The top five winners of the 17th Edition of Young Astronomer Talent Search (YATS) 2023 were felicitated by Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on Thursday at Pathani Samanta Planetarium (PSP) in Bhubaneswar.
Organized by Tata Steel in association with PSP operating under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Odisha, this edition of YATS saw the participation of more than 80,000 students from 30 districts in the State.
Present at the award ceremony were Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister, Science and Technology, Public Enterprises, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Government of Odisha, Chithra Arumugam, IAS, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Dr Yeddula Vijay, IAS, Joint Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Government of Odisha and Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik said, “I congratulate all the students who participated in the activities organised as part of Young Astronomers Talent Search. My congratulations as well to the district toppers who are selected for the finals and the Top 20 winners. YATS has been gaining in popularity since its inception. I am glad that over 80 thousand students from across 30 districts of our State are participating in this competition. This demonstrates its increasing popularity and reach.”
Over the years, YATS has evolved as a platform that ignites young minds to think out of the box and kindle their interest in the field of astronomy. This programme is a befitting homage to the great son of Odisha, Pathani Samanta, as it continues to attract more and more students to the field of science and astronomy.

“I believe that YATS will continue to play its role as a platform for students to identify, nurture and develop talents in space sciences, along with creating a community of scholars in Odisha who can contribute to its development on a sustainable basis. My congratulations to Tata Steel and Pathani Samanta Planetarium for conducting this unique event successfully year after year, and I wish the programme the very best for its future editions,” CM Patnaik added.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, of Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said, that the growing number of participants in each edition of YATS was a resounding testimony to its value and success, particularly among Odisha’s youth.
“The 2023 edition of YATS also comes on the heels of India’s most successful space mission yet — Chandrayaan-3 which added a lot more excitement among our young scientists. It is also very encouraging to see so many young minds turning their attention to astronomy and unchartered areas of space missions and technologies that will prove invaluable to India’s future. I am extremely happy to congratulate the winners of YATS 2023 and every single participant who made it such a grand success,” he said.

The competition included an open quiz for students of classes 6 to 8, conducted physically in schools and a multiple-choice questions assessment for students of classes 9 and 10, conducted in schools and online. A total of 20 winners including the top 5, along with their teachers, will be taken on an exposure visit to one of the facilities of the Indian Space Research Organisation around June 2024, where they will have the opportunity to interact with ace space scientists of the country.

Since its inception 17 years ago till date, more than 3,50,000 young science enthusiasts in Odisha have actively participated in YATS, which highlights the program’s enduring impact. Notably, 180 students have had the privilege of visiting various facilities of ISRO in India. (ANI)