Indian students have done it again. They have secured one gold, one silver, and three bronze medals in the 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which was hosted by Russia from July 14 -24, 2021, and three Silver and one bronze at the 32nd International Biology Olympiad (IBO) hosted by Portugal from July 18 to 23. In all 619 students from 107 countries participated in the IMO and 304 students from 76 countries in IBO. Both the contests were held online.
In IMO, a total of six students from India had participated. Pranjal Srivastava of Bengaluru secured the Gold Medal. This is the second time he has secured a gold medal in IMO. He had secured the earlier one in 2019. He has become the first Indian student to win 2 Gold medals at the IMO.
The other winners are; Anish Kulkarni of Pune (silver), and Ananya Ranade, also of Pune, Rohan Goyal of New Delhi, and Suchir Kaustav of Ghaziabad (Bronze). Anish missed the Gold medal by just one point.
The selection of the team was carried out through a two-stage procedure. The first stage consisted of a nationwide examination called Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics (IOQM) in which over 17,352 students appeared. This examination was conducted by the Mathematical Teacher’s Association in 175 centres across the country. And the second stage – Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO) examination held for 1266 students, was conducted at 25 centres across the country by the Tata Institute Of Fundamental Research (TIFR)’s Homi Bhabha Centre For Science Education (HBCSE), which is the national coordinator for science olympiads.
The usual practice of four stage procedure was reduced to just two stages this year due to the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Olympiad effort is supported by the National Board for Higher Mathematics, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
In IBO, four students from India participated and all of them secured medals. While three – Anshul Siwach of Panipat, Haryana, Dhiren Bharadwaj of Hisar, Haryana, and Naman Singh of Jaipur bagged the silver medal; Swaraj Nandi of Bhubaneswar bagged the bronze medal.
The contest consisted of two computer-based exams: The first celebrated the 500th anniversary of the journey of the Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who circumnavigated the earth for the first time (1519-1522). The exam had 8 parts, each of which focused on one halt of Magellan in different parts of the world. It consisted of questions covering areas such as plant biology, zoology, ecology and biotechnology. The second exam had challenging questions encompassing all areas of biology including contemporary issues such as global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prof. Anwesh Mazumdar of HBCSE, said, that the students took the exams from their respective homes under thorough continuous video monitoring by both IBO organisers and HBCSE. The selection and training processes had to be curtailed and modified heavily this year to avoid risk of infection to students. “We are happy that the students did very well even under these trying circumstances to maintain India’s record of an excellent performance at the olympiads.” (India Science Wire)