WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
May 17, 2019, 09.58 PM
India’s former President and 'Missile Man' Dr APJ Kalam believed in empowering the youth in order to make India a superpower. His former organization, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is doing just that with its new initiative Yuvika - the Young Scientist Programme.
The two-week residential programme is aimed at imparting basic knowledge on space technology, space science and space applications. The fee for the travel, boarding and course material for the participating students is borne by the ISRO.
As many as 110 students were selected from more than lakh participants belonging to class 8th and 9th who had applied for the programme from all across the country. The selected candidates were chosen on the basis of their academic scores, membership in science clubs and other co-curricular activities.
The participating students have the unique opportunity of visiting four centres of ISRO - Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad and North Eastern Space Applications Centre in Shillong.
The training involves talks by eminent scientists, lab visits, hands-on training and discussions with the experts.
On Friday, which was the fifth day of the course, the students got an opportunity to visit the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh - India’s missile launch port. The students also had an interaction with Dr K Sivan, ISRO chairman. The students also witnessed the launch of a sounding rocket.
Dr Sivan urged the students to remain curious and ask questions. He said that whatever benefits are being enjoyed in terms of safety, security and quality of life, it is all because of science and technology developed here and elsewhere. Sivan stated that that the Yuvika programme will be held every single year, he said that they should even create a Yuvika Alumni Association.
Dr Sivan was posed with many questions that ranged from the possibility of space warfare to ISRO's vision for the coming decades. His answers provided key insights into the prevailing scenario in the world of space science and the way ahead.
On space warfare, he said, “space does not belong to any particular country and as per the law, there is no chance of a war. Countries are only getting prepared to defend themselves”.
Speaking on what makes ISRO special, he opened up on the power of planning, transparency, teamwork and review system. He said that ISRO had a review culture wherein a new recruit, who is fresh out of college, can question the chairman regarding the mission.
Sivan made mention of a study conducted by the teams from the IIT which revealed that for every rupee spent on the Indian Space Programme the return was ten times.
The chairman presented the students with medals of recognition for their participation in the initiative. Students queued up to pose for pictures with Dr Sivan and got his autograph.
Speaking to WION about the Yuvika Programme, Razel, a student from Chandigarh, said, “this is a leading step for all young scientists of India because we do not get this kind of exposure elsewhere. We learnt how practical science is more exciting.”
The two-week residential programme is aimed at imparting basic knowledge on space technology, space science and space applications to students who hail from all over the country.