January 26, 2021 5:19:21 am
It will be a unique birthday for Sonit Sisolekar as he turns 14 on Tuesday. He is one of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees, announced on the eve of India’s 72nd Republic Day.
Sonit has a deep interest in geology and is also India’s youngest volcanologist. His deep interest in understanding and studying volcanoes and their history takes flight through his hobby of trekking and mountain explorations. Sonit often visits nearby hills in and around Pune, which is seated on the Deccan Plateau formed due to volcanic activity some 60-odd million years ago.
“I am very excited to be awarded the Bal Puraskar. I attended a virtual interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held at the office of District Collector, Pune. I am excited to visit Delhi to collect the award, which will be sometime next year,” said Sonit, a Class VIII student who has several geology-based projects lined up in the coming months.
Volumes of data do not scare young Sonit, who recently submitted a research paper in which he has compared terrestrial tube volcano on Earth and the Moon.
“He used available datasets, some 1,760 of Earth and 200 that of Moon to compare the volcanic characteristics. The paper is currently under review at the journal of Lunar and Planetary Sciences,” said Dr Santosh, the senior Sisolekar.
If the paper is selected, Sonit could be one of the young researchers to participate and present his work at the journal’s virtual international conference scheduled in March this year.
In October 2019, he had won NASA’s ‘Cubes in Space’ competition for his project to understand the effect of ionization of radiation that made Mars a red coloured planet. It was selected for the space exploration programme.
Science fiction, books on Geology keep the young lad occupied outside his academic studies.
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