City student selected for Astronomy Olympiad

Prafulla Dhariwal, a student of Dr Kalmadi Shamrao High School, has been selected in the three-member Indian team for International Astronomy Olympiad - Junior to be held in Hangzhou, China from November 8 to 16. This year is being celebrated as the international year of astronomy.

Prafulla is the only boy from Pune and from class VIII to be part of the three-member team that comprises two students who have appeared for class X -one from Jharkhand and the other from Sikandarabad.

Prafulla, who has a fascination for competitive exams, had no background of astronomy until he participated in Indian National Astronomy Olympiad a couple of months ago. Out of the 300 participants, he was among the 20 who were selected for the orientation camp for international astronomy Olympiad at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai.

"Astronomy Olympiad is the only exam that I could participate in class VIII, which is why I decided to go for it," Prafulla said, who was also awarded C L Bhat Memorial Award of the Indian Physics Association for the best overall performance at the camp at Homi Bhabha Centre. According to Dr Aniket Sule, Prafulla's teacher from Homi Bhabha Centre, the International Astronomy Olympiad has three tests on astronomy -theory, practicals where students have to analyse astronomy experiment and night sky observations -where students have to identify planetary objects.

"So far India has topped in the Olympiad and we expect to do well this time too," Sule said.

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