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The Olympiad Programme in India is conducted through the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, HBCSE which aims at promoting excellence in science among pre-university students and selecting teams of students to represents India at the International Olympiads in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. India has also represented at the International Olympiads in Mathematics and astronomy. HBCSE is the nodal centre for the Olympiad activity in India in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Astronomy.


In 1997-98, HBCSE and the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) jointly took the initiative of starting the Olympiad programme in Physics. A year later, through HBCSE initiates this programme was extended to Chemistry and Biology.


The National Olympiad Programme in Physics, Chemistry and Biology is overseen by and Integrated National Steering Committee constituted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) under its Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS). The programme is financially supported by BRNS (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).


The Olympiad selection is a multi-tier process. It consists of five stages:


1.                  National Standard Examinations

2.                  Indian National Olympiads

3.                  Orientation cum Selection Camps

4.                  Pre-departure Training Camps

5.                  International Olympiads


In this section you will get information about the eligibility and structure of the various mentioned above.


Stage I : National Standard Examination (NSE) in Physics, Chemistry and Biology


NSE is the first stage of selection of students in the National Olympiad Programme organized by Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) and Indian Association of Chemistry Teachers (IACT). Every student aspiring to go through successive stages of the programme must enroll for NSE. NSEs will be held at a large number of centres in the country.


Stage II : Indian National Olympiad Examinations


For Indian National Olympiad Examinations, the national top 200-250 students selected from NSEP, NSEC and NSEB each. They are eligible to appear for Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPhO), Indian National Chemistry Olympiad (INChO) and Indian National Biology Olympiad (INBO) respectively. These examinations comprise two parts.


Indian National Olympiads are held sometimes in the last week of January or early February. They are organized by HBCSE in collaboration with IAPT, IACT, IATBS and NCSM. These examinations are held at about 15 Centres in the country. The dates and schedule of these examinations are communicated in due course to the eligible students selected from Stage I examinations. The National Olympiads in different subjects are held on separate days/ timings so that a student who is eligible to appear for more than one subject can do so. Students appearing INPhO/ INChO / INBO are eligible for TA /DA as per the norms of the programme.


Stage III : Orientation cum Selection Camps (OCSC)


The short-listed groups of about 50 students in each subject are invited to the Orientation cum Selection camps organized by HBCSE. The camps are of one weeks duration in each subject. They are held in HBCSE in the month of May/June. Care is taken that they are after the IIT JEE (main) exam for Physics and Chemistry students and after the AIIMS exam for Biology students. The camps include several theoretical and experimental tests. Orientation is provided to students especially for the experimental tests. At the end of the camp in each subject, the best 25 students in Physics, the best 25 in Chemistry and the best 25 in Biology are selected to be the INPho Gold Medalists, INChO Gold Medalists and INBO Gold Medalists respectively.


The camps conclude with an award function where distinguished scientists are invited to speak to the students. Each Gold Medalist receives a medal, a certificate and a complimentary book.


Stage IV: Training of Indian Teams for International Olympiads


The selected Indian teams undergo a rigorous training programme at HBCSE in theory and experiment. Special laboratories have been developed at HBCSE for the purpose. Resource persons from different institutions across the country are invited to the training camps. As per International Olympiad statutes, the training in Chemistry and Biology is limited to 2 weeks duration. In Physics the training is for 3 weeks.


Stage V : Participation in International Olympiads in Physics (IPhO), Chemistry (IChO) and Biology (IBO)


The 4-member student team, 2 teacher leaders and a scientific observer constitute the delegation to represent India at the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO)


The 4-member student team, 2 teacher leaders and a scientific observer constitute the delegation to represent India at the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO).


The 4-member student team, 2 teacher leaders and a scientific observer constitute the Indian delegation to the International Biology Olympiad (IBO).




The International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) is a competitive examination open to students of all countries in the world, primarily studying in secondary schools. All basic subjects of Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics) are given roughly equal representation in the IJSO examination.

Beginning the year 2008-2009, the National Olympiad Programme includes Junior Science also.




The Junior Science Olympiad program will follow the following 5 stages:


->   Stage I : National Standard Examination in Junior Science (NSEJS).

->   Stage II : Indian National Junior Science Olympiad (INJSO),

->   Stage III : Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in junior science,

->   Stage IV : Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT) for IJSO,

->   Stage V : Participation in International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO).


Stage I will be entirely the responsibility of IAPT. All the remaining stages will be organized by the HBCSE.