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ISRO to organise Young Scientist Programme 'Yuvika' every year

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (PTI): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Dr K Sivan Monday said the response to the agency's proposed students outreach initiative, the Young Scientist Programme (Yuvika) was "immense" and the agency was mulling to organise it every year.

The selection procedure for this year's programme, likely to be held in the second week of May, was completed and three students each from 29 states and seven union territories have been shortlisted as participants, he said.

Sivan was interacting with the media on the sidelines of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), a premier research institution of theVikram Sabarbhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

"That much enthusiasm was there...It is getting so much demand from pupils...it is going to make a big change. The programme is going to happen every year," Sivan said.

ISRO has launched the Yuvika programme from this year in tune with the Centre's vision "Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan".

The initiative is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to children to kindle their interest in the emerging areas of space activities.

The two week-long programme would include invited talks, experience sharing by eminent scientists, facility and lab visits, exclusive sessions for discussions with experts, practical and feedback sessions, ISRO sources said.

Three students each from each state/union territories are proposed to be included in this programme, they said.

"Selected students will be brought to ISRO for two weeks training. The detailed training will have lab and facility visits there," he said.

The training would be in four ISRO centres, including the VSSC (Thiruvananthapuram), the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru and the Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad, he said.

"All of them will undertake a one-and-half day tour at Sriharikota to see the satellite launch facilities and other details. They will be taken to all big facilities and later to the original training centres," the ISRO chief said.

During their visit, there would be the launch of a sounding rocket and if the students were lucky, they would witness the actual launch of the satellite.

"It depends on their (students) luck of the day," he said, adding that ISRO also had another students' programme called "Samwad".

Earlier, while delivering the presidential address during the inauguration of the golden jubilee celebration of the SPL, Sivan appreciated the efforts of the institution, which aimed at scientific understanding of energetics, dynamics and chemistry of the terrestrial and planetary environment with implications to society.

The SPL has played a pivotal role in the progress of space research in the area of planetary atmosphere, encompassing the surface of the Earth, Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere, space environment and planetary atmosphere, he said.

Former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan and VSSC director S Somanath were among the dignitaries who attended the programme.

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