The international Olympiad movement is aimed at bringing the most gifted secondary and higher secondary students of the world together in a friendly competition of the highest level. The Olympiads do not lead directly to any career benefits; rather, they provide a stimulus to begin a career in science or mathematics, to undertake a lifelong journey into the realms of exciting intellectual challenges. The Olympiads are not merely competitions, they are the meeting places of the brightest young minds of the world, and many friendships forged at the Olympiads form the seeds of scientific collaboration later in life. Much like the Olympics in sports, the Olympiads are a celebration of the very best in school level science and mathematics.

A major national Olympiad programme in basic sciences and mathematics which connects to the international Olympiads is in operation in India. The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education is the nodal centre of the country for this programme. The programme aims at promoting excellence in science and mathematics among pre-university students.

Among the sciences, the Olympiad programme in Astronomy (junior and senior level), Biology, Chemistry, Junior Science and Physics is a five stage process for each subject separately. The first stage for each subject is organized by the Indian Association of Physics Teachers (IAPT) in collaboration with teacher associations in other subjects. All the remaining  stages are organized by Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE).

The Mathematics Olympiad is conducted under the aegis of the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM).

Whether you are a student or a teacher of science/mathematics, we invite you to explore the various dimensions of the olympiad program, dimensions that are not often encountered in regular education. If you are eligible, we strongly encourage you to directly participate in the programme. If you are outside the eligibility window, we invite you to use the olympiad resources as a learning opportunity for yourself and your friends.

 India is hosting the 10th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) at Bhubaneswar from 9 to 19 December 2016 (www.ioaa2016.in).