In the previous years, there was a three-stage procedure of selection of teams to represent India at the International Olympiad. But for 2020-2021there will be a two-stage selection with the one-time exception due to this ongoing pandemic. The two stages in each subject will be:
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier, which will be a three-hour exam, divided into two parts. The exam will be regulated jointly by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) and the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) – HBCSE (TIFR).
- An Orientation-Cum-Selection Camp (OCSC) that will be organised by HBCSE.
The IOQ in every subject will be a combination of two exams, held in a single sitting for the examinee.
- National Standard Examination (NSE, Part 1): It will replace the regular NSE of other years. The paper will consist of multiple-choice questions, and the duration will be 1 hour. The level of problems will be comparable to general NSE. This part will be a screening examination for a particular evaluation of the second part (INO) only. The performance in this section will not play any role in the selection for the next level (OCSC). The IOQ in various subjects will be named National Standard Examinations in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Junior Science and Physics: NSEA, NSEB, NSEC, NSEJS and NSEP, respectively.
- Indian National Olympiad (INO, Part 2): It will replace the regular INO of previous years. It will be a two hours exam, consisting of detailed questions & the level will be similar to the usual INO. This exam will be evaluated solely for students selected through the first part (NSE). The selection for the next level (OCSC) will be confined solely by the performance in INO, Part 2. The IOQ in various subjects will be called Indian National Olympiads in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Junior Science and Physics: INAO, INBO, INChO, INJSO and INPhO, respectively.
IAPT & HBCSE will regulate the exam jointly. IAPT will be responsible for academics for NSE – Part 1, whereas, for INO – Part 2 the responsibility of academics will be borne by HBCSE. HBCSE will carry-out the rest stages of the olympiad program.
It is expected that by 15th of October 2020, the online enrollment of IOQ will open on the IAPT website (iaptexam.in). Confirmation regarding the enrollment date, eligibility, enrolment process and syllabus for IOQ will be released soon and are assumed to be similar to that of previous years.
The tentative timeline of IOQ examinations are stated below:
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Junior Science (IOQJS): January 17, 2021 (Sunday) 14:30 – 17:30 hrs
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Astronomy (IOQA): February 6, 2021 (Saturday) 9:00 -12:00 hrs
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Chemistry (IOQC): February 6, 2021 (Saturday) 14:30 – 17:30 hrs
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Physics (IOQP) February 7, 2021 (Sunday) 9:00 – 12:00 hrs
- Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Biology (IOQB): February 7, 2021 (Sunday) 14:30 – 17:30 hrs
- The given schedule is conditional and can change at short notice, depending on the current pandemic situation in the country.
- The screening criterion for Part 1 (INO) of IOQ will be similar to the qualification criteria for INO from NSE in previous years. Detailed criteria will be announced soon.
- The criteria for qualification for OCSC is based on the performance in Part 2 (INO) of IOQ and will be similar to INO-to-OCSC criteria applied in previous years. Detailed criteria will be announced soon.
- The programme for stages beyond IOQ will be published later at an appropriate time.