**Bhubaneswar:** Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today felicitated 20 winners of the 12th Edition of Tata Steel’s Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) Programme-2018-19, held at the Pathani Samanta Planetarium here.
The winning group of aspiring astronomers and scientists will get an opportunity to visit one of the premier facilities of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to get a first-hand experience of space science in action.
Dr Ananda Hota, Founder-cum-Director of Mumbai-based RAD at Home, Astronomy Collaboratory and Professor Tarun Souradeep, Senior Professor, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune were felicitated by the Chief Minister on the occasion.
With the number of participants this year nearly doubling to 63,000 students from 300 Schools across the State, a new record in the 12-year history of YATS has been established.
Around 32,000 students had participated in the competition last year. The theme for 2018-19 was “Imagine space exploration, 50 years from now” and included an open-quiz for students from classes VI-X as well as an essay competition for students from classes IX-X.
Science & Technology Department Minister, Badri Narayan Patra, Principal Secretary, Science & Technology Department, Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Kailash Chandra Sahoo, Vice-President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, Chanakya Chaudhary and Vice-President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel, Arun Misra, were present on the occasion.