1 min read.Updated: 11 Sep 2021, 11:30 AM ISTLivemint
‘The challenge has been designed for all the school students, mentors and teachers across the country who not only are associated with schools having ATL labs but for all the non ATL schools as well’
New Delhi: As part of the government’s effort to enhance participation of youth and students in the space sector, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has launched the ATL Space Challenge 2021 for all Indian school students in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
This comes against the backdrop of India’s push to move up in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio programme, ‘Mann ki Baat’ last month, speaking about satellites being developed by Indian youth and students after the country opened up its space sector for the private firms.
“The challenge has been designed for all the school students, mentors and teachers across the country who not only are associated with schools having ATL labs but for all the non ATL schools as well," Niti Aayog said in a statement on Friday.
Under the Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) initiative, schools receive a grant for setting up such labs to encourage students to give shape to their ideas and come up with innovative experiments on their own in these laboratories. These tinkering labs are equipped with “do it yourself" kits and instruments related to science, electronics, robotics, sensors, 3D printers and computers, along with infrastructure such as meeting rooms and a video-conferencing facilities.
“This is to ensure that students of classes 6 to 12 are given an open platform where they can innovate and enable themselves to solve digital age space technology problems," the statement added.
The Union cabinet in June last year decided to open up the space sector for private sector participation, and cleared the creation of a new entity, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), to encourage private companies to use India’s space infrastructure.
“Speaking during the official launch, Mission Director AIM Dr Chintan Vaishnav said that the aim of this challenge is to enable innovation among young school students to create something in space sector that will not only help them learn about the space but create something that space programme can use itself," the statement said.