Winners of the 15th Edition of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) felicitated in the Grand Finale
Bhubaneswar: The winners of the 15th Edition of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2021 were felicitated today at a function held on the virtual platform. On the occasion, the 30 District Toppers of the Junior group and Top 20 winners of the Senior group were felicitated.
Tata Steel in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, under the aegis of Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha, has been conducting the YATS for school children of the state since 2007. The initiative aims to identify and encourage the talents of school children in the field of astronomy and space science by providing them with a platform to test and express their knowledge and to popularise the great contributions of the legendary Pathani Samanta.
Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Hon’ble Minister, Science & Technology, Public Enterprises, Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Government of Odisha, Shri Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Science & Technology Department, Govt of Odisha, Shri Laxmidhar Das, Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Shri T. V. Narendran, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Steel, and Shri Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, were the honoured guests in the awards ceremony.
In his message Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, said: “YATS is a great platform that ignites young minds of our student community. I am glad that it is now reaching out to students across all districts of the state and encouraging them to think out of the box and kindling their interest in astronomy. It is a befitting tribute to Pathani Samanta, the great astronomer of Odisha. This programme will go a long way in furthering the cause of research and development in astronomy and space sciences in the country.”
Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Hon’ble Minister, Science & Technology, Public Enterprises, Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Odisha, said: “The Government of Odisha under the able leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik has taken many steps to strengthen the science and technology base of the state and particularly roping in the young talents. YATS is one such programme. The government has in principle approved to send 10 meritorious high school students of the state each year to various establishments of NASA, USA on study and exposure visit. I would like to congratulate all the participants of this year’s YATS and the winners.”
Shri Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Science & Technology Department, Government of Odisha, said: “
YATS is an iconic event and a big symbol of success of true Government and Private partnership. I would like to congratulate all the students for participating and their parents and teachers for supporting them. I would like to congratulate Tata Steel for taking YATS to the interiors and all the districts of Odisha.”
T V Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel’s long relationship with Odisha has grown stronger with time. Not only Tata Steel but even Tata Group has a significant footprint in Odisha and it is increasing by the day. I thank Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik and the Govt. of Odisha for their continued support.
YATS is a great opportunity for us to let the children of Odisha ignite their imagination, remind them of the great heritage of Odisha and provoke their interest in space science and astronomy. We hope, through this, we will be able to inspire the young minds to create a future which is so very important for Odisha and for our country. I congratulate all participants and winners and thank all teachers and parents for their support and mentorship of the children”.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “At Tata Steel, we strongly believe in the importance of building meaningful relationships with the community, to make a better and brighter tomorrow for all. From sporting infrastructure to art installations, literary and cultural events to educational interventions, we have several engagement initiatives. YATS is one such way in which we hope that our tomorrow is being made better by aiming to provide today’s children with a befitting platform that brings their talent to the fore and encourages scientific thought. The participation of students in YATS has been highly inspiring and gives us the impetus to make future events even more exciting.”
To increase the reach of the program and make it accessible to children where schools are yet to open, a digital version of YATS was organised this year thus giving the opportunity to all school students of classes 6th to 10th of Odisha to participate in the prestigious and eagerly awaited annual event. The program was conducted for two groups, the junior group for students of classes 6th to 8th and the senior group for students of classes 9th and 10th. While the 30 district toppers of the junior group were adjudged winners based on the online tests, for the senior group, the top two participants of each district were invited to participate in online workshops, expert sessions, personal interviews held on 12th and 13th December on the digital platform and Top 20 winners were chosen from amongst them. More than 2750 students from across the state had participated in YATS this year.
Commemorating the 186th Birth Anniversary of Pathani Samanta – the legendary astronomer from Odisha, and adding to the gaiety of the finals, special interesting astronomy based expert talks and workshops were organised on the digital platform which was open for all school students of the state. The sessions included a lively interaction with Prof. Annapurni Subramaniam, Director, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, a session by Dr Subhendu Pattnaik, Deputy Director (Technical), Pathani Samanta Planetarium on “Exploring the Universe”, one by the young and enthusiastic Team VSLV on “An insight to Satellite Communication, Sounding Rocket: A Novel Reckoning” and another by the famous Mr Sanjay Nekkanti, Founder of Dhruva Space.
YATS, a unique initiative for high school students of the State of Odisha, has been gaining popularity since its launch. In the last 15 years, more than two lakh young science enthusiasts of the State have participated in YATS and 160 winning students had the opportunity to visit premier facilities of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in India.