International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics for Juniors (IOAA-Jr.)
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.
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.) – 2023
This year’s INAO (Jr) -2023 is being coordinated by Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, a unit of 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 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 follows:
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 in Junior Science (NSEJS) conducted by IAPT is the first stage for the International Astronomy Olympiad in the junior category. Indian students of Class X or lower as of November 30, 2022, born between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2009 are eligible for the test.
Stage – II: The best-performing students from the NSEJS qualify for the second stage — the Indian National Olympiad–Junior Science (INOJS). Candidates for INJSO 2023 are automatically eligible for consideration for the next stages of selection of the Indian team for the International Astronomy Olympiad – Junior. The selection for the next stages of this programme will be based on performance in INJSO-2023 among candidates who express their interest in this programme during INO registration. The responsibility of the programme from this stage onwards lies with NCSM.
RESULT for the third stage Orientation-cum-Selection Camp (OCSC):
The list of selected students for the OCSC is uploaded here and all the selected students will be informed (by post/e-mail) about the dates, venue, and other details of the OCSC.
Stage III: Stage III: The selected 20 students were invited to the Orientation-cum-Selection Camp (OCSC) run by NCSM and held at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, during May 8 – 26, 2023. At the camp, students were oriented for Olympiad-level theoretical, problem-solving, data analysis, and observational tasks. On the basis of performance in the tests, 3 students were selected to represent India at the 2nd International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics for Juniors (IOAA-Jr.) 2023 to be held at Volos, Greece during 24th – 30th September 2023.
Distinguished mentors from NCSM, IIT-B, TIFR, HBCSE, Wilson College, Ruparel College, St. Xaviers College, Khagol Mandal & Akash Mitra Mandal, took lecture sessions. Students had special observational sessions in Nehru Planetarium taken by the Director of Nehru Planetarium, Dr Arvind Paranjpye. The students also visited National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) and Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) sites as part of the camp.
Mst. Siddharth Kumar Gopal of St. Thomas Residential School, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Mst. Aarush Mishra of Maa Bharti Senior Secondary School, Kota, Rajasthan, and Mst. Satwik Patnaik of Deepika English Medium School, Rourkela, Odisha, were selected to represent the team Indian in the International event this year. While Mst. Siddharth Kumar Gopal was adjudged by the jury as the best in theory and observation, Mst. Pragyam of Maa Bharti Senior Secondary School, Rajasthan, was declared to be the best performer in Data Analysis. The jury also awarded a special prize to Ms Manya Jain of Cosmos Castle International School, Gujarat, for Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving Skills. Dr. C L Bhat Award was given to Mst. Siddharth Kumar Gopal for securing the position of “Overall Best” by the Indian Physics Association.
All students were given the participation certificate in the valedictory program conducted in the NSC, Mumbai, where the best performers were rewarded with select sets of books. Dr M N Vahia, former professor of TIFR, Mumbai was the chief guest during the Valedictory program.
Stage- IV: The selected Indian team came together for the Pre-Departure Camp (PDC), during September 17-22, 2023, where they underwent an intensive training program at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai. This program focused on theoretical and observational astronomy, allowing them to reinforce their knowledge gained at OCSC. The goal is to thoroughly prepare them before their departure for the 2nd International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics for Juniors (IOAA-Jr.) 2023.
Stage- V: The 2nd International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics for Juniors took place in Volos, Greece, from September 24th to 30th, 2023. Thirteen countries, including China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Greece, India, Moldova, Romania, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and Sweden, participated in this prestigious event. The competition featured a theory round and multiple observational rounds. During the opening and closing ceremonies, participants and delegates were treated to traditional Greek dance and choir performances. The event also included a lecture titled “NASA: Space Exploration Missions” by renowned space scientist Stamatis Krimizis. The announcement of medal winners occurred at the closing ceremony on Saturday, September 30th, 2023, in Volos, Greece. Eighteen participants from Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine received bronze medals, while sixteen participants from the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Romania, Thailand, Ukraine, and China received silver medals. Eight participants from Colombia, the Czech Republic, India, Thailand, and China earned the prestigious gold medals for their outstanding performance. Additionally, honourable mentions were given to participants from Ecuador and the United Arab Emirates. The medals were presented by Loukas Zacheilas – Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Konstantinos Gourgouliatos – Chairman of the Scientific Organizing Committee, Ioannis Zacheilas – Secretary of the Local Organizing Committee, and Aniket Sule – President of IOAA. The Indian team achieved significant success, with one gold medal (awarded to Master Aarush Mishra from Maa Bharti Senior Secondary School, Kota, Rajasthan), one silver medal (awarded to Master Siddharth Kumar Gopal from St. Thomas Residential School, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), and one bronze medal (awarded to Master Satwik Patnaik from Deepika English Medium School, Rourkela, Odisha). The participants were accompanied by the team leaders Manash Bagchi, Curator of the Central Research and Training Laboratory in Kolkata, Jayant Ganguly, Technical Officer at the Regional Science Centre and Planetarium in Calicut, and Anindita Mondal, Curator of the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai.
Address for communication :
Nehru Science Centre, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 018
Telephone Landline : +91 22 2490 0518, 2492 0482, 2496 9568, 2084 4335
Contact Person: Dr. Anindita Mondal, Curator ‘C’ (+91-22-2490 0518 – Ext 204)