Chennai student gets Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019 award

Chennai: Aswath Suryanarayanan, a resident of Saligramam, has bagged the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019 award under the category Bal Sakthi Puraskar by the Government of India for his innovations in the subject of astrophysics and astronomy.

A class XII student of Devi Academy Senior Secondary School, he is an aspiring space researcher and has several unique research projects to his credit such as magnetically-operated kinetic car and a mathematics model for managing space debris and satellite collision.

Speaking to News Today, Aswath said astrophysics and astronomy is a branch of space science pertaining to the laws of physics and chemistry which explain the birth and death of stars, planets and galaxies.

“I got interested in observing the sky and the movement of stars from the time I was six years old. I used to bombard my parents with questions and began to learn science subjects. I devoted more time to astronomy and astrophysics and even authored a book on it when I was in middle school,” he said.

On winning the award, Aswath said he was inspired by our former President Abdul Kalam and movie Gravity. He thanked his parents for their support and encouragement.

Aswath’s father Suryanarayanan Krishnamoorthi, a Ph.D holder in Business Analytics, IIT-Madras, said his son has won many awards.

It includes ‘Brahmos Best Student Award’ from Kalam for fossil fuel-free car in 2014. Aswath’s space debris project was one of the best 100 projects selected globally at the 2016 Google Science Fair.

He has also presented his research project at the 7th European Conference on Space Debris in Germany (2017) and was one among the top 25 students selected across India to attend the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) and in 2018, he represented India at the international science and engineering fair in US.

With all his passion for space and his knowledge accumulated over the years, he has written a book, Knowing Space, which was reviewed by Kalam.

Aswath’s mother, Jeyashree, said her son was a self-made person and she used to be surprised by his observation skills, even while he was four years old. “His self-discipline, confidence and perseverance were the three traits which went a long way in helping him achieve at this young age,” she said.

Aswath can be reached at 99620 66230.

-Article by Chitralekha Vanamamalai

NT Bureau