A teenaged boy from a village in Haryana who was recently selected by the NASA for its astronaut training programme, was Wednesday given a reward of Rs.1.5 lakh by the state government.
Ashish, who hails from Dhaulera village in Mahendergarh district, has passed his Class 12 exams.
He was honoured by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the presence of the boy's father Radhey Shyam.
Ashish was given the "Pratibha Samman" and a cheque of Rs.1.5 lakh.
Hooda said Ashish's selection for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) astronaut training programme was an exceptional achievement. He hoped other students would take inspiration from his accomplishment.
Before his selection for the three-year NASA training programme, Ashish had cleared IISAT (Indian Institute of Space Aeronautics and Technology) competition organised by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
He also passed the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance examination, getting the 112th rank.
For the astronaut training programme, NASA selected only 10 candidates from across the world. Three of them, including Ashish, are from India.
The three-year training programme will be conducted in Washington at the NASA premises.
The first Indian-origin woman astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, was also born and brought up in Haryana's Karnal town, 130 km from here.
Chawla went on two NASA space missions onboard spacecraft Columbia in 1997 and 2003. She died with six other astronauts February 2003 when the Columbia space shuttle bringing them back to Earth disintegrated on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.