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Organizations bringing down the prestige of "Olympiads" in India

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The term "Olympiad" refers to, as found on google after a search, "a major international contest in a particular game, sport, or scientific subject". It's rhyme with "Olympics" instills a sense of competition in an individuals mind.

The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education is the body that conducts the national stages of the physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy olympiads alongwith Indian Association of Research in Computer Science conducting the Olympiad in Informatics for selection of bright students to the International stages of the respective Olympiads. These Olympiads are very prestigious and are respected by most students, professors, parents and teachers around the world alike. These are truly international in nature where students from around the world gather to compete with each other and win medals. The medals go on to contribute to scholarships as high as a 100% in some renowned universities over the world. There are 14 International Olympiads recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Each Olympiad also has a training camp(for the actual selection for the International team) where students meet their fellow aspirants and some of the best professors in India, not only learning about the respective subject but also about life. The points that I make here can be found as answers to this quora question.

Unfortunately in India they are not valued as much. Over that there are also other "Olympiads" conducted by private organizations like the Science Olympiad Foundation, Unified Council and SilverZone. Sure, these do a good job in introducing competition in science at an young age leading to their learning and also create interest in students for learning science, maths and computer science. But the use of the term "Olympiad" here is very misleading. SOF even uses the real name of the International Mathematical Olympiad. Often when a student is in Higher Secondary, the first priority of his teachers and parents are colleges and these Olympiads by private organizations do not contribute to getting a good college and, thus, they are of a view that all Olympiads are valueless. Also, these Olympiads were declared to be "compulsory" in my school whereas no one bothered about the HBCSE Olympiads.

This creates a lack of awareness especially in India and India has been performing not up to the mark on the international scale.

Last year, in my school I went to inform my teacher about my selections to the National stage of the Informatics Olympiad and his reply was that these Olympiads are valueless and I should study for JEE

Moreover, this lowers the sense of achievement in the "real" Olympiad. If a Indian gets a gold in IMO(the real one) then that would be a very big deal and he will be respected all over the world because of that but in India people will think he got a gold in IMO conducted by SOF, which every 1st ranker from each school gets.

One can refer to this Times of India Article to get a better sense of what issue I want to address.

All I ask for is to remove the use of the term "Olympiad" from the private exams for this purpose.

Please, sign my petition and help bring back the glory of the Olympiads.



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