ISRO’s Young Scientist Programme: Registrations see 2 fold increase post PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat mention

Yash Shukla

Indian Space Research Organisation expressed its gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mentioning its Young Scientist Programme (YUVIKA) in his Mann ki Baat speech which led to a big jump in the registrations for the programme. Prime Minister Modi had mentioned about the ISRO initiative in his Mann ki Baat speech on February 23 and exhorted young students to apply for the scheme. The number of registrations before PM Modi’s mention was hovering at only 74,000 which jumped to 1,53,000 after PM’s mention, the ISRO said in a tweet from its official handle. The registrations for the scheme will remain open till 6 PM on March 5, the ISRO further said.

The Young Scientist Programme (YUVIKA) was first launched by the space agency last year to inculcate the knowledge about space science in young kids and orient their career interest in space science. Under the programme a small batch of students who have passed class 8th and entered class 9th will be handpicked and sent for a two-week residential programme at different ISRO centres in the country. The two-week residential programme is convened during the summer break so that the school studies of the chosen students do not get affected.

A group of three students is chosen from every state and union territory irrespective of the population of the state with another five seats reserved for the OCI cardholder students. The competition for the programme becomes extremely tough as only 3 students get selected from a state. The students are hand-picked on the basis of their class 8th academic performance and extra-curricular activities. Students studying in rural areas will be given preference over their urban counterparts as part of the scheme.

Training, discussions with country’s ace scientists and lab experiments will follow during the two-week programme. The four ISRO centres where the students will be sent are Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Shillong and Thiruvananthapuram. Stay of the students as well as their train tickets will be borne by the space agency.