New Delhi, July 24
Six students: Gopalchetty Brahma, Vinay Kumar Reddy Andluri, Akash Sharma, MS Ragul, Sathwick Bikumalla and Bhanu Kapeendra Majety pursuing Aerospace Engineering from Lovely Professional University, proud Jalandhar made the country by winning at the prestigious International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition (IAAC).
IAAC is one of the biggest astronomy competitions in the world. 4700 students from across the globe, including the US, UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, China, France, Italy, Spain, South Korea and New Zealand participated in the competition.
These students were among the 1,300 final participants who were selected under the youth and junior category. Under the youth category (above 18 years), Gopalchetty Brahma and Vinay Kumar Reddy Andluri won ‘Gold Honor’ and MS Ragul and Akash Sharma bagged the ‘Silver Honor’. Under the junior category (Under 18 years), Sathwick Bikumalla won ‘Gold Honor’ and Bhanu Kapeendra Majety won the ‘Bronze Honor’.
The competition comprises three rounds, the qualification round, pre-final round, and then the final round and tests in depth knowledge of the participants about astronomy and astrophysics, with a strict time limit of 1 minute for each question, with a separate question timer for every question. The entire contest is very tightly invigilated via latest technologies including online proctoring with web-based tracking, mouse pointer tracking, webcam tracking etc. to avoid any unfair means of cheating.
Gopalchetty Brahma, the final year student of Aerospace Engineering at LPU, had won at IAAC the last year as well. He was earlier awarded with ‘Silver Honor’ at IAAC-2020 edition. His experience helped the other LPU students to win this year as Gopalchetty along with his mentor, Dr. Amit Kumar Thakur, HOD Aerospace Engineering from the university prepared them for the competition. On winning the ‘Gold Honor’ this year he said, “I am thrilled to bag Gold honor this year. Having secured ‘Silver Honor’ the last year pushed me harder to aim for the Gold this time. It also helped me tap my weak areas and improve on it. I am thankful to my mentor Dr. Amit Kumar Thakur who encouraged me to never give up and always motivated to keep my eyes on the ‘Gold’.” Gopalchetty’s ambition is to become a successful space scientist and researcher at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
LPU inaugurated its ‘Centre for Space Research’ last year by Dr Sudhir Mishra, distinguished scientist & Director General (BrahMos), DRDO, Ministry of Defense. The station not only acts as a resource for LPU and its researchers but is also a virtual lab for other educational institutions in India and neighboring countries. Also, in the beginning of this month, the university established ‘The Ground station’ that would allow students and researchers to communicate with the International Space Station as well as receive data from nanosatellites and other spacecraft. The center will carry out awareness programs related to space research and remote sensing with the support of Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, as well. Ground station at LPU also offers an internet-to-orbit gateway mission control centre, for public use. TNS