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 (IPhO), The International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), The International Biology Olympiad (IBO), The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and The International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO).
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.
The Mathematical Olympiad Programme in India, which leads to participation of Indian students in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is organized by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) on behalf of the National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. This programme is one of the major initiatives undertaken by the NBHM. Its main purpose is to spot mathematical talent among pre-university students in the country.
For the purpose of training and selection of students for the Olympiad contest, 25 regions all over the country have been designated and each assigned a Regional Coordinator. Additionally, three groups (Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) have a ‘Regional Coordinator’ each. The Mathematical Olympiad programme consists of five stages.
Stage 1: Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO and pre - RMO):
The RMO is a three-hour written test with six or seven problems. On the basis of the performance in RMO, a certain number of students from each region is selected for Stage 2 (INMO). The Regional Coordinators are in charge of conducting the RMO in their respective regions. They have the option of preparing RMO question papers all by themselves or they may choose to use the central RMO question paper prepared by the Mathematical Olympiad Cell, HBCSE, TIFR. Some regions may hold a pre-RMO examination by way of which students will be selected to appear for RMO. All pre-RMOs will be conducted by the concerned regions. The format of the pre-RMO paper and the criteria for selecting students for RMO are at the sole discretion of the respective Regional Coordinator.
Stage 2: Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO):
The INMO will be held on the first Sunday of February between 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm. Only those students who are selected in RMO 2015 and those who have received an INMO certificate of merit in 2015 are eligible to appear for the INMO. This contest is a four hour written test. On the basis of the INMO, the top 30-35 students in merit from all over the country are chosen as INMO awardees. In addition to INMO awardees, the next 45-50 students who are in class X or lower and have done well in INMO, but have not qualified as INMO awardee are awarded INMO certificate of merit.
Stage 3: International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC):
The INMO awardees are invited to a month long training camp in April-May each year at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai. The INMO awardees of the previous years who are eligible for IMO 2016 and, in addition, who have satisfactorily gone through postal tuition throughout the year are invited to the training camp as senior students.The junior students will receive INMO certificate and a prize in the form of books.The senior students will receive a prize in the form of books and cash. On the basis of a number of selection tests through the Camp, a team of the best six students is selected from the combined pool of junior and senior batch participants.
Stage 4: Pre-departure Training Camp for IMO
The selected team of six students goes through another round of training and orientation for about ten days prior to departure for IMO.
Stage 5: International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO):
The six member team selected at the end of IMOTC accompanied by a leader, a deputy leader and an observer represents the country at the IMO, held in July each year in a different member country of the IMO. The IMO contest consists of two written tests held on two consecutive days. On each day of the contest the test consists of three problems and lasts for four and half hours. India has been participating in the IMO since 1989. Students of the Indian Team who receive gold, silver and bronze medals at the IMO receive a cash prize of Rs. 5000/-, Rs. 4000/- and Rs. 3000/- respectively at a formal ceremony at the end of the training camp during the following year.
The Indian Computing Olympiad is used to select the team of four students to represent India at the International Olympiad for Informatics (IOI). The competition is held in three stages: the Zonal Informatics Olympiad, the Indian National Olympiad in Informatics, and the International Olympiad in Informatics Training Camp.
Stage I: The Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO) is a written round. Most of the questions can be solved with the use of algorithmic techniques, although logic is usually enough.
Stage II: The Indian National Olympiad in Informatics (INOI) - In this students have to write programs on a computer. The INOI is a programming competition round. Students are expected to solve two algorithmic problems in 3 hours in either C, C++ or Pascal. Questions in this round are similar to those in the IOI and other national computing Olympiads.
About thirty top-performing students in the INOI are selected for the International Olympiad in Informatics Training Camp (IOITC).
Stage III: The International Olympiad in Informatics Training Camp (IOITC) is a one fortnight long annual training camp held in India to select and train students to represent India at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
At the completion of the camp, 4 students are selected to represent India at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
The Olympiads are the most prestigious school competitions in the world. Students have to go through a rigorous process to be selected for the Indian team. Students selected to represent the country get an opportunity to compete and win prizes at an International level.
Usually students appear for the Olympiads in Class XI but brilliant students can appear for the stage I exam even in lower classes and increase their number of attempts and even their medal tally as they can participate in the International Olympiads till they reach Class XII.