Class 12 Students should be Eligible to appear for Indian Mathematical Olympiads

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Every year the HBCSE, the nodal centre of the country for the national olympiads programme, conducts the Mathematical and Science Olympiads to promote excellence in science and mathematics among pre-university students. The Mathematics Olympiad is conducted under the aegis of NBHM with the first stage being organised by the IAPT.

While class 12 students are eligible to write all the Science Olympiads, they are not allowed to appear for the Mathematics Olympiad, although this was not the case until a few years ago.

This is an earnest appeal to NBHM, HBCSE and IAPT to allow the students of Class 12 to appear for the Indian Mathematical Olympiads (PRMO, RMO, INMO) leading to participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad, starting 2018. 

1. The IMO official regulation states that all school students under the age of 20 are allowed to participate in the IMO. Moreover, none of the countries like USA, UK etc have imposed such a limitation on the students, as has been imposed on Indian students of class 12.

 2. To be a successful member of the Indian team at IMO, the students need 2 to 3 years of study to develop and master problem solving skills since the syllabus prescribed for the maths Olympiad is not part of their school curriculum. The children who become aware of such prestigious national competitions at a later stage of their student life are at a disadvantage as they do not get enough time to prepare for the competition

3. This will allow students who are better prepared to participate in the Maths Olympiad and will definitely bring more laurels to India at the IMO.

4. There is an increasing number of students interested in pursuing research in mathematics and the sciences over engineering and medicine, due to the presence of undergraduate research opportunities provided by the premier institutes of IISc, IISERs, ISI, CMI etc. Participating in the Olympiads in class 12 will continue to encourage and motivate these students to do so.

5. The INMO is  the only selection process for all the major Mathematical Olympiads like IMO, APMO and EGMO. Not allowing class 12 students to appear for the national Olympiads denies them the opportunity  to participate in all of these international Olympiads.
6.The INMO awardees are invited to a month long training camp, IMOTC in HBCSE and those who successfully complete IMOTC are eligible for a scholarship of Rs 4000 per month, from NBHM throughout the period of undergraduate studies. Including class 12 students in the Olympiads will provide them with one more opportunity of getting this scholarship during their undergraduate studies in Mathematics.

For the above reasons, it is only fair to allow all Indian students in class 12 also to appear for the highly competitive and intellectually challenging Mathematical Olympiads .

Suggestions to HBCSE, NBHM and IAPT 
1. To ensure maximum and fair participation of the qualified students in the IMOTC, the suggestion is to select two groups of students, as followed in the case of selecting students for Astronomy OCSC

Group 1 : Top 25 Class 12 students in the merit list

Group 2 : Top 25 Students of class 11 and below in the merit list

Selecting a large pool of class 12 students ensures that a good number will definitely participate in IMOTC. Moreover since 25 or so students will be selected from Class 11 and below, this scheme will continue to offer the same level of competition and opportunity.

Following is the IMO Official Regulation states the following for eligibility of contestants -

2.2 A Country’s Contestants should normally be citizens or residents of that Country, and should be selected through that Country’s national Mathematical Olympiad or equivalent selection programme. Contestants must have been born less than twenty years before 1 July in the year of participation at the IMO. Contestants must have been normally enrolled in full time primary or secondary education on or after 1 December in the year prior to the IMO, or, in the case of home-schooled students, must not have received a high-school diploma (or equivalent), and must be working toward such a credential on 1 December.

The eligibility criteria for the Mathematical and Science Olympiads for 2017-2018, as mentioned on the HBCSE website is as follows -

Eligibility of Mathematical Olympiads in India: All Indian students who are born on or after August 1, 1998 and, in addition, are in Class VIII, IX, X and XI are eligible to appear for the PRMO 2017.

Eligibility of Science Olympiads in India:
Must be an Indian citizen.
Date of birth between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 2003, both days inclusive.
Must not have completed (or scheduled to complete) class 12 board examination earlier than 30 November 2017.
Must not have commenced (or planning to commence) studies in a university or equivalent institution by 1 June, 2018. 


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