International Biology Olympiad

The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) has been conducted since 1968, and is a competition for students at the secondary and higher secondary school levels. The IBO boosts the level of Biology education in the participating countries. It helps develop friendly relations between the young people from different countries.

India started participating in this event from the year 1999 at the 31st IBO held at Bangkok, Thailand. India hosted the 33rd International Chemistry Olympiad (IBO) in its third year of participation in 2001 with whole-hearted support of all countries.

The chemistry Olympiad program follows the following 5 stages:

  • Stage I:National Standard Examination in Biology(NSEB),
  • Stage II: Indian National Biology Olympiad (INBO),
  • Stage III:Orientation cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in Biology,
  • Stage IV: Pre-departure Training Camp (PDT) for IBO,
  • Stage V: Participation in International Biology Olympiad (IBO)

The detailed information about eligibility and structure of the stages is given below:

Stage I: National Standard Examination in Biology (NSEB)

NSEB is the first stage of selection of students in the Biology Olympiad Programme which is organized by the Indian Association of Biology Teachers (IAPT). Every student aspiring to go through successive stages of the programme must enroll for NSEB. NSEB is held at a large number of centres in the country.

Date of NSEB 2012: 27 November 2021 (Saturday)
Time of NSEB 2021: 12:30 pm to 02:30 pm
Last Date for Enrollment for NSEB: 15th September 2021

Eligibility :

All Indian students who are born on or after July 1, 2000 and, in addition, are in Class XII or lower as of November 30, 2020, are eligible to appear for NSEB 2020 – 2021. A student may appear for more than one subject provided the examination schedule allows it. See information about the examination schedule under various subjects. Students who have passed Class XII are not eligible to enroll for NSEB.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the eligibility criteria are satisfied. In case at any stage of the programme it is found that the student does not satisfy the eligibility criteria, he/she may be disqualified from the programme.

Syllabus :

The syllabus for NSEB is broadly equivalent to the senior secondary level (Class XI and Class XII) of CBSE Biology. This is only a rough guideline, and there is no detailed syllabus given for NSEB.

Question Paper :

NSEB emphasizes comprehension of the subject, not rote memory.The question paper will consist of 80 multiple choice questions, each with only one of the four options correct.
Language : English.:

Qualifying for the Second Stage :

The aim of the first stage examination is to have a wide reach, to progressively increase this reach and to attain nationwide representation for stage II without overly compromising on merit. Hence the selection to the stage II examinations i.e. Indian National Olympiad Examinations (INOs) is based on the following scheme.

a.Eligibility Clause: A candidate must secure a score equal to or greater than a Minimum Admissible Score (MAS) to be eligible for the Stage II INO exam leading to the International Olympiad . The MAS for a given subject will be 40% of the maximum score in that subject.

b.Proportional Representation Clause: The number of students selected for Stage II (INO) in each subject is around 300. The number of candidates who appeared for NSE in 2020-21 in a subject from centers in each State or Union Territory (UT) will be considered the baseline for calculating the number qualifying from centers in that State or UT for that subject. Suppose this number in 2020-21 for centers in a given State in a given subject is S, and the total number that appeared in 2020-21 in that subject for the country is T, then the number selected to Stage II in that subject from that State would be S/T times 300, rounded off to the nearest higher integer. In the event of a tie at the last position in the list all students with the same marks at this position will qualify to appear for the Stage II examination. The selected students must nevertheless satisfy the eligibility clause laid out above. The total number to be selected from centers in each State for each subject will be displayed on the IAPT and HBCSE websites.

c.Minimum Representation Clause: Notwithstanding the proportional representation clause the number of students selected for INO from each State and UT must be at least one, provided that the eligibility clause is satisfied.

d.Merit Clause: Given the eligibility clause, it is conceivable that 300 students may not qualify for Stage II in a subject. Should this occur, the shortfall (from 300) will be selected based purely on merit without further consideration to proportional representation and minimum representation clauses. In the event of a tie at the last position in the list all students with the same marks at this position will qualify to appear for the Stage II examination.

There will be no other criterion or provision for selection to the Indian National Olympiad Examinations (INOs).

All students who qualify to appear for the INBO get a certificate of merit from IAPT.

Stage II:Indian National Biology Olympiad (INBO)

INBO is organized by HBCSE at about 15 centres in the country.

Eligibility: Students selected from Stage I examination (NSEB) are eligible to appear for INBO. In addition, those students, who have been exempted from NSEB as described in the Enrollment page, are also eligible to appear for INBO. Besides these two, there is no other way by which a student becomes eligible to appear for INBO.

The tentative date and time of INBO 2021 examination are as follows

May 2021

The camps include several theoretical and experimental tests. Orientation is provided to students especially in experiments. The camps conclude with a valedictory function where distinguished scientists are invited to speak to the students.

Syllabus:The merit list of OCSC is prepared on the basis of the combined theoretical and experimental score aggregated over all the tests in the camp, with 60% weightage for theory and 40% weightage for experiment. Performance in previous stages (NSEB and INBO) will not be a consideration for the merit list and awards of the OCSC.

The top 5 students in the OCSC Biology merit list are declared to be special merit awardees. These special merit awardees are given Rs. 5,000/- each in the form of books and cash. In addition there are special prizes to recognize meritorious performance in theory and experiments.

The 5 special merit awardees in Biology selected at the end of the OCSC constitute the 5 member student team for the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), provided they satisfy required criteria such as age limit, holding valid Indian passport, medical fitness, parental consent, etc.

Stage III: Orientation Cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in Biology

OCSC in Biology will be organized by HBCSE sometime in April to June 2013 for 2-3 weeks. The precise dates will be announced prior to or along with the announcement of the selection list for the OCSC.

Eligibility: Only the students selected from the merit list of Stage II (INBO) are eligible. There will be no other criterion or provision.

The tentative dates of OCSC 2013 are as follows:

February 7, 2021 (Sunday) : 09:00 am — 12:00 noon (3 hours)

The confirmed date and schedule will be announced in the first week of January 2021 on this website and communicated by post to the eligible students. Students appearing for INBO are eligible for TA/DA as per norms of the programme.

Syllabus: The syllabus for INBO is broadly similar to NSEB.The syllabus, however, is only a broad guideline. Questions and problems in National Olympiads are usually non-conventional and of high difficulty level, comparable to International Olympiads.

On the basis of performance in INBO, the top 35 students in the merit list will be selected for Stage III: Orientation Cum Selection Camp (OCSC) in Biology.In the event, there is a tie at the last position, all students with the same marks at this last position will qualify for OCSC.There will be no other criterion or provision for selection to OCSC.

Stage IV: Pre-departure Training (PDT) Camp for IBO

The selected 5 member Indian team undergoes a rigorous training programme at HBCSE in theory and experiments. Special laboratories have been developed at HBCSE for the purpose of experimental training. Resource persons from HBCSE and different institutions across the country train the students.

Stage V: Participation in International Biology Olympiad (IBO)

The 5 member student team, 2 teacher leaders and 1 scientific observer constitute the delegation to represent India at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO). The 44th IBO will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, tentatively in July 2021.

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