The journey matters as much as the goal – Kalpana Chawla

A “Stars-struck” eleven year old, whose inspiration was further kindled by flames of passionate talk on astronomy by Dr.Jayant Narlikar, now stands as the main woman behind the world’s first astronomy dedicated e-learning platform.

Shweta Kulkarni has always had her gaze fixed on the stars above, right from the age when she could start putting words together.

This fervency propelled Shweta to become the CEO of a non-profit organisation, Astron-SHK Trust, at a young age of 18. To perfect her mastery in astronomy, she took up the distance education course offered by the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. This seven-year degree provided Shweta with the requisite proficiency to embark on a pioneering journey of entrepreneurship alongside her studies.

Astron Era, digitizing astronomy!

The conception of Astron Era stemmed from the disappointment faced by Shweta during her springtime of life, when she found out that dedicated educational portals for astronomy were quite scarce.

To make sure astronomy lovers, not just in India but across the globe could have a convenient reach to informative resource, she hosted two courses as a pilot project on a popular e-learning platform. Championed by the overwhelming positive responses to her experimental efforts, Shweta moved onward to create a portal completely devoted to edifying courses on astronomy, named AstronEra.

Astron Era, a private limited undertaking, offers both elementary and sophisticated concepts of astronomy explained in a creative and insightful manner. The curious beginners can make good use of the introductory courses while the ardent admirers of celestial bodies can benefit from the advanced courses. Impressed by its “uplifting” nature of purpose, Shweta earned a grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India – a highly acclaimed recognition.

NSRCEL, stars on Earth

Through her frequent attendance at the leadership events of IIM, Shweta familiarized herself with the WSP offered by NSRCEL. Ascertaining it as a pathfinder, she marched forward to officially become incubated at NSRCEL.

NSRCEL encouraged this young stargazer to make a long-standing career out of her passion, by stocking up her “entrepreneurial-kit” with essential insights and counsel. With her mentors having stood by her every move, Astron Era steadily gained its distinction. Also, her accreditation as Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society, England comes off as a real feather in her cap!

Shweta Kulkarni solemnly believes in the words of her revered role model, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam, “Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work”

No wonder she always looked skyward!


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