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Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search sees record participation of 63,000 students

Bhubaneswar, December 03, 2018

~ Students from 300 schools across all 30 districts of Odisha participated ~
~Top 60 invited to Pathani Samata Planetarium for the grand finale on December 12 - 13~
~20 winners will be taken on an exposure visit to an ISRO facility in May 2019~

Tata Steel Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) programme, that aims to create awareness in the field of astronomy and space science among school students, has received an overwhelming response this year with a record participation of over 63,000 students from 300 schools across 30 districts of the State.

After due evaluation, the top two entries of each district have now been invited to participate in the grand finale to be held at Pathani Samata Planetarium, Bhubaneswar on 12-13th December 2018. The 20 winners, who will be selected after the final round, will be felicitated in the evening function on 13th December and will be later taken on an exposure visit to a facility of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in May 2019.

“Astronomy is a fascinating subject, which makes for a limitless canvas for children to imagine possibilities and possibly lead children to explore career opportunities in the field of space science. The YATS program has a unique design as its outreach initiative addresses and includes school children even in remote parts of the State. Participation has been increasing every year and it is heartening to see a participation of 63,000 students this year. We are committed to grow this program and make it an enriching experience for students and teachers” said Mr Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel.

“Tata Steel believes programmes like YATS offer children the opportunity to think beyond the text book. In fact, our latest campaign #WeAlsoMakeTomorrow celebrates the power of imagination and it features children of diverse ethnicity - makers of tomorrow – who envision the world of the future with their own imaginations,” Mr Chaudhary added.

YATS aims to motivate and encourage young minds to become scientists and astronomers. It also provides an opportunity for children in rural and remote areas of the state to exhibit their talent and come to the forefront in the field of astronomy. Last year (2017-18), YATS saw a participation of 32,800 students from 300 schools across all the 30 districts of the State and the finalists visited ISRO’s Space Application Centre at Ahmedabad.

YATS is organised by Tata Steel in association with Pathani Samanta Planetarium since 2007 to acknowledge the exemplary contribution of Pathani Samanta, legendary astronomer of Odisha, and encourage youngsters to display their talents in scientific innovation and concepts on various themes of space science and astronomy.

Each year 20 winners from Odisha are selected based on an essay-writing and quiz competitions and are thereafter sent on an exposure trip to different centres of ISRO. Theme for this year’s essay competition was ‘Imagine Space Exploration 50 years from now.’ The programme kicked-off in the first week of July with notification to schools. Engagement with schools (Quiz and Essay Competitions) was conducted between July to November.

About Tata Steel:
Tata Steel Group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) as on March 31, 2018. It is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. The Group recorded a consolidated turnover of US $20.41 billion (INR 133,016 crore) in FY18. Tata Steel Group is spread across five continents with an employee base of over 65,000. Tata Steel retained Industry Leader position in FY18 and ranked second overall in the DJSI assessment, 2017. The Company has been recognised as the Climate Disclosure Leader in ‘Steel category’ by CDP (2017). Besides being a member of the World Steel Climate Action Programme, Tata Steel was felicitated with several awards including the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2014-15 and 2015-16, Best Risk Management by CNBC TV18 (2018) and ‘Corporate Strategy Award’ by Mint (2018). The Company also received the ‘Most Ethical Company’ award from Ethisphere Institute for the sixth time (2018), Steel Sustainability Champions (2017) by the World Steel Association, Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards (2017 & 2018), Golden Peacock HR Excellence Award by Institute of Directors (2017) as well as 'Asia's Best Integrated Report' award by the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (2017), among several others.

About Pathani Samanta Planetarium: Pathani Samanta Planetarium is a premier institute of Odisha promoting science, astronomy, astrophysics and space science under the administrative control of Science and Technology Department, Government of Odisha. It has advanced digital planetarium projection system imported from USA. Till date, the planetarium has presented more than 25 different kinds of programmes to the public. Apart from regular shows, other activities are also organized by the planetarium such as Journey to Planets, The Moon: Our Neighbor in Space, The Mars, The Myriad Sun, World & Weathers and The Starry Sky.

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