6 July:For the first time, India will host the International Biology Olympiad, which will be held in Mumbai from 14th July.This is the 19th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) and 200 highly talented students along with 200 team leaders and scientific observers from 55 countries will take part in the event.
The nodal centre for the Olympiad is the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
The National Academic Committee, which was formed last year, has been involved in preparing the question bank for the two written tests and a practical task, according to its Chairman S K Apte.
"The committee has been involved over a year in designing theoretical and experimental tests of exceptional quality and high difficulty level. The experimental test will have four practical tasks in plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, ecology and animal behaviour," Apte said.
There will be two levels of written tests-one with multiple choice and the other is based on analysis and is a tougher one, Apte said, adding that each paper will have 70 to 80 questions.
The practicals will be held for 40 to 60 minutes while the test on animal behaviour will be taken through specially prepared films and the students have to watch them and answer the questions.
The national academic committee has some of the leading biologists and biology educationists from across the country including those from Shantiniketan, West Bengal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi M S University, Baroda, University of Mumbai, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Apte said.
Both the written tests and practicals will be held at HBCSE and which has specially made standardised and tested special olympiad laboratories, said Arvind Kumar, Chair, organising committee and director of HBCSE.
One day before the written as well as the practical exams, international jury sessions will be held in which the questions and tests will be deliberated upon and passed before giving them to the students, Apte said, adding the questions will have to be translated into international languages as tests in country language is allowed at IBO.
The session will be presided over by Prof Anindya Sinha of National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Rekha Vartak, assisted by Anupama Ronad of HBCSE is the Academic Co-ordinator of the 19th IBO, Kumar said.
The Olympiad will be inaugurated by TIFR Director Prof M Barma on 14th July at the Intercontinental Grand in Mumbai.
The valedictory function and prize distribution will be held at Nehru Centre on 20th July where Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Prof P Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore will give away the medals to the young meritorious students from all over the world, Kumar added.
The event is supported by the Department of Atomic Energy, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.
Kumar said although the Olympiad focused on academics, there will be a festive occasion including special tours to Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Nehru Science Centre, Nehru Planetarium and Discovery of India Exhibition and a ‘village fair’ at HBCSE.
"We will also showcase India’s culture at its opening and closing ceremonies, including classical Kathak and folk dance recitals," he said.
India’s talented students have been participating in several Science Olympiads for many years.Courtsey : DD NEWS
"India hosted its first International Chemistry Olympiad in Mumbai in July 2001," Kumar added.