What are the Olympiads?

International Olympiads in Science and Mathematics are the world Championships for school students held every year in a different country. The most famous Olympiads are The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), The International Physics Olympiad (IPGO), The International Chemistry Olympiad (ICh0), The International Biology Olympiad (IBO), The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and The International Astronomy Olympiad (IA0).

Countries send a delegation of students and leaders to participate at the International level India conducts national Olympiads to identify the best students who can represent India at the international level.

Mathematical Olympiad

For the purpose of the Olympiad contests, the country has been divided into about 25 regions. The selection process for participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)consists of the following stages :

Stage1 : Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) : RMO is currently held on the first Sunday of October each year in each of the regions in the country. All school students from Class XI are eligible to appear in RMO. Students from Class XII may also appear in RMO. But the maximum number of students selected from Class XII is 6. Exceptionally brilliant students from lower standards may also appear for RMO subject to the approval of the Regional Coordinator. RMO is a 3 hour written test containing 6 or 7 problems. On the basis of the performance in RMO, students are selected for the second stage. The Regional Coordinators may charge a nominal fee to meet the expenses in organizing the contest.

Stage 2 : Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO) : INMO is currently held on the third Sunday of January each year at the regional centre in all regions. Only those students who are selected in RMO are eligible to appear in INMO. This contest is a 40 hour written test. The evaluation of these papers is centralized. The top 75 contestants in INMO receive merit Certificates.

Stage 3 : International mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC): The top 30-35 INMO certificate awardees are invited to a month long training camp in May/June each year. The maximum number of students from Class XlI who are selected for IMOTC is 6. In addition to these 35 students, a certain number of INMO awardees of previous year(s) who have satisfactorily undergone postal tuition over the year area's invited to a second round of training. A team of six students is selected from the combined pool of junior and senior batch participants, based on a number of selection tests conducted during the camp, to represent India at the International Mathematical Olympiad.

Stage 4 : International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) : The six member team selected at the end of IMOTC, accompanied by a leader and a deputy leader represent India at IMO that is normally held inJuly each year in a chosen country. IMO consists of two four- and —a-half hour tests held on two consecutive days. The students of the Indian team who win gold, silver and bronze medals at IMO receive cash prizes of Rs. 5000/-, Rs. 4000/- and Rs. 3000/- respectively (prizes for 2007). The six students representing India at IMO automatically qualify for Koshore Vaigyanik ProtsahanYojana (KVPY) Fellowship.

Syllabus for mathematical Olympiad (regional, national and international) : Pre-degree college mathematics. The difficulty level increases from RMO to INMO to IMO.

Nurture Program : The INMO awardees who choose mathematics as one of the subjects in their undergraduate studies are eligible for scholarship by NBHM (which is present Rs. 1500/= per month) throughout their undergraduate studies. If they further pursue their studies to masters, they continue to get scholarship (enhance). Even the students who do not pursue mathematics in their undergraduate studies are eligible for certain benefits under a novel program instituted by NBHM, called Nurture Program. Under this program, each batch of students (selected from among the INMO awardees through their responses to a few sets of postal problems) is assigned to an institution. The coordinator in that institution distributes out some reading material that the students can go through during their leisure.

Time while pursuing their undergraduate studies. At the end of each year, during summer, they are invited to that institution for a contact program with working Mathematicians. Based on their performance, they may be recommended to a scholarship given by NBHM. This program continues for four years Thus even those who pursue under-graduate studies in some other discipline can still get training in Mathematics and use it in their further pursuit of knowledge.

Physics, Chemistry & Astronomy Olympiads

Stage 1 - National Standard Examination (NSE) in Physics & Chemistry Physics & Chemistry : Every student aspiring to go through successive stages of the Olympiad program must enroll for NSE. NSEs are held at a large number of centres in the country usually in the last week of November. All students of Class Xll or below (Science stream)are eligible to appear for NSEs. A student may appear for more than one Olympiad as per the examination schedule. Students who have passed class XII are not eligible.

Astronomy: For the Junior level, students should be in class IX. For the Senior level, students should be in Class X or Class XI. NSE emphasizes comprehension of the subject, not rote memory.

Stage II - Indian National Olympiad Examinations For Indian National Olympiad Examinations, the national top 200-205 students selected from NSEP, NSEC and NSEA each are eligible to appear for Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPh0), Indian National Chemistry Olympiad (INCh0) and Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO) respectively. Indian National Olympiads are held sometime in the last week of Januaryor early February. These examinations are held at about 15 centres in the country. Questions and problems in National Olympiads are usually non-conventional and of high difficulty level, comparable to the International Olympiads. On the basis of performance in the National Olympiads (theory) about 50 students are short-listed in each subject.

Stage III - Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) Physics & Chemistry The shrot-listed groups of about 35 students in each subject are invited to the Orientation cum Selection camps at HBCSE. On the basis of their performance in OCSC, the best 20 students in each subject qualify for merit awards, consisting of a merit certificate and a set of complimentary books. The tops students in Physics, top 4 in Chemistry are declared to be special merit awardees. These special merit awardees are given a prize of Rs. 5,000/- each in the form of books and cash. In addition there are special prizes in each subject to recognize meritorious performance in theory and experiments. The special merit awardees in Physics constitute the 5-member student team to represent India at the International Physics Olympiad. The special merit awardees in Chemistry constitute the 4-member student team to represent India at the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Astronomy The short-listed groups of about 25 students each for junior and senior levels are invited together to the Orientation cum Selection camp. At the end of the camp, 20 meritorious students from camp participants get a Certificate of Merit and complimentary books. The best 2 students from seniors and 3 students from juniors are selected for special merit awards of Rs. 5000/- each in the form of books and gifts. These five students represent India at the International Astronomy Olympiad.