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ISRO unveils ‘Young Scientist’ programme to train students in space science



State-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday announced the launch of its Young Scientist programme to train class 9 students in space technology and its applications.

“ISRO has launched the special programme for school children ‘Yuva Vigyani Karyakram’ (Young Scientist programme) to impart basic knowledge on space technology, space science and applications to the young ones to arouse their interest in space activities,” the city-based space agency said in a statement.

With an aim to spread scientific fervour among the youth in the country, ISRO said it chalked out the programme to “catch them young”.
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The two-week residential training programme will be held each year during summer holidays for students from across the country who have completed class 8 and are studying in class 9.

“Three students will be selected from each state/union territory to participate in the programme each year covering CBSE, ICSE and state syllabus,” the statement said.

The space agency has approached the Chief Secretaries of the states for the selection of three students from each state and Union Territories.

The list of students taking part in the training programme’s maiden session during this summer (May-June) is expected by March-end, ISRO said.

“The selection is based on the academic performance and extracurricular activities. Students belonging to rural areas have been given special weightage in the selection criteria,” it added.


SC imposes Rs 10K cost on lawyer over PIL on IIT suicides




Terming it “frivolous”, the Supreme Court on Thursday imposed Rs 10,000 cost on a petitioner who filed a PIL seeking direction to the Centre and IITs to formulate and implement a programme to address the menace of rising suicide cases on their campuses.

A bench comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee said this is an utterly frivolous petition and asked the petitioner-in-person Gaurav Kumar Bansal: “How much cost should we impose on you?”

The bench noted that the Centre is well aware of the situation and dismissed the plea raising the issues of suicides on IIT campuses across the country.

During a brief hearing on the matter, Bansal argued that nearly 50 students have died by suicide in the IITs in the last five years. He urged the top court to intervene in the matter and also directed the Education Ministry and the IITs to formulate and implement a “student wellness programme” but the bench said it is not inclined to entertain the plea.

The lawyer submitted that a committee was earlier formed to probe into the causes behind suicide by students, and insisted that the situation remains the same.

Citing the Centre’s response on the matter, the court told the petitioner that authorities were alive to the matter.

“We are dismissing it with Rs 10,000 as cost payable to the legal services authority,” said the bench.

The plea had urged the apex court to direct all IITs to immediately plan, design, formulate and effectively implement a student health wellness programme. And, this programme should focus on prevention and reduction of suicides within the institutes, the plea sought.

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