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Astronomy Olympiad Prog - Junior

International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO) - Junior


National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India is the Authorized National Representative (Astronomical) Organization (ANRAO) for organising International Astronomy (Junior) Programme in India. The Council is responsible for selecting the team of 3 students to represent India at the International Astronomy (Junior) Olympiad. This will be done through the Indian National Astronomy (Junior) Olympiad (INAO-Jr) programme.


About NCSM

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) is an autonomous scientific body functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It administers 25 Science Centres/Museums spread all over India. To know more about NCSM, please click here . The Astronomy Olympiad Programme (Junior) is fully funded by NCSM.


INAO (Jr.) – 2021

This year’s INAO (Jr) - 2021 is being coordinated by Birla Industrial and Technological Museums (BITM), Kolkata, a unit under National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.


Selection Process / Stages of Astronomy Olympiad (Junior):

The National Science Olympiad starts with an examination held at schools across the country and culminates with the International Astronomy Olympiad at different corners of the world. The national level examination is designed to assess the conceptual understanding, logical reasoning, and above all, the ability to apply problem-solving skills to novel situations, both theoretical and observational. Training is included from the third stage of the programme i.e. OCSC and the first two stages do not necessarily require any specialised coaching outside the regular school system. Every year the selection process involves FIVE stages as following:


Stage –I: The first stage examination, the National Standard Examination (NSE) is the organisational responsibility of the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) . National Standard Examination (NSE) conducted by IAPT in Junior Science is the first stage for the International Astronomy Olympiad in junior category.


Stage – II: The best-performing students from the NSE (approximately 300 in each subject) qualify for the second stage — the Indian National Olympiad (INO) – Junior Science. The responsibility of the programme from this stage onwards lies with NCSM, however, in the second stage HBCSE, Mumbai supports NCSM to select students for the OCSC.


RESULT for the third stage Orientation-cum-Selection Camp (OCSC):

·         The list of selected students for the OCSC will be uploaded here in the first or second week of March 2021.

·         And thereafter all the selected students will be informed (by post/e-mail) about the dates and other details of the OCSC.


Stage – III: The top students from the INO-Jr (approximately 20) will be invited for the third stage Orientation-cum-Selection Camp (OCSC) to be held at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Kolkata 700019 during April to June. At the camp, students will be oriented for Olympiad level theoretical, experimental and observational (for astronomy) tasks. Emphasis will be on developing conceptual foundations and problem-solving skills, and students will be trained in basics of astrophysics, astronomical data analysis and night sky observation. Several theoretical and experimental/observational tests will be held during the camp. On the basis of performance in these tests, few students (top 3) will be selected to represent India at the International Astronomy Olympiad. Resource persons from different institutions across the country will be invited to the training camps.


Stage- IV : The selected Indian teams undergo a rigorous training programme at one of the science museums/centres of NCSM in observational astronomy prior to their departure for the International Astronomy Olympiad.


Stage - V: The Olympiad programme culminates with the participation of the Indian students (3) in the International Astronomy Olympiad. The students are accompanied by Team Leader, Jury and/or Scientific Observer. Almost every Indian student who has participated in the Astronomy Olympiad has returned with a medal. This year XXV - IAO will be held at Matera (Italy) in October 2021.


Address for the OCSC-IAO (Jr):

Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, 19A Gurusaday Road, Kolkata - 700019

Email                     :

Telephone Landline        : +91 33 2287 7241, 2287 7242, 2287 7243, 9477345201 (Ext 233 or 235)

Mobile                  : +91 7980893019 (Shri Tarun Das, Education Officer)

Web                      :