In view of the prevailing situation in the country with regard to COVID-19 pandemic and the safety and well-being of all concerned, it has been decided to postpone VOICE 2020. New schedule will be announced on this webpage at appropriate time as per Government advisory on health.


Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) also known as “cradle of space sciences” was founded by Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai, the father of Indian space programme, in the year 1947. On the occasion of the birth centenary year (2019-2020) of Dr. Sarabhai, PRL started a pan India level essay competition for school children. This year school students of 8 to 10 standard can participate in this competition.

Category: 8 - 10 standard students.

Topic: A night with a Telescope

Description: The night sky has fascinated human minds since time immemorial. Early people noticed that the Moon changed shape from night to night; constellations of stars look like animals and people. The oldest records of astronomical observations are found on the walls of caves dating back to 30,000 years. The first astronomical observations using a telescope happened around 410 years ago by Galileo. Since then, observers used not only visible light but almost every electromagnetic wavelength, starting from radio to gamma-rays to observe the sky. Telescopes indeed became our eyes to observe the Universe. Now astronomers use telescopes over the whole spectrum in order to understand the celestial objects. Assume you are given time to observe with the best telescope in the world (you can choose any wavelength starting from radio to gamma-ray, even multi-messenger observations such as gravitational waves, neutrino or cosmic ray), tell us which object would you want to observe, and what mystery about it would you want to solve.


  • Students of standard 8 to 10 can participate. Students should submit the scan copy of the student information form (as given on the PRL website) attested by the Principal/Head of the Institution with official seal with the essay.
  • Essay should be submitted online in the prescribed format. Submission in any other mode will not be considered.
  • Word limit: 3000 words. It must contain a summary up to 300 words, major highlights in three bullet points not exceeding 75 words, and a conclusion in about 200 words, with other relevant details such as introduction, the body of the essay, figures, etc. The essay should contain the following:
    • Which mystery do you want to solve?
    • Which telescope would you wish to use?
    • Why do you think the chosen telescope is best suited?
    • Finally, how you want to solve the mystery?
  • Student Information Sheet PDF File, Word File
  • For complete terms & conditions, please Click Here
  • For list of FAQs, Please Click Here

Evaluation Process

  • First phase: Maximum of about 50 students will be shortlisted
  • Second phase: Short-listed candidates will be invited to PRL for presentation and nine essays will be awarded
    Note: Local hospitality to all the short-listed students with one accompanying person and the travel support in Sleeper (SL) class train/Govt. bus in shortest route upon request will be provided to the students.

Important Dates

Last date of submission :May 1, 2020
Date of notification (Short-listed students): July 1, 2020
Presentation: August 27, 2020
Prize distribution: August 28, 2020

Prize Amount

1st prize₹ 10,000
2nd prize₹ 8000
3rd prize₹ 5000
Upto 6 Special Mention Prizes₹ 2000


Email: voice@prl.res.in
Physical Research Laboratory,
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad - 380 009, India

Previous Event: VOICE 2019