Indian students perform well at the International Biology Olympiad

The group of students who were selected after a rigorous national level selection, won four silver medals at the international competitiona


New Delhi: A team of students from India represented the country in the 29th International Biology Olympiad (IBO 2018) held in Tehran, Iran from 15th to 21th July, 2018.

These students were among 271 of the brightest students from across the world, from 71 countries who participated in this edition of IBO. The Indian team comprised four students, namely, Mr Kunjal Parnami from Bangalore, Mr Shaswat Jain from Yamunanagar, Ms Stuti Khandwala from Surat and Mr Vishwesh Bharadiya from Nasik. All four of them secured silver medals.

The team was accompanied by two leaders, Dr Sasikumar Menon, TDM Lab, Mumbai; Prof Kauresh Vacchrajani, M. S. University, Baroda; and two Scientific Observers, Prof Pradeep Burma, Delhi University; Mr Vikrant Ghanekar, HBCSE, Mumbai.

The IBO competition consists of a theoretical and an experimental examination, each of six hours duration. These examinations are exceptionally challenging and innovative and this year was no different.

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), a national centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the nodal centre in the country for all the Science Olympiads (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and Astrophysics and Junior Science) as well as the Mathematical Olympiad. The centre is responsible for the selection and training of the teams representing India at the international olympiads.

The selection of the team for IBO was carried out through a three-stage procedure. The first stage consisted of a nationwide examination in Biology in which over 34,000 students appeared. This examination was conducted by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) in nearly 1,400 centres across the country. The remaining two stages consisted of a series of difficult selection tests, both theoretical and practical. A similarly rigorous selection procedure is adopted for the other olympiads as well.

The Olympiad effort is supported by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India.