Bhubaneswar: The winners of the 15th Edition of Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2021 were felicitated on Monday 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 State science and technology department 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.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, S&T minister Ashok Chandra Panda, S & T secretary Manoj Kumar Mishra, Pathani Samantha Planetarium director Laxmidhar Das, Tata Steel CEO & MD T. V. Narendran, and vice president, corporate services Chanakya Chaudhary were the honoured guests in the awards ceremony.

In his message CM Naveen Patnaik, 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.”

T V Narendran 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, 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.”