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India clinches 3rd position in International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

  • Published
    23rd Aug, 2022
Context

Recently, India has secured the third position by winning five medals at the 15th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA)-2022 held in Kutaisi, Georgia.

Background

Key Highlights

  • The International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics was organized from 14 to 21 August 2022.
  • 209 students from 37 main and 06 guest teams participated in this year's IOAA. 
  • From India, a total of five students have participated and each of them had won medals.
  • The students were able to secure 3 gold and 2 silver medals at the event.
  • In the medals tally, India was placed jointly in the third position along with Singapore, behind Iran's team (5 golds) and guest team (4 golds, 1 silver).
  • The students who participated were namely;
    • Raghav Goyal of Chandigarh- Gold
    • Mohd Akhtar of Kolkata- Gold
    • Mehul Borad of Hyderabad- Gold
    • Malay Kedia of Ghaziabad- Silver
    • Atharv Nilesh Mahajan of Indore- Silver
  • Raghav Goyal won a special prize for the best solution to the most challenging theoretical question.
  • In this competition, the theoretical papers included topics such as;
  • Circumbinary planets, mechanics of co-orbital satellites, accretion around compact objects, the Dyson sphere, proto-planetary disks, expanding nebulae and relativistic beaming.

Facts:

The competition was originally scheduled to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine but it was shifted to Kutaisi, Georgia in March 2022 due to the war in Ukraine.

Stages involved for the competition:

About IOAA

  • It is an annual competition and is one of the ‘International science Olympiads’.
  • The first IOAA was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in November-December 2007.
  • Aim: The main goal of the IOAA is to promote the growing interest in Astronomy and related STEM subjects, especially through the general education of young people, and enhancing the development of international contacts among different countries in promoting Astronomy and Astrophysics in schools.

India and Astronomy

  • Astronomy has long history in Indian subcontinent stretching from pre-historic to modern times
  • Some of the earliest roots of Indian astronomy can be dated to the period of Indus Valley civilisation or earlier.
  • Astronomy later developed as a discipline of Vedanga, or one of the "auxiliary disciplines" associated with the study of the Vedas, dating 1500 BCE or older.
  • The oldest known text is the Vedanga Jyotisha, dated to 1400–1200 BCE. The Development of Indian Ancient calendars is one such event which shows its historic belief in astronomy.

STEM Education in India

  • STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a method of education wherein the subjects are taught in coherence instead of in isolation.
  • In India’s New Education Policy, It is emphasised that bridging the learning gap by putting the children at the core of experience, making them active learners from passive listeners.
  • Some initiatives includes;
    • Mastercard’s Girls4Tech Program
    • National Knowledge Network (NKN)
    • National Project on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL)
    • National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)
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