Naik, Chief Resident Executive, Tata Steel were also present on the occasion.
Unveiling the information docket on YATS 2017-18, Shri Patra said, “I commend Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium for organising such a unique initiative to promote science and spread awareness on Pathani Samanta. Science and Technology is a key tool to bringing about exponential development in the society and initiatives like YATS are an excellent platform to foster and build scientific temper among students across the state.”
Reinforcing Tata Steel’s commitment for doing its bit in aiding development in Odisha, Shri Misra said, “The 10th edition of YATS had reached out to more than 33,000 students across 27 districts of the state. This time we want to take it a notch higher and make it much more memorable and a valuable experience for students.”
On the occasion, Shri Yadav said, “We are pleased to be associated with Tata Steel Young Astronomer Search. We are happy to learn that this time Tata Steel is planning to reach out to more number of rural students as science and technology knows no barrier of language, location or region. We look forward to a great edition of YATS this year and would extend our full support to the team”.
Organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium since 2007, YATS promotes the contribution of Samanta Chandra Sekhar Harichandan Mahapatra who is popularly known as Pathani Samanta, the legendary astronomer of Odisha in the field of astronomy. It seeks to identify and promote the talent of high school students in the field of space science by providing platforms to express and test their knowledge.
The format of the competition comprises an essay competition for students of standards IX-X and an open quiz on space science for students of standard VII-VIII.
The theme has been decided to celebrate the strides India has made especially recently in the areas of space science and astronomy. Indian is making an impact globally in this field and there has been a renewed vigor that this area is witnessing in current times. The essay topics are derived from the theme.
The top two winners from each participating district will be invited the Grand Finale to be held on December 12-13, 2017 at Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar. During this event, top 20 winners of YATS 2017-18 will be selected after a final round of evaluation and felicitated on the occasion. Later in May 2018 they will be taken by Tata Steel on an exposure visit to one of the facilities of ISRO.