In a praiseworthy achievement, a 14-year-old girl, Diksha Shinde was selected as a panellist on the Minority Serving Institution Fellowships Virtual Panel of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
A student of class 10, Diksha, said that she has read several books by Stephen Hawking and submitted an essay titled “Questioning the existence of God” in September 2020, which was rejected. When she made slight changes and submitted it again, it was rejected for the second time.
“I just got an email from NASA about selection as a panellist on MSI Fellowship panel. I was surprised to receive it. I will do my job between 1 am and 4 am on alternate days and also get a monthly honorarium for it,” Diksha told ANI.
“I then decided to send a research article in December 2020 on ‘Black Hole’ which was liked and accepted at NASA. I won a research competition organised by International Astronomical Search Collaboration. In that, I provisionally discovered the ‘Main Belt asteroid’,” Diksha was quoted as saying.
In May 2021, the International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research accepted her research paper on ‘We Live in Black Hole?’.
Diksha confirmed that she was selected as a panellist for the 2021 MSI Fellowships Virtual Panel in June. “I accepted the offer and will start working soon. My job involves reviewing proposals submitted by researchers and describing a collaborative approach to research with NASA and understanding the connection between proposed research area and academic discipline pursuit of the students,” she said.
Shinde attends the research discussions every alternate day and is paid for the job of a panellist. Shinde’s mother, Ranjana Shinde, is a tutor, while her father, Krishna Shinde, is the headmaster of a school.
Earlier, Diksha won a research competition organised by International Astronomical Search Collaboration and provisionally discovered the ‘Main Belt asteroid’. She was selected for a three-month paid course, where she received Rs 50,000 as a monthly stipend.
Shinde said that she would receive training at NASA after she becomes 18 years of age. She is set to attend a conference to be held in October 2021, and all her expenses will be taken care of by NASA.