The national level Indian Olympiad exam conducted by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education has been postponed due to the rise in cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
The exams scheduled for January 9 and 16 have been postponed. A final decision regarding the exams slated for January 23 will be taken by the organiser by January 10. Nearly one lakh school students from across the country were expected to participate in the Olympiads.
The exams slated for January 9 featured the Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Mathematics (for classes 10, 11 and 12 students) and Indian Olympiad Qualifier in Junior Science ( for classes 9 and 10). Similarly, the Indian Olympiad Qualifier in physics and the Indian Olympiad qualifier in Biology was scheduled for January 16.
The postponement comes after several states across the country announced new guidelines resulting in the closure of educational institutions and travel restrictions.
Professor Ankit Sule, Olympiad team member, said that the decision was taken after taking into account the closure of schools in nearly 10 states and weekend curfews in many parts of the country, as reported by Time of India.
The latest restriction had made it extremely difficult to hold the exams in physical mode. Sule added that the organising team had also received several requests from students whose buildings were sealed due to new cases. The new dates of the Olympiad will be announced after improvement in the current COVID-19 situation.
Ditching the three-stage process, the 2021-2022 Olympiad, like last year, was slated to be conducted in a two-stage process comprising of the Indian Olympiad qualifier followed by an orientation cum selection camp. The objective type exam and subjective paper that were earlier conducted separately had been combined into one. The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the International Olympiad to be conducted in online mode last year. The decision regarding the exam format for this year will be taken by the organisers by March.