Science and Technology Minister of Odisha Flags Off the ISRO Tour for Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search Winners
Bhubaneswar, May 22, 2023: The Government of Odisha’s Minister for Science & Technology, Public Enterprises, Social Security, and Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, flagged off the voyage to the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad for the 20 prodigious winners of the Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2022–23. The expedition, commencing from Bhubaneswar on May 22, 2023, includes students from across Odisha and their guide teachers, led by the Planetarium Director, Ms. Sanjulata Behera. It will culminate on May 29, 2023.
The formal launch of this inspirational trip was conducted at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar, attended by distinguished officials, including Shri Sarvesh Kumar, Corporate Communications Chief of Tata Steel, and Dr Subhendu Patnaik, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium.
The top 20 winners, selected on the occasion of the Grand Finale of YATS on December 13, 2022, will tour various SAC labs and gain insights from India’s elite space scientists, nurturing their enthusiasm in the realm of space exploration. In addition to the SAC, the students will also be visiting Science City and IIT Gandhinagar, broadening their exposure to and understanding of science and technology.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Ashok Chandra Panda said: “ I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the 20 outstanding students who emerged victorious in YATS, along with their dedicated teachers and supportive parents. Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium have played a pivotal role in offering this remarkable platform to nurture the budding talents in Odisha and ignite their passion for astronomy. With this unparalleled opportunity, we anticipate the young generation will forge a brilliant path in the realm of space science and technology.”
Expressing gratitude towards the Odisha Government for their consistent support in making YATS a grand success, Shri Sarvesh Kumar described the initiative as a distinctive endeavour. He emphasised that it inspires young learners to stretch their intellectual horizons beyond traditional academic confines and fosters the budding scientists within them.
Tata Steel’s annual flagship event, organised in collaboration with Pathani Samanta Planetarium, has experienced a massive response in this edition, with over 77,500 students from schools across 30 districts of Odisha participating. This year’s theme, “Time to unravel the universe,” accurately portrays the spirit of the programme, igniting an enthralling cosmic exploration.
Since its inception in 2007, YATS has strived to enhance awareness about astronomy and space science among students while honouring the immense contributions of the renowned Odia astronomer Pathani Samanata. The platform enables students, especially those from rural and remote regions of Odisha, to showcase their skills and gain recognition in the space science sector.
YATS has attracted more than 270,000 young science enthusiasts from the state over the past 16 years. A total of 180 victorious students have been granted the privilege of visiting various ISRO facilities.