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 Sangathana (KVS)) have a "Regional Coordinator" each. The Mathematical Olympiad programme consists of the following stages:
The RMO is a 3-hour written test with 6 or 7 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. For those regions opting for the central RMO paper, a pre-RMO will be mandatory. 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 is at the sole discretion of the respective Regional Coordinator.
The central RMO will be held on the first Sunday of December this year (December 06, 2015) between 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. RMO for those regions not opting for the central RMO will be held on date decided by the concerned Regional Coordinator, but this date will be no later than December 15, 2015.
All Indian students who are born on or after August 1, 1996 and, in addition, are in Class IX, X, XI are eligible to appear for the RMO 2015. Class XII students will not be eligible to appear for RMO/pre-RMO from 2014 onwards. Highly motivated and well prepared students from Class VIII may also take the RMO at the discretion of the Regional Coordinator. The Regional Coordinators may charge a nominal fee to meet the expenses for organizing the contest.
The INMO will be held on the third Sunday of January (January 17, 2016) 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. These stduents are eligible to appear for INMO 2017 directly without qualifying through RMO 2016.
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 awardess 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.
The selected team of six students goes through another round of training and orientation for about 10 days prior to departure for 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 selection of the members of the Indian team for IMO will be subject to their fulfilling criteria such as age limit, medical fitness, parental consent, etc., as may be applicable. In particular, the selected students need to have a valid Indian passport meeting the visa regulations of the host country.
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) finances international travel of the team, the leader and the deputy leader, while NBHM (DAE) finances the other expenditures connected with the international participation and the entire in-country programme.
Students aiming to go through the Mathematical Olympiad programme leading to international participation (IMO) should note that RMO is the first essential step for the programme. To appear for the RMO, the students should get in touch with the RMO co-ordinator of their region well in advance for enrollment and payment of stipulated (nominal) fees.